Datto vs. Intronis / Barracuda: the battle to be the legitimate # 1

August 2, 2021

9 min read

Tracy Rock

Director of Marketing @ Invenio IT
datto vs intronis

Datto vs. Intronis / Barracuda: the battle to be the legitimate # 1

by Aug 2, 2021Business Continuity

Datto vs Intronis / Barracuda. Know the pros and cons.

Datto vs Intronis: how do they compare? Datto represents a modern evolution in data protection, redundancy protection and recovery. Their unique two-layer approach advances the benefits and capabilities of business continuity light years from the days of backup tapes and traditional incremental backups.

Old, traditional file-by-file copying often lost relational data links. Instead, Datto’s approach uses system imaging. This difference maps all of the data relationships that exist at every virtual and transport level. Doing so increases the accuracy of the backup copy, and it improves the recovery time needed to restore a drive from the backup resources made. The Datto approach also boosts flexibility of accessing and starting the data platform on virtual servers as well.

But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s break down some of the key differences and capabilities of Datto and Intronis, so you can decide which solution is best for the needs of your organization.

Intronis Background

It’s important to note that Intronis was acquired by Barracuda in September 2015. However, Barracuda still offers Intronis Backup as a standalone, software-only BDR solution, separate from its other backup offerings.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the differences between Barracuda and Intronis.

  • Barracuda: Barracuda’s flagship backup product delivers hybrid cloud protection via an on-site appliance with cloud backups that are stored in the Barracuda Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or your own private cloud. The solution can protect physical, virtual and multi-site environments. The hybrid protection, similar to Datto’s, provides an added safeguard against the risk of an on-site disaster, ensuring that data can still be recovered from the cloud even if on-site backups have been destroyed.

  • Intronis: Intronis Backup is basically a software-only product, which gives organizations (and their managed service providers) the flexibility to build their own backup infrastructure while leveraging the Intronis software to manage the backup process. The software can be used for hybrid local and cloud backup, but again, businesses must leverage their own storage devices and cloud services (or rely on their MSPs to do so). This makes Intronis unique from Barracuda Backup in that it is not a unified solution – it’s just the software.

Datto Background

Datto entered the game in 2007 and has quickly become one of the leading names in backup. Founded by Austin McChord, the company offers fully unified continuity solutions that consist of local backup hardware, backup software and cloud infrastructure. Each of those components is built by Datto to create a tighter integration that is ready to go out of box.

Datto’s two flagship backup solutions are:

  • Datto SIRIS: SIRIS is Datto’s high-performance business continuity solution, providing all-in-one protection with an onsite BDR appliance and cloud backup via the Datto Cloud in one integrated stack.

  • Datto ALTO: ALTO provides the same high-performance backup, but via a smaller solution that’s designed specifically for small businesses. Like SIRIS, ALTO is an all-in-one solution that features a local backup device with cloud backups for hybrid protection.

Datto vs. Intronis Overview

As a leading BCDR provider, Datto is frequently compared with industry peers like Intronis, but the two offerings are like apples and oranges.

Intronis is a software-only product that is built exclusively for IT providers. In fact, it’s designed to be a white-label solution for MSPs to rebrand as their own offering. Barracuda is clear about this on its website, inviting IT providers to “recast our platform with your own colors and logo, and sell your unique business value.” Datto, too, is a channel-only BCDR provider, which means that the solutions are available exclusively through MSPs. However, they are fully integrated systems that are not meant to be rebranded.

Quick side-by-side comparison

Datto vs Intronis

Intronis overview

Intronis is still a good piece of backup software that will fit the needs of some businesses and their MSPs. The solution utilizes a cloud backup procedure to ensure data recovery. When Intronis was first introduced, the platform created a backup copy via Internet channels for both physical and virtual machines (nodes).

Somewhat similar to the updating and syncing approach used by lightweight file-sharing tools like Dropbox, Intronis relied on identification of the target files and drives as well as a constant connection to keep confirming sync status. Some of the big draws include scalability and remote cloud support. Their package also benefits from a lower cost of operation due to no physical hardware being included with the software (however, the business or IT provider will still need to invest in their own hardware).

Intronis Backup allows a range of backup choices. These vary from basic file-level backup to server-level image backups and Hyper-V protection for virtual environments.

Software capabilities:

  • Bare metal restore (BMR)
  • VMware backup
  • Hyper-V backup
  • Server image backup
  • Application backup

The scope of coverage really depends on the company’s IT environment and how much protection they need. With fixed monthly pricing plans, Intronis users can change up or down the size of the service to better match the demand of their operations.

As far as backup software goes, Intronis is a solid solution, and the ECHOplatform provides an intuitive dashboard that brings all your backup integrations together. You can select which data is stored locally and in the cloud, eliminating the need to use a separate solution for the local backups (which some BC/DR solutions require).

Intronis feature highlight

In the age of ransomware, businesses demand faster recovery methods to restore their operations after a catastrophic data-loss incident. This has led BCDR providers to offer virtualized backups, which can be quickly spun up as virtual machines, rather than waiting for the full data restore.

Intronis and Datto both offer some form of virtualized backup and recovery.

  • Intronis’s option is called QuickSpin, which boots up virtual machines in a matter of minutes. This is specifically a recovery tool for VMware environments.
  • Datto’s Instant Virtualization goes a few steps further, allowing businesses to instantly boot any protected system (local, cloud, virtual, etc.) in seconds. The virtualization can be powered by the Datto on-site backup device or the Datto cloud (or a hybrid), providing near instant access to all protected files, operating systems and applications.

Why Datto does more – in a nutshell

The key difference between Datto and a basic software-only solution like Intronis is that Datto is a complete and fully integrated business continuity system, whereas Intronis requires businesses to use their own hardware and rely on a patchwork of disparate technologies.

But also, as we illustrate in greater detail below, Datto does way more.

  • Datto’s solutions use powerful on-site backup devices for the initial backup, which then doubles the redundancy with the Datto Cloud across regionally diverse data centers. This ensures immediate backup protection onsite as well as remote redundancy. 
  • With hybrid cloud protection, Datto resources can then be accessed from anywhere that a client has an Internet connection. All data transferred is fully encrypted both ways: in transit to the cloud and when recovered. Additionally, Datto provides a powerful and intuitive dashboard, which provides easy management and control over all aspects of the backup and recovery process. Businesses or their MSPs can see all the key metrics of the Datto system installed and updated in real time.

It’s true that Intronis can be used to deliver similar backup capabilities as Datto, such as hybrid protection and backups for virtual machines. When Intronis began enabling a hybrid cloud approach with the company’s 2015 release of its Intronis / Barracuda ECHOplatform, the capabilities of Intronis certainly expanded. However, Datto’s capabilities still go much further, both in terms of its advanced backup process and recovery options. These factors have a tremendous impact on the level of continuity that a business can achieve with Datto’s solutions, in addition to the overall quality of service.

Datto’s unique advantages

We’ve touched on Datto’s inherent advantage as a fully unified backup and recovery solution. But it’s the unique capabilities of Datto’s solutions that really make them shine. Let’s look at some core features that make Datto a top contender against Intronis and other backup providers.

1) Inverse Chain Technology

Datto reinvented the backup process with its Inverse Chain Technology, which eliminated dependency on the backup chain.

Traditionally, with incremental backups, each new backup is dependent on the chain preceding it. So if errors occur anywhere in the chain (and they often do), it can corrupt the entire backup. With Datto, each backup recovery point is stored in an independent, fully constructed state, so there’s no rebuild process. This makes the backups faster, more resilient and faster to recover.

  • Highlight: Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology enables your backups to be performed as often as every 5 minutes. That’s a huge advantage for businesses that can’t afford to lose data.

2) Instant recovery

Datto offers a wide range of recovery options to accommodate every plausible disaster scenario. But most impressive is the ability to restore data instantly. There are actually a few ways to do this:

  • File-level recovery: Files and folders can be instantly restored with a few clicks using Datto’s Backup Insights interface.

  • Virtualization: As mentioned above, Datto enables you to instantly virtualize an entire system, locally or via the cloud. So you can continue to use the critical applications that keep your organization running. Plus, backups can continue at a normal backup schedule during the virtualization.

3) Immutable cloud storage

The Datto Cloud is comprised of secure data centers around the globe. When backups are replicated in the cloud, they are stored in two geographically diverse data centers. So if, for example, a widespread power outage hit the U.S. East Coast, your cloud backups would still be recoverable from a secondary location.

Additionally, the Datto Cloud is what’s considered immutable storage. It cannot be tampered with or modified, whether by hackers or cyberattack. Cloud backups are completely independent, making them immune from local network threats such as ransomware.

Many other backup solutions that rely on third-party clouds are vulnerable to outside threats, simply due to the nature of how they’re integrated. Datto’s immutable cloud ensures that off-site data has the highest level of protection possible.

4) Advanced backup verification

The Datto SIRIS and ALTO feature advanced backup verification to ensure that all backups can be restored. The system test-boots each new backup to check integrity and ensure it’s working properly. If any errors occur, admins are notified right away, so they can take action if necessary. This process is completely automated and happens in the background as each new backup is created (there’s no production outage during the tests).

The feature also enables you to customize the checks with custom scripts, giving you control over what constitutes an error and what generates an alert.

5) Built-in ransomware protection

This is a great feature that is unique to Datto’s offerings. As each new backup is created, the system looks for signs of a potential ransomware infection, such as large volumes of files being modified. The moment files start being encrypted, the system notifies admins. This enables businesses to act much faster, at the very beginning of an infection, so they can stop it from spreading and rollback to a clean recovery point.

In 2020, Datto unveiled significant changes to its ransomware detection feature, including the ability to stop ransomware infections in their tracks automatically. As Datto writes, “RMM Ransomware Detection can automatically attempt to terminate the ransomware process and isolate the affected device from the network to reduce the impact of ransomware on the client.”

6) Rapid Rollback

Rapid Rollback is another Datto feature that is useful during ransomware attacks, as well as other incidents involving large-scale unwanted file changes.

Rapid Rollback can be used to recover only the data that changed between two recovery points, rather than the entire backup. This makes the recovery a lot faster, cleaner and more efficient, because you aren’t restoring a bunch of files that were never affected in the first place.

In a ransomware attack, for example, you simply select a recovery point from before the attack and Rapid Rollback quickly restores the modified files. This feature is also useful for undoing file changes during a failed O/S update or application install.

What others say

Evaluating user reviews can provide some additional insight into the value of backup solutions beyond what is available on Datto’s and Intronis’s websites. However, it’s important to keep in mind that reviews don’t always paint the whole picture and are very dependent on the specific needs of the client.

That being said, here are some user comments that stood out to us:

Intronis

  • “Intronis Backup software could use some improvement on reliability as it requires massaging more often than the Barracuda Backup appliances.”
  • “Purchasing and activating Barracuda Backup appliances via Intronis complicates the process as appliances use the Barracuda Cloud Console for management.”
  • “If a backup solution is needed without purchasing an appliance, the Intronis solution does a great job of backing up data and replicating to the cloud. The backup is restricted by total data, so any databases and other items are covered as long as it’s under the total data cap.”

(Source: TrustRadius)

Datto

  • “Since the day we decided to use Datto it has been more than our ally, it has been quite easy to implement and configure it based on our needs. I consider it a bit expensive, but if you want the files to be safe, it is well worth the investment.”
  • “Datto provides a powerful platform to help manage recovery and save data during accidental loss. It allows to take backup of servers, systems, OS, Virtual machines through image based backups.”
  • “Best backup! Being able to spin up a downed server immediately to service users WHILE restoring is amazing! Support is great!”
  • “The Datto BDR platform has served our clients well. We have been able to completely recover files and complete servers without issue. The use of a device is simple to deploy and maintain.”

(Source: Gartner)

Conclusion

Datto and Intronis each have their unique advantages, but they are very different backup products that are designed for specific needs. Whereas Intronis is a software-only solution, Datto is a fully integrated solution that integrates local hardware, software and the cloud in a single stack. Intronis requires businesses to deploy their own backup infrastructure, typically with disparate hardware and services. Datto’s solutions are completely unified and feature exclusive technologies, such as Inverse Chain backups and built-in ransomware detection, helping organizations create more resilient backups, more often, and recover data far quicker.

Request more information

For a deeper comparison of Datto vs. Intronis, contact our experts at Invenio IT. We can break down the specific advantages of each backup system to help you identify the right solution for your needs. Request a free demo or contact our disaster recovery teams at Invenio IT. Call us at (646) 395-1170 or email success@invenioIT.com.

Director of Marketing @ Invenio IT