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SME backup products offer diverse routes to the cloud
We take the temperature on cloud-era SME-focused backup products that come as “traditional” software, replication-centric protection environments and hardware appliances
Computer Weekly recently surveyed the main backup software providers and those that supply a new breed of backup appliances, all built for the cloud era as a target.
Here we look at the rest – all small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)/mid-market products – and find a mixed set of suppliers and products that include Acronis, Druva, Nakivo, Zerto and Barracuda.
The first three of the five fit into the backup software model, although they differ significantly in terms of offer and origins.
Acronis has the widest spread of source and target compatibility, including cloud-to-cloud backup, and made its name with image-level backup that allows it to restore to any platform.
Druva’s origins are in endpoint backup, but it has diversified to provide a broad platform that also includes cloud-to-cloud backup.
Meanwhile, Nakivo offers specialised virtual machine backup and backup to public cloud.
The last two providers offer some diversity from regular backup products. There is Zerto, which builds around replication rather than “traditional” backup, and then Barracuda, which concentrates on on-premise physical appliances with the cloud as a replication target.
Acronis Backup protects data on virtual, physical, cloud and mobile platforms and can use local capacity and the cloud as a backup target. It incorporates inline and global data deduplication, and management is from a web management console.
Acronis Backup includes backup for Microsoft Azure virtual machines (VMs) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances, as well as cloud-to-cloud backup for Microsoft Office 365.
Workload migration between different clouds, virtual systems and physical machines is also possible, as is recovery to different systems.
Acronis Cloud Storage provides disaster recovery by storing backups in one of Acronis’s datacentres. The Acronis Cloud supports the backup of disks, partitions, servers, data and mobile devices and recovery of files, folders, applications or an entire system.
The supplier bases many of its products on the Acronis AnyData Engine, which handles virtual and physical server protection and is compatible with many forms of data.
It supports several forms of data migration, including virtual to virtual, virtual to physical, physical to virtual, and physical to physical.
Druva made its name providing backup for endpoint devices such as mobiles and laptops, but has broadened out to virtual and physical server backup, cloud server backup and archiving, and disaster recovery.
Its original product, Druva inSync, backs up endpoint data and cloud applications, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce. It also provides archiving, data compliance monitoring, legal hold management and E-discovery.
Meanwhile, Druva Phoenix is a software agent that backs up and restores data in the cloud. Use cases include cloud backup, recovery and archiving for VMs and physical servers.
Druva CloudRanger provides protection and management of data in Amazon Web Services (AWS), with management of an organisation’s complete AWS footprint from one dashboard.
Nakivo Backup and Replication offers VMware and Hyper-V backup, including to public cloud. It had historically targeted SMEs, but in the past few years it has also aimed at enterprise customers.
Other VM backup specialists, such as Veeam, have embraced physical machine backup, but Nakivo is yet to do so, and it also lacks support for tape as a target.
It offers backup to Amazon EC2 via S3 and to Microsoft Azure.
On first deployment, Nakivo takes a full backup but after that, it only takes incrementals. A self-backup feature automatically backs up the system configuration.
Zerto offers a multi-platform hybrid cloud data protection product centred on replication that includes bi-directional operations between on-premise virtualised datacentres and AWS, Azure and IBM clouds, as well as with more than 350 cloud service provider offerings.
Core to the environment is Zerto Virtual Replication, a hardware-agnostic, hypervisor-based replication tool that uses continuous replication and automates failover and failback in VMware environments.
Traditional array-based replication requires homogeneous storage systems, but Zerto Virtual Replication allows for replication to any storage system, as well as hybrid and public clouds.
It can perform intercloud and intracloud data movement, using AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud environments. Last year, Zerto Virtual Replication 6.0 expanded its replication capability to protect applications and data to and from clouds and between multiple clouds.
Zerto aims to bypass traditional backup altogether with a single environment across on-premise and the cloud in which users can search for files and recover from any point in time.
Barracuda majors on backup appliances that replicate to the cloud.
It offers 12 different appliances that range in local capacity from 1TB to 112TB. The option of encrypted appliances up to 96TB is also available to protect against physical theft of hardware.
A virtual appliance, Backup Vx, is available for deployment as a VM.
All Barracuda appliances offer inline data deduplication and software replication to the Barracuda Cloud, a remote physical or virtual backup appliance, or AWS.
Restores can be to bare-metal servers or image-based restores to virtual environments.
Barracuda also offers cloud-to-cloud backup, with protection for Microsoft Office 365, Exchange and Sharepoint Online, as well as Onedrive.
Read more on backup and cloud
- Use of the public cloud for backup data is something all the backup software suppliers provide, but implementations range from simple S3 connections to expansive software offerings.
- While traditional backup apps evolve to meet the cloud via S3 and Azure, a new breed of backup appliances aims to build a single environment across cloud and on-premise.