BCDR Faceoff: How Do Datto Competitors Stack Up?
Not all business continuity solutions are created equal. While we often talk about Datto’s innovations for disaster recovery and ransomware protection, it’s always a good idea to compare your options. Today, we’ll look at some Datto competitors with similar technologies to see how their products stack up.
As with any technology investment (whether it’s hardware, software, SaaS, DRaaS, HaaS or something else altogether), it’s critical to find the right fit for your company. If you don’t compare your options carefully, you could end up spending a lot more for solutions you don’t need, or worse: choosing insufficient technology that leaves your company at risk.
If you already have a business continuity plan in place, then it should be able to guide your decision by providing the answers to key questions:
- What types of events threaten our data?
Is the business at risk of a ransomware attack? What about on-site flooding or fire?
- Which kinds of protection are the highest priority?
What solutions could ensure operational continuity after a disaster? What protections are needed to eliminate the risk of downtime?
- How much data do we need to back up?
Are we talking terabytes of highly sensitive data, a thumb drive’s worth, or something in between?
- Will it be stored on-site, in the cloud or both?
Storing data in the cloud, away from the physical business location, is a good precaution, but does it mean compromising recovery speed?
- What is our Recovery Time Objective (RTO)?
How quickly would data need to be recovered in order to avert a major disruption in operation?
- What is our Recovery Point Objective (RPO)?
How much data could we afford to lose if a backup needed to be restored? How recent does the recovery point need to be to meet that objective?
Answering these questions can help to narrow your options. With more stringent requirements for disaster recovery, you’ll find that some Datto competitors fall short.
Let’s take a closer look at the market to identify the differences between today’s various DR offerings.
Datto Competitors Compared
Veeam is arguably one of the top Datto competitors, offering a similar suite of products for data backup, cloud storage and recovery. Founded in 2006, the company is today known for its self-described “Always-On Enterprise” solutions, backed by its promise to help companies meet recovery time objectives of “less than 15 minutes for all applications and data.” They offer a variety of products, including both agent-based and agentless backups.
Like Datto, Veeam offers image-based backups from screenshots, which enables a faster, more efficient backup process than other backup methods. But one difference right off the bat is that, with Datto, the backup image is a fully bootable virtual machine. This allows administrators to test-boost the backup to determine if the backup is recoverable.
Datto’s customers and managed-service providers often consider Datto to provide more of a 360-degree approach to business continuity. In comparing Datto and Veeam, one user points out:
Each product has strengths in different areas … Where Datto really shines is business continuity. Datto service includes offsite storage and the ability to either spin up your VMs from their appliance in the case of an equipment failure, or spin up your VMs in their data center in the case of a total site failure. This is of course something that is possible and configurable in VEEAM but requires extra resources.
Veeam reviews to consider
Like most of the Datto competitors we’ve highlighted, Veeam BC/DR has its pros and cons, which should be evaluated carefully. Here are some noteworthy points we found in various online reviews:
- “Veeam is a good backup product but it definitely needs more complexity when it comes to supporting different types of systems and applications.”*
- “Veeam needs to have more support for non-Windows systems and other databases. For example, I can do SQL with Veeam but not Informix or Oracle. This is unfortunate because we have many partners with Oracle systems and Informix databases, and Veeam does not yet have the agents we need for specific Oracle and UNIX operating systems.”*
- “Veeam Backup Replication has agents for Linux, but they are not supporting Cluster Shared Volumes. It would be great to have agents for Linux be cluster-aware, just like the Windows agents. In addition, we should be able to schedule, control, and deploy them from the backup server rather than relying on scripts and/or the system you are backing up to perform the backup.”*
Check out our full report on Datto vs. Veeam
Intronis is unique in that a large component of its offerings are focused on security solutions, on top of data protection. Its NextGen Firewall and Email Security Solutions are designed to provide small businesses with “cloud-based advanced targeted attack protection, email continuity, encryption and data protection, and archiving.”
While Intronis was founded in 2003, the company was acquired by Barracuda in 2015. Thus, some of its data backup solutions integrate Barracuda hardware.
- Barracuda Backup is Intronis’s “appliance option” which is targeted solely to managed-service providers (MSPs) as “a turnkey, all-in-one, subscription-based solution that simplifies business continuity and disaster recovery service delivery.”
- Intronis ECHOplatform “goes beyond file-and-folder and delivers secure hybrid local-cloud backup services that offer flexible, comprehensive data protection.”
It’s important to note that ECHOplatform, too, is marketed to MSPs, with the option of being “fully brandable.” So for example, if you’re working with an MSP that is offering its own branded data protection solutions, those solutions could in fact be the white-labeled Intronis ECHOplatform.
ECHOplatform, released in 2015, makes Intronis a direct competitor of Datto, albeit one with much less experience in the hybrid-backup space.
Intronis reviews to consider
Intronis has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, just as we mentioned with Veeam – and often those Pros and Cons are directly related the specific needs of your backup infrastructure. That said, here are a few noteworthy snippets from Intronis reviews we stumbled across:
- “The only con would be that one time it took a week for Intronis to recover all the files of one of our customers and get them to us. I would like faster recovery if possible.”*
- “The local backup does not keep multiple versions of the files. Thus if you do not get fully synced to the Cloud you only have the latest version of the corrupt file. Explain that one to your client and their attorney.”*
- “Very little common sense used in the settings, for example you can set a retention period of several years, but deleted files have a separate retention rule; either keep all & manually remove versions (!!) or automatically remove after 3 months.”*
Take a look at our overview of Datto vs. Intronis
Mountain View-based Axcient has become another big player in BCDR, specializing in data backup and recovery for virtual IT environments.
Axcient Fusion is the company’s flagship product—a disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution that “converges infrastructure and workloads in a single cloud platform,” allowing businesses to “go from a catastrophic failure to full IT productivity in under 60 minutes.”
One significant difference between Datto and Axcient is that Axcient’s solutions are agentless, which means no software is installed on network devices. Axcient markets this as an advantage over Datto, claiming that it reduces load on primary systems. But truth be told, an agentless system will come with drawbacks in certain environments. Datto offers both agent-based and agentless systems, allowing companies to choose the solution that makes the most sense for their DR objectives and infrastructure.
In a 2016 comparison, we also found that Axcient’s solutions stop creating new backup files after an emergency recovery has been performed. Our teams explained: “You could find yourself with no record of work performed since the crash,” which is especially dangerous if you’re replacing hardware and trying to restore systems after a disaster. In the event that you lose data again in those unstable moments following the initial disaster, you’ll have no backup to pull from.
Axcient reviews to consider
As with the reviews of Datto competitors above, the following Axcient reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, especially since it is not often clear exactly which products are deployed. However, we’ve included the following reviews as issues to be aware of:
- “It would be nice for the Windows and Linux options to be integrated into a single product vs having to have two separate purchases.”*
- “There were problems with the backups using too much bandwidth and killing the network. There should be a less invasive way to accomplish backups during the day.”*
- “The web console could use some speed improvements. It often takes 15-20 minutes just to get a restore started. It also does not seem to play nice with more modern browsers.”*
You can read our full Datto vs. Axcient comparison here
Unitrends is an industry dinosaur, founded in 1989, that has remained another major player in business continuity. Like Datto, the company offers a range of solutions to fit the individualized needs of various businesses. Although, unlike some of the other Datto competitors, Unitrends focuses more on large companies. (Unitrends markets itself as a provider of “Enterprise Backup & Continuity.”)
The company’s core BCDR solutions fall into the following categories:
- Single and multi-location backup and recovery (onsite and/or remote), available with either hardware or software virtual appliances
- DRaaS cloud backup with optional Azure or Amazon AWS integration and/or failover
The multiple deployment options provide flexibility so that a company can build or scale their backup and recovery system to match their specific objectives. It also means that you could build very technically similar systems between Datto and Unitrends. So to differentiate, some of the questions you’ll need to ask are:
- How quickly can backups be spun up (onsite and from the cloud)?
- What difficulties arise in more complex enterprise environments (dozens of servers, for example)?
- What kind of customer service can you expect, and from where (direct or via the MSP)?
An important differentiation about Datto here is its “Inverse Chain Technology,” which eliminates the dependence on previous snapshots and makes each backup a fully bootable machine, as mentioned above. Datto also adds the peace of mind of screenshot verification, which tests the backup integrity and performs daily mock recoveries.
Unitrends reviews to consider:
Unitrends’ pros and cons will be different for each business, depending on which solution they’ve deployed and how it’s integrated with other IT infrastructure. However, here are a few notable Unitrends reviews that stood out during our research:
- “The Appliance works very well except we have not reached the level of De-dupe we expected. We probably are undersized but were told it would work. We needed to buy a second appliance to handle the overflow. De-dupe does not work across units so we still don’t have de-dupe for large file servers.”*
- ” Incrementals are having difficulty incrementally backing up large amounts of small files, with low delta.”*
- “Over the course of our [2-month] trial, we had several instances of data corruption that made the ‘incremental forever’ option not work. We in turn had to restart the entire back-up a few times. This isn’t good for us, since we often need data from the day before & losing it was an issue. “*
Check out our full report on Datto vs. Unitrends
In 2011, Datto announced it would begin using StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect technology within some of its own DR solutions, such as the Datto SIRIS, to enable ultra-fast recovery of image-based backups.
That being said, the two companies remain independent and offer their own product suites.
StorageCraft’s “Recovery Solution” is its core offering, which gives businesses the ability to back up data locally or in the cloud. As with Datto’s solutions, quick restores can be done on a single file, select folders or “complete systems throughout your network.”
Recovery Solution can provide protection for both physical and virtual environments. Virtual machines can be spun up “in minutes to new hypervisors or to new physical hosts.”
Reviewers with experience on both Datto and StorageCraft have noted having more confidence in Datto’s solutions for total business continuity, while StorageCraft’s offerings left too many complex configurations on the shoulders of admins — creating a potential risk for small-business IT managers who don’t have as much experience building or managing sophisticated backup solutions.
StorageCraft reviews to consider:
How does StorageCraft compare to other Datto competitors? It depends on a variety of factors that apply to your specific deployment. But if you’re comparing options, here are a few StorageCraft reviews to consider:
- “This was originally used in a smaller environment to quickly get small servers back up and running. For those scenarios it worked pretty smooth, however, once you get into bigger architecture it will be a different game. During my time working with this product we did have issues with the incremental and full backups failing. This required someone to manually log in each day and check to see if the backups actually had ran.”*
- “The interface could definitely be improved. It is a bit hard to work with.”*
- The backup solution is not good as expected. When replicating large backup sets it needs lot of system resources. Improvements needed to do file searching. Lots of smaller errors faced while reporting and it should not affect the backup.”*
Read more in our breakdown of Datto vs. StorageCraft
6) DropBox, Box, OneDrive, Google Apps …
Keep in mind that Datto’s offerings span a wide scope of business continuity that goes beyond data backup and extends to file sync and share (FSS) as well. Datto Workplace (formerly known as Datto Drive) is a cloud-protected file-sharing platform specifically for businesses, with automatic backups and on-demand file recovery.
In 2016, Datto made headlines by offering a free terabyte of FSS storage for a year, and then $10 a month thereafter – for an unlimited number of users. That pricing made Datto Drive a far better deal than other business-grade FSS offerings, including those from Dropbox, Box, Google and Microsoft. Those competing offerings charged up to $15 per month per user. That pricing effectively pushed out many small businesses.
Datto Workplace can be used on its own for FSS or deployed within its other solutions, such as the SIRIS 3 appliance.
It’s important to note …
Datto Workplace, as well as Google Drive, OneDrive and other file-sharing apps, are NOT intended to be used for business continuity. While they do provide a form of lightweight data backup in the cloud, they are still vulnerable to the most common culprits of data loss, including accidental deletion.
As such, file-sharing applications should NOT serve as a substitute for more robust BC/DR solutions like Datto and its competitors listed above. Instead, these services should be used primarily for productivity and workplace efficiency, and should be deployed as a supplement to your data backup solutions.
Let’s talk specifics
For more information on how Datto compares to its competitors in business continuity, contact our experts at Invenio IT. Request a demo by calling (646) 395-1170, or email success@invenioIT.com.