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StorageCraft vs. Datto: Choosing the Right Disaster Recovery Solution

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Dale Shulmistra

Data Protection Specialist @ Invenio IT



It’s no secret that evaluating disaster recovery solutions can be a headache. There’s no shortage of backup options for today’s businesses, and each one has different advantages and disadvantages.

Finding the “perfect fit” can take time. But with so much at stake, it’s critical that organizations choose their deployments carefully.

Making the “wrong” choice can have disastrous consequences:

·      Major data loss if backups fail during restore

·      Inadequate backups that don’t capture all your data (or don’t capture it frequently enough)

·      Slow recoveries that prolong operational downtime

·      Backups that become infected with ransomware and other malware

·      Expensive deployments that are difficult to configure and manage

Two of the biggest names in data backup today are StorageCraft and Datto. Both companies offer very good disaster recovery solutions, but while they share many of the same fundamental benefits (i.e. dependable backup for business continuity), the two systems diverge in several areas.

In this post, we evaluate some of the key features of StorageCraft vs. Datto to help you choose the right BC/DR solution for your business.

StorageCraft Overview

StorageCraft was an early innovator of backup imaging software and storage drivers. By the mid-2000s, many organizations were using StorageCraft’s technology within their backup products, so the company decided to build its own full-fledged backup and disaster recovery solution, known as ShadowProtect.

Headquartered in Draper, Utah, the company today has more than 250 employees and offers a range of solutions for data protection, storage and business continuity.

Like Datto, StorageCraft offers a few different continuity products to meet the varying needs of small to large businesses. Businesses can protect both physical and virtual environments and recover data both locally and in the cloud.

Key products

1) ShadowXafe

Released in 2018, ShadowXafe is the latest iteration of StorageCraft’s backup software for small and mid-sized businesses.

ShadowXafe provides host-based and agentless protection for physical and virtual environments. Businesses can recover backups from local storage or off-site data centers, managing it via StorageCraft’s SLA-based platform, OneSystem.

ShadowXafe can be integrated with StorageCraft’s Cloud Services for stronger continuity, enabling businesses to restore their infrastructure in the cloud via virtualization. Locally, ShadowXafe is deployed on existing storage hardware – the agent can be installed on Windows servers and PCs.

·      Compare to Datto: Datto’s BC/DR offerings, the SIRIS and ALTO, are unique from StorageCraft’s ShadowXafe in that they are fully unified software/hardware/cloud solutions. They offer agent-based and agentless protection for physical and virtual environments, but unlike StorageCraft, the deployment includes a dedicated backup appliance, rather than requiring you to use your own hardware.

2) OneXafe

OneXafe brings hardware into the picture, merging StorageCraft’s backup software with a converged data storage device.

Suited for mid-sized organizations, OneXafe is marketed as “converged scale-out storage” with integrated data protection for physical and virtual environments. The on-site appliance enables businesses to scale their storage dynamically as needs change over time. It can be deployed for primary virtual server storage, unstructured data, or secondary storage.

When data protection is enabled (which is an optional feature – it can be used purely for primary storage, if preferred), it offers similar protection as ShadowXafe. Businesses can virtualize backup images on the appliance or in the cloud when integrated with StorageCraft’s Cloud Services.

Small businesses can also opt for StorageCraft’s new OneXafe Solo, which is a smaller on-premise appliance designed to provide protection for environments with limited infrastructure. OneXafe Solo is fully integrated with StorageCraft Cloud Services.

·      Compare to Datto: The OneXafe converged storage appliance doesn’t compare “apples to apples” to any specific Datto product, though the Datto NAS does offer scalable network attached storage for local, virtual and cloud environments, and it protects your data with cloud backups. If you’re looking at OneXafe Solo, compare to Datto ALTO and the flash-based S4X1 – both offer enterprise-grade continuity (physical, virtual and cloud environments) via compact, on-premise devices that are built specifically for smaller businesses.

3) StorageCraft Cloud Services

For businesses aiming to achieve continuity with StorageCraft’s backup products, they’ll want to integrate with the company’s Cloud Services.

StorageCraft Cloud Services replicates on-site backups to the cloud and provides a range of cloud-based recovery options. Businesses can restore data at the file level, spin up virtualize machines or recover the entire infrastructure.

StorageCraft admits on its website that its backup software, like OneXafe, ShadowXafe and ShadowProtect, aren’t enough for major disasters: “a site-wide disaster will destroy those backups and result in major downtime and data loss for a business.” Businesses must integrate with StorageCraft Cloud Services if they want 360-degree protection.

·      Compare to Datto: The key difference between StorageCraft’s Cloud Services and Datto’s cloud protection is that all Datto products are fully integrated with cloud protection. The Datto SIRIS and ALTO, for example, deploy on-site appliances that are unified with the Datto Cloud for seamless protection and no need for manual configuration.

4) Cloud Backup (SaaS)

StorageCraft Cloud Backup is a SaaS backup service that protects data within Office 365 and G Suite.

As SaaS products have become more ubiquitous in the workplace, backing up data in those platforms has become critical. Otherwise, the data is vulnerable to accidental deletion, malware, overwrites and other data-loss events.

StorageCraft automatically backs up your data in Office 365 and G Suite, and stores it in a public cloud (your choice of Microsoft Azure or Amazon S3 data center).

·      Compare to Datto: Datto offers a similar SaaS backup service, called Backupify. One key difference vs. StorageCraft’s SaaS backup is that Backupify can also backup Salesforce data, in addition to G Suite and O365. Additionally, Backupify’s backups are stored in Datto’s own private cloud.

Some considerations if you’re evaluating StorageCraft vs. Datto

It’s important to understand that each has its own unique advantages. Determining the right fit for your business will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

That said, there are some key distinctions you should consider:

·      Unified continuity vs. configuring solutions together: As far as deployment and management goes, Datto wins out for being completely unified. The hardware, software, virtualization and cloud technology are all seamlessly integrated, which eliminates time-intensive configurations.

·      Image-level backups: Like most BC/DR offerings today, both StorageCraft and Datto use backup images to capture your entire infrastructure, rather than just files. One important distinction here is how those backups are processed. Each new Datto backup is not dependent on prior backups, a process called Inverse Chain Technology, which makes the backups faster, more resilient and faster to recover.

·      Ransomware protection: Features like instant virtualization make both StorageCraft and Datto good safeguards against fast-moving ransomware infections. But if you want extra protection, consider a BC/DR solution that has ransomware detection built in. Datto’s system automatically scans your data for signs of an attack as the data is being backed up.

·      Backup verification: Datto and StorageCraft both score points for offering advanced backup verification, which is an automated process that ensures your backups are viable, thus reducing the risk of failed restores. If you’re evaluating both options, look into how much control you have over the verification process and how easy it is to configure.

·      Recovery options: Both solutions offer a range of recovery options, ensuring that data can be restored in various types of disasters. For example, StorageCraft and Datto allow you to perform bare metal restores and recover to dissimilar hardware (or virtual environments).

Removing the appliance from the picture

We mentioned above that the Datto SIRIS and ALTO are unique from StorageCraft’s ShadowXafe solution in that Datto’s deployments use an on-premise backup appliance.

However, there is an additional solution available for businesses who want to achieve a similar level of continuity without deploying a device. Datto’s Cloud Continuity (formerly Direct-to-Cloud) is an agent-based solution for PCs that connects directly to the Datto Cloud, removing the need for a local appliance. It uses image-based backups, allowing file-level recovery as well as full image restores.

Didn’t Datto use StorageCraft before?

Yes – there was a time when Datto leveraged some of StorageCraft’s agent-based software as part of its continuity solution. And in fact, Datto still supports some StorageCraft agents, such as ShadowSnap, in addition to the Datto agents for Windows and Linux.

However, Datto eventually discontinued using StorageCraft and built its own technology so that it could create a completely unified BC/DR solution, developed in-house.

Eliminating downtime, getting back to business

Data loss leads to operational downtime – and that’s where disasters often cause the most pain.

Small businesses lose an average of $100,000 for each hour of downtime. For larger companies, these costs can balloon into millions of dollars per hour.

When choosing a data backup solution, you need to focus not only on “how” you’ll get your data back, but also how fast. Whether you’re looking at StorageCraft, Datto, Infrascale, Veeam, or other solutions, it’s critical that you evaluate the recovery options available to you and how quickly they can get you back in business. From file-level restore to backup virtualization, you need to be sure your critical data (and applications) will be available after disaster strikes.

Take a closer look at both options

For a more in-depth evaluation of StorageCraft vs. Datto, contact our disaster recovery experts at Invenio IT. We’ll go over your options in greater detail to ensure you find the right fit for your needs. Request a free demo, or contact us today by calling (646) 395-1170 or emailing

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