Disaster Recovery Solutions: How to Choose the Best Data Backup

by | Apr 18, 2019

Choosing a disaster recovery solution is a big decision for any business. And since there are so many different types of data backup to choose from, comparing all your options can be overwhelming.

What’s at stake? Everything.

Without a good data backup system in place, businesses are exposed to the risks of costly data loss, which can be caused by numerous threats:

·      Accidental deletion

·      Hardware failure

·      Unpatched or buggy software

·      Ransomware and other malware

·      Data migration errors

·      Overwritten data

·      Third-party app errors

·      Operating system vulnerabilities

Just one hour of downtime caused by data loss can cost businesses between $10,000 and $5 million, depending on the company’s size. So it’s critical that businesses can back up their data frequently and recover it without problem.

If the backups aren’t performed often enough, or can’t be restored quickly enough, recovery becomes much more difficult (and costly).

So, which backup solution is best for your business? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the leading systems available today.

 

Datto

In recent years, Datto has become one of the biggest names in business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR). The company’s backup solutions are designed to provide “enterprise-grade” protection at price-points that are reasonable for small to medium-sized businesses.

Datto’s flagship products are the SIRIS and ALTO. Both are fully-integrated hybrid cloud backup solutions, which means they combine an on-site backup appliance with the protection of mirrored cloud backups.

There are a few key aspects of Datto’s solutions that make them distinct from competitors:

·      Inverse Chain Technology: This is Datto’s patented backup process, which improves on the idea of incremental backups by eliminating the dependence on previous snapshots. The resulting benefits are more resilient backups (less prone to failure during recovery) and a backup frequency as often as every five minutes.

·      Instant virtualization: Virtualized backups have become a new standard for BC/DR providers, because they provide faster access to lost data, as well as applications. Datto’s technology stands out because the virtualized backups can be booted from on-site, the cloud or a mixture of both, giving businesses greater options for restoring continuity.

·      Ransomware protection: Datto’s systems actively look for signs of a ransomware footprint (i.e. large amounts of data being modified), so that administrators can take action at the earliest signs of an infection.

Some additional features to compare with competitors are Datto’s screenshot verification (automatic validation of backup integrity) and its Backup Insights platform, which makes it easy to locate lost data.

 

Barracuda & Intronis

Barracuda is another big player in data backup and network security. In 2015, the company merged with Intronis to expand its BC/DR offering, particularly for delivery through managed-service providers (MSPs). The products are still offered as two distinct solutions to meet the specific needs of each business: Barracuda Backup and Intronis Backup.

Here’s how the two offerings break down:

·      Barracuda: The flagship Barracuda solution provides hybrid cloud protection that combines an on-site appliance with replicated backups in the Barracuda Cloud. Like Datto’s, this hybrid approach provides an added layer of protection in case of on-site threats, and it’s designed to protect physical, virtual and multi-site environments.

·      Intronis: Intronis Backup is essentially a software-only solution that gives organizations the flexibility to build their own backup infrastructure while using Intronis to manage the backup process. The software allows for hybrid local backup as well as up to 15 TB of cloud storage.

If you’re comparing Datto vs. Barracuda, or Datto vs. Intronis, something to consider is how each provider’s solutions are integrated together—or what kind of integration is required to achieve true business continuity for both local and cloud data.

Infrascale

Infrascale’s BC/DR solutions provide similar benefits as Barracuda’s and Datto’s, with a focus on disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). Its backup solutions can be deployed in several forms to protect both physical and virtual environments.

Infrascale’s hybrid cloud backups provide the ability to retrieve lost data or virtualize a backup in the cloud. Businesses also have the option to back up their data to other third-party clouds:

What to explore:

·      Cloud choice: Businesses can choose to replicate their data from the on-site appliance to a private cloud, Infrascale’s cloud or third-party clouds, such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure or IBM Bluemix.

·      Drag-and-Drop Orchestration: Infrascale gives businesses some added control when determining the priority of machines to recover. A drag-and-drop orchestration runbook editor lets you create a flowchart defining which machines get recovered and the sequence in which they’re recovered.

Keep in mind, as with any backup solution, greater flexibility for deployment can often translate into greater complexity for configuration. Businesses and their MSPs should carefully weigh the time, cost and scope of configuration required to achieve a unified solution.

 

StorageCraft

StorageCraft is another leading BC/DR provider that’s been around since 2003. Its most recent solution is the OneXafe, which the company markets as a “converged data platform,” providing unified data protection with scale-out storage.

StorageCraft’s BDR devices are powered by the ShadowProtect backup solution, or its newer ShadowXafe solution, both of which provide protection for physical and virtual environments.

Key features:

·      Converged Storage: StorageCraft’s OneXafe product can be configured as primary storage, secondary storage or converged secondary storage with backup. The converged option can help reduce infrastructure complexity, because it consolidates a company’s storage and data-protection stack into a single infrastructure.

·      Multiple recovery options: Like competing solutions, StorageCraft backups can be booted instantly for the fastest access to lost data and applications. Files and folders can also be retrieved individually, from local machines or the cloud.

The launch of ShadowXafe also introduces StorageCraft’s new “advanced re-verification” process, which is an automated feature that continually checks the integrity of backups to ensure they can be successfully restored, similar to Datto’s.

 

Unitrends

Unitrends provides a range of business continuity solutions for SMBs and enterprise businesses. Its unified BC/DR solution provides hybrid-cloud backup, combining an on-site Unitrends appliance with secondary storage in the Unitrends Cloud and/or other public clouds, such as AWS.

Unitrends offers both agent-based and agentless backups, protecting physical and virtual machines (VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, AWS, Azure).

Features and capabilities to look at:

·      Cloud continuity: Unitrends’ DRaaS offering provides a seamless integration between the Unitrends Cloud and on-site devices, such as the newer Gen8 and Recovery Series MAX appliances. Virtualized backups can be spun up locally or in the cloud to restore access to critical data and applications.

·      Incremental Forever: This is a Unitrends feature that makes the backup process more efficient by eliminating the need to replicate data that hasn’t been modified since the last full backup. Some compare this to Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology, but the two processes are actually quite different. Also known as a “Synthetic Full” backup, the Incremental Forever process still uses a traditional backup chain that’s dependent on previous snapshots (and is thus prone to common issues like corrupted data and failed restores. However, Unitrends’ Recovery Assurance technology does provide automated recovery testing to provide some peace of mind about backup integrity).

Unitrends has also developed its own ransomware detection feature, which uses AI to identify infections as part of every backup.

 

Veeam

Like many of its competitors, Veeam provides a suite of disaster recovery solutions designed to protect a wide range of workloads: virtual, physical, and cloud (including VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V).

Veeam’s Backup Essentials is designed for small businesses with “environments no larger than 6 CPU sockets or 50 instances.” Its Availability Suite is designed for larger organizations who need more advanced data protection (utilizing Veeam Backup & Replication).

Features to compare:

–       Reverse incremental backups: Veeam’s Backup & Replication system uses three backup methods to create backup chains: “Forever Forward Incremental,” “Forward Incremental,” and “Reverse Incremental.” The reverse incremental is unique from other backup methods in that the recent restore point in the backup chain is always a full backup that’s not dependent on previous snapshots (a benefit similar to Datto’s Inverse Chain).

–       Hyper-Availability: This is Veeam’s terminology for instant virtualization, which can be performed both locally and in the cloud. Backups can be virtualized in seconds and businesses can choose from a wide range of cloud providers.

As with other providers, configuration is very flexible and thus can also get very complex depending on what level of business continuity the business wants to achieve.

Axcient (eFolder / Replibit)

After the 2017 merger between eFolder and Axcient, the combined company rebranded as Axcient and introduced a new Business Availability suite made up of data protection technologies from both companies.

Axcient Replibit is an image-based backup system that captures all data (including operating systems, applications and configurations), storing them on a local BDR appliance as well as in the Axcient Cloud.

What to explore:

–       Chain-free: Axcient uses “chain-free technology” for its backups, which means that each recovery point is independent from previous backups. Like similar technologies from other providers, this can reduce the risk of data being corrupted during the backup process.

–       BRC: Axcient’s BRC solution provides business availability in the event of any disaster, allowing businesses to recover individual machines or an entire site through Axcient’s Virtual Office and automated Runbook features.

Axcient’s customers have the option of building or repurposing their own hardware for the local BDR appliance or purchasing/leasing from Axcient. Companies can also use their own cloud for the off-site backups, instead of using Axcient’s.

 

Let’s take a closer look at disaster recovery solutions

A much deeper comparison is needed to differentiate the many advantages and disadvantages of today’s leading disaster recovery solutions. Let our experts guide you through it. Request a free demo or contact our disaster recovery teams at Invenio IT. Call us at (646) 395-1170 or email success@invenioIT.com.

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Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!