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

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Tracy Rock

Director of Marketing @ Invenio IT

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Datto vs Intronis

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 inverse chain technology advances the benefits and capabilities of business continuity light years from the days of backup tapes and traditional incremental backups.

Older incremental backups and traditional file-by-file copying often lost relational data links. This led to data corruption in the backup chain, causing the recovery to fail. Instead, Datto’s approach uses system imaging, which does away with the traditional backup chain altogether. Datto stores each recovery point in an independent, fully constructed state. So when data needs to be recovered, there’s no lengthy, error-prone rebuild process. In short: this makes Datto’s backups more resilient, reliable, efficient and faster to recover.

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 quickly became one of the leading names in backup. Founded by Austin McChord, the company is now part of Kaseya and 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 Side-by-Side

Datto’s software-only backup vs. Intronis

In addition to the SIRIS and ALTO, Datto also offers its own software-only backup solutions for businesses that do not need a physical backup device on site. These solutions—called Endpoint Backup for PCs and Endpoint Backup for Servers—may be more appropriate to compare with Intronis in some instances, as they are appliance-free solutions that back up your data directly to the cloud.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

  • Datto Endpoint Backup for PCs: Image-based cloud backup that protects data on Windows 7, 10 and 11 devices. Ability to restore individual files and folders, or restore the entire PC image to a new device without additional hardware required.
  • Datto Endpoint Backup for Servers: Image-based cloud backup that can protect all workloads, from remote servers and distributed environments to cloud and on-premises VMs. Designed for Windows servers 2022, 2019, 2016 and 2012R2. Backups are performed hourly. Files, folders or entire servers can be restored on-premises or directly in the Datto Cloud.

Intronis overview

Intronis is still a good piece of backup software that will fit the needs of some businesses and their MSPs. The solution primarily uses cloud backup 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. Plus, the resulting backup infrastructure will not be as tightly integrated as Datto’s.

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 needs 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 and recovery on site 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. In particular, having a powerful on-site backup device provides far greater control over backup and recovery, increased backup speed, flexibility and availability of data.

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

We mentioned above how Datto reinvented the backup process with its Inverse Chain Technology, which eliminated dependency on the backup chain. This is a key advantage for Datto that is not available with Intronis.

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 fully constructed. No messy rebuilds. No surprises. This also makes backups faster, more frequent, 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.

Specifically in contrast to Intronis, Datto uses a dedicated backup device that stores backups locally (in addition to replicating them to the cloud). While both Datto and Intronis allow you to instantly boot up VMs of protected systems, Datto is infinitely more valuable when it comes to major data loss incidents. If an entire server fails, for example, you have the backup right there, on site, enabling you to perform a full recovery much faster. With an Intronis VM recovery, you’re really only getting temporary access to the protected system – not a full recovery of the data back to its original destination.

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 you 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)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the difference between Datto and Intronis backup?

The main difference between Datto and Intronis is that Intronis is a software-only backup tool, whereas Datto is a fully unified hybrid cloud backup solution that combines an on-site backup device with redundant storage in Datto’s immutable cloud.

Another important difference between Intronis and Datto is how they are branded. Barracuda Intronis is designed to be white-labeled by managed-serviced providers and branded as their own backup solutions. While Datto too is sold through managed-service providers, the solutions are fully branded as Datto. For companies using Datto, this eliminates any confusion about the technologies being used to protect their critical data.

2. Which is better for backup: Datto or Intronis?

Both Datto and Intronis are reliable backup solutions that each have their own unique advantages. Some organizations will prefer Datto for its fully unified hybrid-cloud technology and dedicated on-site backup device for faster recoveries. Others may choose Intronis to sacrifice some recovery capabilities for savings on the initial deployment.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the specific needs and continuity objectives of the organization.

3. Does Intronis conflict with other backup programs?

According to Barracuda, Intronis can conflict with other backup programs that use Microsoft VSS. This creates issues when both programs use Microsoft’s VSS provider to make shadow copies at the same time. To avoid these issues, Barracuda advises users to make sure the backup schedules for both programs do not coincide.

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.

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