Extremely impressive support staff for a complex product
Updated November 11, 2020

Extremely impressive support staff for a complex product

Daniel Drucker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Bacula Enterprise

We are the McLean Imaging Center--the neuroimaging center at McLean Hospital. McLean maintains the world's largest neuroscientific and psychiatric research program in a private hospital. It is the largest psychiatric facility of Harvard Medical School, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital, and part of Mass General Brigham. The Imaging Center is primarily research, with some clinical duties as well. At the Center we back up ~50 clients and ~1.5 PB to a mix of disk and LTO7 tape. Our primary workload is research neuroimaging data.
  • Hyper-competent support staff
  • Extreme configurability
  • Extensive logging and reporting
  • Command line and GUI interface
  • Backups storage format is outdated--treats everything, even disk, as if it were a tape.
  • No deduplication support in base product.
  • Inconsistent support for filesystem snapshots on non-Windows platforms
  • Steep learning curve--but rewards learning!
  • What price can you put on recovery? The very first time we had to restore from backup, having Bacula Enterprise support paid for itself.
  • The extremely good visibility into Bacula Enterprise's operations--as opposed to some competitors where you don't really know what it's doing--makes me trust it more.
  • Veeam Backup & Replication
Veeam Backup & Replication is easy to use and powerful, but I really didn't like that it's closed-source (Bacula Enterprise is open source--you pay for support), so I have no way of looking into what it's doing. Veeam only runs on Windows, and is more focused on VMs; our workload is extremely heterogeneous and consists of lots of Macs (which Veeam doesn't support at all) and Linux boxes as old as circa 2005 (which Veeam supports badly or not at all). Veeam's support also seemed subpar; when I tried talking to someone I was never able to actually get connected with anyone who could answer technical questions, whereas Bacula Enterprise support were all the actual engineers who work on the product codebase.


Do you think Bacula Enterprise delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Bacula Enterprise's feature set?

No

Did Bacula Enterprise live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Bacula Enterprise go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Bacula Enterprise again?

Yes

Bacula Enterprise is not the easiest backup software to work with--you are expected to be competent at the command line and editing complex configuration files, even if you mostly use the web GUI for day-to-day operations. However, study is rewarded--you can do many very complex things. Easy things may not always be easy, but very hard things are possible (unlike many competitors that make easy things easy and hard things impossible).

I would not recommend Bacula to someone who just wants a quick plug and play solution; but in my opinion your backups and disaster recovery system shouldn't be plug and play - that's a great way to feel good about a solution that won't actually work for you when it's needed!

Bacula Enterprise Feature Ratings

Live recovery
Not Rated
Recovery verification
Not Rated
Multiple backup destinations
10
Incremental backup identification
5
Backup to the cloud
Not Rated
Deduplication and file compression
3
Snapshots
5
Flexible deployment
10
Management dashboard
8
Platform support
10
Retention options
10
Encryption
Not Rated

Bacula Enterprise Support

Their support staff is hyper-competent--everyone I have worked with is a deep subject matter expert and if they didn't write the actual code, they know who did--and can talk to them immediately. They never "just try to close the ticket.' They spend as much time and effort as it takes to actually solve not just the problem you state, but really think about what you're asking and realize if it's an "XY problem" and address the real problem.

Using Bacula Enterprise

This is a hard question. Usability for whom? For someone who is very comfortable at the command line and willing to put in the time to learn Bacula Enterprise's configuration syntax, it's very usable. Just don't expect to be an expert immediately.
ProsCons
Like to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Feel confident using
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Lots to learn