What do you like best?
Despite the revised GUI interface in recent years, which is excellent, like most applications built on UNIX technology, everything is a file/command line underneath. This gives me the confidence of being in total control of the product. I also just like the logical way it's designed, i.e. with clients that are added to savegroups, and savegroups that are run according to a schedule. It makes it easy to control the timing of the backups of specific systems in the enterprise.
I love the mminfo command for reporting on backup clients statuses - definitely one to learn!
What do you dislike?
As Networker is an enterprise backup tool, and has a necessarily comprehensive GUI that can be quite intimidating upon first sight. Once shown/trained on how to configure a client and add it to the backup schedule, it's really quite straight forward though and everything is pretty much where you'd expect to find it. For absolute confidence, I'd recommend formal training funded by your employer and embracing the command line.. It's one product that definitely justifies knowing what you're doing end-to-end.
Recommendations to others considering the product
I'd definitely recommend official training. I was fortunate enough to have it back in 2000 and the product has evolved but the fundamental commands and the way it works remains the same. It is training you'd benefit from for your entire career as it doesn't become obsolete like many products from other vendors.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
My current client has moved a huge number of servers, storage, databases and applications to remote datacenters and networker 6 and emc data domain were the products of choice to back it all up and de-duplicate the save sets which are then replicated to a second remote datacenter for disaster recovery purposes. backing up such a large eclectic mix of different nas vendors filesystems, vmware datastores, different databases on different operating systems along with exchange etc and replicating those savesets to a remote facility with very few failures is no easy task, but emc Networker makes it easy and Data Domain deduplication is so efficient that the unique blocks of saveset data achieve a 96% compression rate, making replication of that data to a remote site easy. You'd think that data that is that compressed/deduplicated would take an age to recover but in fact the opposite is true. Recoveries are insanely fast too. It is quite possibly the most impressive tech I've seen in a decade after VMWare ESXi. The details of the specific challenges overcome can be read on my blog here. I am independent and not affiliated with emc (at the time of writing).