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Best VMware Backup Software Tools. Top 10 VMware Backup Solutions

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Updated 26th December 2023, Rob Morrison

VMware backup solutions

Data backup is an important, if not often critical solution, to nearly all problems that may cause or result in data loss – be it because of hardware failure, ransomware attacks, natural disasters, internal tampering or any other similar reasons. This applies in exactly the same way to other types of systems and storage locations, such as Virtual Machines.

For the majority of businesses, any kind of software or hardware failure, when it comes to VMs, typically results in some degree of financial loss when there are service interruptions. Additionally, actions such as granular restoration, ‘Bare Metal Recovery’, full disaster recovery, etc. can also be especially useful in some specific use cases – and all of these data recovery techniques (and more) can readily be performed with a proper VMware virtual machine backup solution.

The definition of VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is a server virtualization platform that was created in 2009, acting as a logical continuation of the already-existing VMware infrastructure solution. vSphere itself is designed to manage and/or implement a large-scale VMware infrastructure in some way, shape or form. Other variations of a VMware definition include “cloud operating system” and “virtualized data center platform”.

VMware virtualization makes it a lot easier for IT specialists to use computer resources with cost-efficiency to perform application workloads. There are also plenty of significant differences between the way physical backups work and the way VM backups are performed. Virtualization is the main tool that is used by VMware backup solutions to be as fast and efficient as possible with VM backups.

Main VMware backup and restore methods

Local backup agents and physical installation

The most basic approach out of the three, and probably the most time-consuming one. The backup agent is installed on every single VM as if it were a traditional physical server. That way, the backup process also works the same way as it worked with physical servers – with the data flowing via LAN to the backup/recovery infrastructure.

This approach can offer a number of advantages, such as, arguably, the increased ability to control application data consistency directly (if application data is backed up in the first place). Other advantages include the ability to perform file-level restoration, both incremental and full backup types, as well as the overall convenience of not learning new procedures or operations after creating backups of physical servers.

There are also some disadvantages to that kind of approach. For example, this approach can cause host overloads on a regular basis since there can be plenty of VMs on a single system – and all of them have to share resources and send data to the same host server for storage. This may be solved by using a different way to schedule, parallelize, or prioritize backups. Another obvious disadvantage of installing an agent on every single server is that, in the case of high server numbers, this approach may be too time consuming and therefore be untenable.

Backup agent on an ESX Service Console

This method is different from the one mentioned above – it uses a designated ESX console to install a single backup software agent to perform backups of the underlying VMDK files for all VMs in the system. This kind of approach has some obvious advantages, and a few of the downsides, as well.

The advantages of this VM backup method include the lack of multiple backup agents in the system, preventing or drastically reducing the chances of host overload. This also makes image-level restoration a lot faster and makes the VM backup process that much more convenient (since there is only one backup agent in the first place).

The disadvantages of this approach are not as obvious in comparison. The usage of an ESX console does not allow for incremental backups or file-level restores to be made. Additionally, the ESX console support is planned to be removed in the near future by VMware themselves. There is also the fact that application consistency here would require a lot more work since the end user would have to resort to scripting to perform VM shutdown, VM startup, and VM snapshot operations.

VADP, or VMware vStorage API – Data Protection

VADP (VMware vStorage API – Data Protection) is a well-known mechanism that has been around since vSphere 4.0, and its main purpose is data backup and recovery. VADP can be used to create backups and restore them in-house, without using third-party solutions. It can offer both incremental and full backups, as well as file-level VM recovery – and it also supports Volume Shadow Servers (VSS) for data consistency (a Windows-exclusive feature). VADP is probably the main way to do VMware backup and recovery.

VADP has been evolving quite a lot ever since its introduction, adding support for more advanced file systems, snapshot management capabilities, and more. However, its general idea is still relatively simple – it provides VM data access on the storage layer, bypassing guest OS restrictions. It is a great option for agentless solutions since there is no need for separate agents to be installed on every single VM.

Most of the VADP advantages have already been listed, such as backup and recovery granularity, better performance, lower downtime, and so on. Other advantages include impressive scalability, centralized data management and  integrations with plenty of third-party backup solutions.

Data backup vs data snapshot

What is important here is to understand the main differences between physical backups and Virtual Machine backups – and the difference is quite significant. Regular physical backups usually use some kind of an ‘agent’ to create a snapshot of the system and store it into a dedicated backup location.

VM-specific backups are often using an agentless approach based on a hypervisor API for backup purposes. This approach is faster, more convenient for a system administrator, and places less load on the entire VM infrastructure when compared with a traditional agent-based VM backup.

This is also the reason why both backup and snapshot operations are slightly different with VMs when compared with physical backups. With physical backups, a backup is a full copy of the existing system at a specific point, while a snapshot is a state of the system at a particular point in time (it can be both a copy of data and a feature). Backups and snapshots in this context are not mutually exclusive and are often used as a combination for a better backup result.

With VM backups, on the other hand, the main difference between a backup and a snapshot is in the way they’re performed (agent and agentless, as we have mentioned before) – and this is also the reason backups and snapshots are separate from each other. Additionally, snapshots in the context of VMware virtual machine backup operations are using delta files to store a copy of the existing VM locally – while each VM backup is immediately transferred to a separate storage location.

In case of VM snapshots, they are often used for testing or development purposes, since it is far easier to restore a snapshot of a VM when only one snapshot was taken. Restoration from multiple snapshots via delta files might not be as straightforward.

Data backup vs data replication

Regarding the difference between a backup and a replication, it is the same for most of the backup types – these are similar processes, but with different goals and purposes.

Backups are usually created for long-term storage and have a relatively low cost of implementation, avoiding big investment. The only specific thing needed to begin the process of backing up applications or data is to have the storage location for the backup available – be it a disk, a tape, cloud storage, or something else.

The main purpose of a backup as a process is typically either long-term storage or the process of meeting compliance requirements. They are relatively cheap and easier to implement in comparison – but the time period between backups tends to be rather long, as well.

Replication, on the other hand, is a variation of the process that may be more expensive, but also offers a more immediate help to a business whenever it is down or unavailable. Replication usually implies building an entire additional infrastructure with a number of business processes and other investments.

Unlike backups, replication focuses on achieving high availability of the data in question with as low of a downtime as possible if there is a problem. Backups on the other hand, are harder to be affected by cyber threats, but have a longer recovery time period, while replication is more disaster recovery-focused but is costly to maintain for a long time and typically easier to infect with malware and other malicious software.

10 top VMware backup solutions

A lot of the popular backup services offer backups for many types of storage at once – including VMware and other examples. Many solutions can only cover some, or a limited range, of technologies. In a list below, we are presenting our own top 10 of VMware backup solutions, in no particular order:

Vinchin Backup & Recovery

vinchin landing page

Starting off with a rather unconventional choice, Vinchin claims to offer the combination of functionality and data protection for Hyper-V and VMware, as well as multiple other environment types. It has quite an impressive list of features for VMware virtual machines, including app-aware backups, the combination of data deduplication and data compression, backup retention policies, many different storage types that can act as backup repositories, multiple scheduling options, and more.

Vinchin offers multiple ways to interact with its platform – there is a free version called “Free Edition”, offering simplified data protection for smaller environments to backup VMware deployments. The commercial edition of Vinchin, on the other hand, offers multiple important features, such as disaster recovery to both cloud and off-site,hybrid backup and recovery operations, and a lot more than that – and there’s also a free trial available for two months of the community version for new users.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.7/5 stars based on 46 customer reviews
  • G24.6/5 stars based on 36 customer reviews


  • User-friendly and versatile GUI
  • A centralized dashboard for better control over the entirety of your data
  • A good number of features available to users once everything is up and running – such as deduplication, compression, lower backup storage requirements, agentless virtualization technology, etc.


  • Email reporting is lackluster and could use more features
  • The overall mobility of the solution is rather limited since there is no web-based GUI and no mobile app available

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Vinchin offers four different pricing tiers and two licensing types. The pricing tiers are as follows:
    • Essential Edition for smaller businesses that rely on VMware or Hyper-V in their day-to-day operations and don’t have too big of a budget for a data security solution
    • Standard Edition are targeted towards SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) that use VMware, Hyper-V, KVM or XenServer infrastructure in their work and require specific advanced features from a backup solution
    • Enterprise Edition would be more suitable for large companies with sophisticated virtual infrastructures and a demand for complex data security
    • Enterprise Plus Edition offers everything Vinchin is capable of, and would be at its most effective when dealing with hybrid environments that include physical servers, databases, VMs, and so on.
  • All four of these plans can be purchased using either a subscription license or a perpetual license:
    • A subscription license offers the ability to subscribe to Vinchin’s services for a period of 1-3 years, this includes technical support and version updates
    • A perpetual license is a different approach that allows customers to purchase permanent licenses to a software, but there is also the matter of version updates and technical support that must be paid for separately.
    • A single purchase of a perpetual license includes one free year of “renewal services”, and it would cost 25% from the solution’s MSRP for that same service starting from year two
  • Unfortunately, despite the long and detailed explanation of different pricing models and licensing approaches, there is no actual official price available on the official Vinchin website, and the only way to receive such information is to request a personalized quote from the company in question.

My personal opinion on Vinchin:

Vinchin is a relatively unknown backup solution with a reasonable feature set. It offers backup retention, app-aware backups, data deduplication, and task scheduling. Vinchin can work with both Hyper-V and VMware environments, as well as some other ones, offering a certain degree of versatility to its users. At the same time, Vinchin only has a basic desktop application available, there is no mobile app or some form of web-based interface, which limits the overall versatility of the solution to a certain degree. Vinchin can create backups of VMware VMs using either a LAN-Free path or a separate backup network to limit the overall bandwidth consumption, and there are plenty of other VMware-centric capabilities available, as well.

Bacula Enterprise

bacula enterprise landing page

Bacula Enterprise is an especially high-security backup solution with an unusually broad and deep range of capabilities – one of the most important ones being highly scalable VMware backup. It offers efficient backup and recovery operations for VMware ESXi hosts with vSphere, as well as many other features included in this particular module – granular file restoration, bare metal recovery, Changed Block Tracking, Single File Recovery, Instant Recovery, and more. This solution is also notable in that it also provides native integration with and protection for a wide range of other hypervisors, such a Hyper V, Xen, KVM, Proxmox, etc. Bacula is well known for having an architecture that offers unusually strong levels of security, as well as advanced ransomware detection tools. Because Bacula is a high-end enterprise solution, it also brings with it a host of other capabilities, whether it be its range of storage destinations, its hybrid cloud connectivity, its range of deduplication technologies, its compression and encryption functions, and its high customization levels.

Bacula is a favorite of IT departments with lots of data, as its licensing model does not include any data volume charges. While Bacula Enterprise on its own is a premium product, it’s not the only way to work with Bacula. For example, Bacula offers a free 30-day trial of its software, and there is also a completely free version of the software called Bacula Community. While it may be not as effective and feature-rich as Bacula Enterprise, it is still a comprehensive enterprise solution with a lot of use cases with many different storage destinations, including backups to NAS (Synology, QNAP, etc.), cloud backups (AWS, Azure, etc.), physical backups, and more.

Customer ratings:

  • TrustRadius9.6/10 stars based on 53 customer reviews
  • G24.7/5 stars based on 55 customer reviews


  • Acts as a reliable framework capable of performing both backup and disaster recovery operations
  • Offers extensive scheduling and automation capabilities, helpful to businesses of all sizes
  • Can work with nearly all data environments and backup targets, from physical workstations and cloud storage providers to databases, clusters, VMs, applications, and more
  • Offers especially high levels of security and is often used by mission critical government, defense, or high security business organizations


  • Bacula’s main web based GUI has recently been updated, but is still not as easy to use as some other vendors
  • Most of the additional plugins that are not part of Bacula’s subscription incur some extra cost, although users only need to pay for what they choose to use.
  • Bacula’s unusually deep range of capabilities means that first-time setup and configuration is relatively sophisticated and may take an extended amount of time

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Bacula Enterprise’s pricing information is not publicly available on their official website and the only way to obtain such information is by contacting the company directly for a quote.
  • There are plenty of different subscription plans that Bacula Enterprise can offer, even though there is no pricing published for any of them – it is necessary to contact Bacula for pricing:
    • BSBE – Bacula Small Business Edition, it can cover no more than 20 agents and 2 contracts, offering features such as web support and BWeb management suite
    • Standard – can cover up to 50 agents and 2 contracts, adds support answer deadlines (from 1 to 4 business days)
    • Bronze – can cover up to 200 agents and 2 contracts, offers phone support and shorter deadlines for customer support (from 6 hours to 4 days)
    • Silver – can cover up to 500 agents and 3 contracts, introduces a deduplication plugin and a lower customer support answer deadline (from 4 hours to 2 days)
    • Gold – can cover up to 2000 agents and 5 contracts, drastically reduces customer support answer deadline (from 1 hour to 2 days)
    • Platinum – can cover up to 5000 agents and 5 contracts, has PostgreSQL catalog support and one training seat per year for Administrator courses
  • Unofficial sources claim that Bacula Enterprise’s pricing starts at $500 per month

My personal opinion on Bacula Enterprise:

Bacula Enterprise is an impressive backup and recovery platform with an unusually broad set of features which are especially relevant to medium and large organizations with serious security requirements. It is created using a modular system, making it possible to extend the software’s functionality for each specific use case via dedicated modules in an architectural and economically efficient way. Bacula Enterprise supports all environment types, ranging from traditional disk storage to tape and cloud storage, applications, databases, VMs, containers and so on. Most of Bacula’s capabilities are easily applicable to VMware backups specifically, including advanced security capabilities (including, but not exclusive to digitally-signed encryption and regular data scanning), customizable backup and recovery operations, multiple backup levels, customizability when it comes to backup storage locations, and more. Bacula’s integration with VMware goes deep, and there are many advanced features such as instant recovery, single file recovery, and a lot more. The software may take a little time for newcomers to learn, but as a general rule, users that already know Linux somewhat will have no issues. Some of the less commonly used capabilities do have a separate price tag (for their dedicated module), but the solution overall is a very good option for comprehensive backup systems with multiple storage types within the same system. For high-end enterprises and complex IT environments,  Bacula’s advanced security levels, scalability and customizability clearly set it apart from most other vendors.


vsquare landing page

A participant of this list that is not particularly well-known is VSquare – an unusual VMware backup software with an impressive host of features and zero licensing limits. It has Hyper-V CBT support, works with MS Exchange and supports VMware ESXi. It can also backup physical storage locations and supports data deduplication.

As we’ve mentioned before, VSquare offers flexibility when it comes to the number of machines or sockets used when it comes to its commercial version. Additionally, there is also a free version of VSquare called “Startup plan”, which offers a bit less extensive list of features (limitations for backup thread numbers, VM numbers, and so on), but it is completely free of charge.

Key features:

  • A completely free version called “Startup edition” that has a number of limitations – a single backup schedule, 2 backup threads, and 3 Hyper-V/VMware VMs covered.
  • An impressive scalability for a small-scale solution, support for virtual and physical environments.
  • Plenty of features to work with, be it regular backup scans, host-to-host recovery, and extensive backup redundancy.

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • VSquare has four different pricing plans it can offer to its customers:
    • Startup is completely free, is limited to 3 VMware/Hyper-V installments, and contains a very basic feature set such as file level restore, centralized management console, email reporting, etc.
    • Professional – €19.99 per month, no limitations on the number of systems covered, adds differential backup, backup integrity check, email support, and other features to the previous package
    • Enterprise – €39.99 per month, adds granular backup/restore, off-host Hyper-V backup/restore, reverse incremental backups, transactional backups, SharePoint reporting, and more
    • Corporate – €99.99 per month, a complete package of VSquare’s features, adds premium support, disaster recovery site, and removes data limit on how much data could be restored using host to site DR

My personal opinion on VSquare:

VSquare is a very small and not particularly well-known backup solution for individual PCs and virtual machines. It supports both Hyper-V and VMware, offering an extensive feature range for these specific backups – storage deduplication, remote site recovery, granular restore, disaster recovery, and so on. It is also relatively cheap by this market’s standards, and there is even the free version of the solution. However, it should be noted that the free version is very limited in its capabilities and can only serve as a demo reel of sorts.

Nakivo Backup & Replication

nakivo landing page

Nakivo is a well-known name on the backup market, offering a set of features with a special focus on VMware vSphere-related features. It works with both standalone ESXi workloads and the ones managed by vCenter, offering instant VM recovery capability, granular restore for specific files or objects, as well as recoverability testing, job chaining, and more features to backup VMware and other types of deployments.

Nakivo’s solution is available to trial, with the full version of the software having a 15-day trial, and a free version of the software that has somewhat limited features, works for only a year, and has a licensing limit of 10 VMs.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.8/5 stars based on 305 customer reviews
  • TrustRadius9.2/10 stars based on 142 customer reviews
  • G24.7/5 stars based on 203 customer reviews


  • NAKIVO’s user interface is clean, simple, and easy to navigate even for users with little to no prior experience in the field
  • The customer support team received universal praise over the years, being both quick and helpful no matter the topic of the inquiry
  • The solution is easy to set up and configure


  • The overall price of the solution is noticeably higher than average and the pricing model can be confusing to navigate
  • Physical servers that run on Linux do not receive the same level of support that their Windows counterparts do
  • Reporting and logging are relatively basic and can rarely help with determining the reason for a specific error

Pricing (at the time of writing):

NAKIVO’s pricing can be split into two main groups:

  • Subscription-based licenses:
    • “Pro Essentials” – from $1.95 per month per workload, covers most common backup types such as physical, virtual, cloud and NAS, while also offering instant granular recovery, virtual and cloud replication, storage immutability, and more
    • “Enterprise Essentials” – from $2.60 per month per workload, adds native backup to tape, deduplication appliance integration, backup to cloud, as well as 2FA, AD integration, calendar, data protection based on policies, etc.
    • “Enterprise Plus” does not have public pricing available, it adds HTTP API integration, RBAC, Oracle backup, backup from snapshots, and other features
    • There is also a subscription available for Microsoft 365 coverage that costs $0.80 per month per user with an annual billing and can create backups of MS Teams, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and more
    • Another subscription from NAKIVO is its VMware monitoring capabilitiy that comes in three different forms:
      • “Pro Essentials” for $0.90 per month per workload with CPU, RAM, disk usage monitoring and a built-in live chat
      • “Enterprise Essentials” for $1.15 per month per workload that adds AD integration, 2FA capability, multi-tenant deployment, and more
      • “Enterprise Plus” with no public pricing that adds RBAC and HTTP API integrations
  • Perpetual licenses:
    • Virtual environments:
      • “Pro Essentials” for $229 per socket, covers Hyper-V, VMware, Nutanix AHV, and features such as instant granular recovery, immutable storage, cross-platform recovery, etc.
      • “Enterprise Essentials” for $329 per socket, adds native backup to tape, backup to cloud, deduplication, 2FA, AD integration, and more
      • “Enterprise Plus” with no public pricing that adds RBAC and HTTP API integrations, as well as backup from storage snapshots
    • Servers:
      • “Pro Essentials” for $58 per server, covers Windows and Linux, and features such as immutable storage, instant P2V, instant granular recovery, etc.
      • “Enterprise Essentials” for $329 per server, adds native backup to tape, backup to cloud, deduplication, 2FA, AD integration, and more
      • “Enterprise Plus” with no public pricing that adds RBAC and HTTP API integrations
    • Workstations:
      • “Pro Essentials” for $19 per workstation, covers Windows and Linux, and features such as immutable storage, instant P2V, instant granular recovery, etc.
      • “Enterprise Essentials” for $25 per workstation, adds native backup to tape, backup to cloud, deduplication, 2FA, AD integration, and more
      • “Enterprise Plus” with no public pricing that adds RBAC and HTTP API integrations
    • NAS:
      • “Pro Essentials” for $149 per one Terabyte of data, can backup NFS shares, SMB shares, folders on shares, and offer file level recovery
      • “Enterprise Essentials” for $199 per one Terabyte of data, adds AD integration, 2FA support, calendar, multi-tenant deployment, etc.
      • “Enterprise Plus” with no public pricing that adds RBAC and HTTP API integrations
    • Oracle DB:
      • “Enterprise Plus” is the only option available for Oracle database backups via RMAN, it can offer advanced scheduling, centralized management, and more
    • VMware monitoring:
      • “Pro Essentials” for $100 per socket with CPU, RAM, disk usage monitoring and a built-in live chat
      • “Enterprise Essentials” for $150 per socket that adds AD integration, 2FA capability, multi-tenant deployment, and more
      • “Enterprise Plus” with no public pricing that adds RBAC and HTTP API integrations

My personal opinion on NAKIVO:

NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a well-known name in the industry, offering a flexible and feature-rich backup solution for a variety of use cases. It is relatively simple to work with, it has an easy first-time configuration process, and its data protection capabilities are exceptional. It supports a variety of storage types, including VMware – offering both granular and large-scale backup capabilities, job chaining, granular restoration, and plenty of other features for VMware specifically. There are some issues that are worth knowing beforehand, such as a problematic error logging feature, no native support for SaaS applications, and the overall price of the software, as well.

Storware Backup and Recovery

storware landing page

Storware Backup and Recovery (a part of it that was formerly known as Storware vProtect) is a backup and recovery tool that focuses on snapshot/backup management for all kinds of containers and virtual environments. The solution offers a user-friendly interface, supports multiple backup destinations, can work with many virtual environments, and has 24/7 customer support. There are plenty of capabilities it can offer to VMware environments, including different backup levels, REST API integration, consistent licensing policy, a user-friendly web UI, and more.

As with many other examples here, Storware offers several different versions of its solution. The most restricted one is the free version, which lacks direct customer support, cannot backup endpoints, does not have an enterprise backup integration module – but it’s also free. The second option is the free trial – a two-month-long experience of the entire functionality of Storware, with no limitations whatsoever. And, of course, there’s also the commercial version, which can be paid for as a monthly subscription and as a perpetual one-time license.

Customer ratings:

  • G24.7/5 stars based on 28 customer reviews


  • Initial configuration and setup process is relatively simple
  • Clean and simple GUI makes backup/recovery management easier
  • Agentless infrastructure removes the need for a physical centralized server for the entire solution to work properly


  • Little to no notification customization available
  • The reason why initial setup process is simple is because there is a good online tutorial available, not because the process itself is short or easy
  • Retention policy configuration process could be easier

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Storware’s official website offers two public pricing plans:
    • Freemium – a completely free offering with multiple limitations, such as 100 or less M365 users, 10 or less virtual environments, 1 TB data, 10 or less apps, etc. All of the Storware’s backup and recovery features are included in the package.
    • Trial – a full version of the solution for 60 days, no limitations in terms of workspaces and storage whatsoever, official support, and all of the backup/recovery features of Storware.
  • The rest of the pricing-related data is not available on Storware’s official website and can only be acquired via a personalized quote that a company would have to request from Storware in the first place

My personal opinion on Storware:

Storware is another example of a relatively unknown backup solution that mostly deals with all kinds of virtual environments. It allows for plenty of customization options, be it backup destinations, backup types, etc. It works with VMware and Hyper-V VMs, offering a user-friendly web interface, multiple backup types, backup granularity, file-level and VM-level restore, and more. It can be a bit difficult to work with, be it because of a rather rigid notification customization system, or because of its first-time configuration process that would be far more complex if there wasn’t a good third-party tutorial video available on the Internet.

VM Backup from Hornetsecurity (formerly Altaro VM Backup)

altaro vm backup landing page

Altaro VM Backup may not exactly be the most popular competitor in the field, but it does not change the fact that it is a great VMware backup solution for all kinds of virtual machines. It offers extensive data deduplication to save space and traffic, offers many different options for the actual backup processes, offers a centralized management board for all of your VMs, has automation features, scheduling, and more.

VM Backup offers multiple different solutions for backup and recovery, and they are not just about VM backups, either. Each solution has multiple different commercial versions, depending on the use case of the customer. Additionally, most of the backup solutions, including VM Backup, have a 30-day free trial. Surprisingly enough, VM Backup also has a free VM backup solution that is limited to 2 VMs at once and is great for smaller businesses.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.7/5 stars based on 188 customer reviews
  • TrustRadius8.9/10 stars based on 47 customer reviews
  • G24.7/5 stars based on 174 customer reviews


  • The overall simplicity of the solution makes it more accessible than most backup software on the market
  • Easy initial setup with the help of drag-and-drop operations
  • Customer support is helpful and responsive


  • The software has a session timeout trigger, which may be inconvenient to some users
  • Notifications are not detailed enough in some cases, and cannot be customized to be more informative
  • Troubleshooting errors by hand is difficult because of how little information about the error is provided

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • VM Backup from Hornetsecurity has two different license types and three pricing tiers (editions) it offers to its customers.
  • A subscription-based pricing model includes a single pricing plan:
    • Unlimited Plus Edition$579 per 5 VMs per year (the number of VMs can be adjusted but cannot go lower than 5), a full package of features and capabilities, including CDP, cloud backup to Azure, access to CMC (Cloud Management Console), etc.
  • A pricing model based on perpetual licensing has three different pricing tiers:
    • Standard Edition – $595 per host with a year of SMA, 5 VMs per host, a basic feature package
    • Unlimited Edition – $695 per host with a year of SMA, no limitations on the number of VMs, deduplication, vCenter, Boot from Backup capability, and more
    • Unlimited Plus Edition – $875 per host with a year of SMA, no limitations on the number of VMs
  • SMA is Software Maintenance Agreement, includes priority support and new version upgrades for perpetual license owners, available as a separate purchase once the first year of a perpetual license owner’s subscription expires

My personal opinion on VM Backup:

As its name may suggest, VM Backup from Hornetsecurity (previously known as Altaro VM Backup) is a backup software that targets VMs first and foremost. It is a fast and versatile backup offering that supports both virtual and physical deployments, and there are plenty of features to work with – scheduling, retention policies, support for multiple cloud storage providers, deduplication, ransomware protection, and so on. It also has a free version of the solution – and it is not as limited as some of the examples on this list, but the overall licensing model of the software can be very confusing and needlessly convoluted.

Vembu BDR Suite

vembu landing page

Vembu is a software provider that managed to gain a lot of popularity among smaller and middle-sized companies and customers, mostly due to the combination of user-friendliness and the payment model flexibility. Vembu BDR Suite is a massive combination of solutions for backups of different appliances, including physical storages, virtual machines, cloud workloads, and more. This makes Vembu a rather attractive solution to keep all of your backup solutions working in tandem with each other.

It is worth mentioning that each part of the entire Vembu BDR Suite also offers a free version of itself – you can find the exact limitations of free versions on Vembu’s comparison page. Additionally, there is also a one-month-long trial for the entire Suite with no functionality restrictions whatsoever.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.5/5 stars based on 17 customer reviews
  • TrustRadius8.4/10 stars based on 88 customer reviews
  • G24.2/5 stars based on 130 customer reviews


  • A user-friendly web-based interface with easy access to all of Vembu’s features and capabilities
  • A complete Linux version of the software as a part of the offering
  • Customer support with a myriad of positive reviews


  • While the interface is easy to navigate through, the solution itself has a rather steep learning curve and could take a while for an average user to get used to all of its features
  • A large part of customer support’s knowledge is based on the Windows version of Vembu, and it is not 100% identical to the Linux version, creating unnecessary confusion sometimes
  • BDR Suite’s price tag is not exactly user-friendly, and the recent price increase across the board made it even higher than the market average

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Vembu BDR Suite’s pricing varies quite a lot depending on the target data source:
    • VM Backup – from $18 per year per VM, with support for both Hyper-V and VMware deployments
    • Server Backup – from $60 per year per server, both Linux and Windows servers are supported
    • Application/DB Backup – from $60 per year per application/database, can work with SQL, MySQL, and Exchange
    • SaaS Backup – from $12 per year per user, works for Google Workspace and Microsoft 365
    • Cloud VM Backup – from $30 per year per AWS instance
    • Endpoint Backup – from $15 per year per endpoint, supports Windows and Mac devices
  • It is also worth noting that most of the BDR Suite’s backup solutions are also available for free with most of the features and a strict limitation on the number of workstations/VMs/servers it can work with.
  • A lot more details about Vembu BDR Suite’s pricing can be obtained at the official pricing page.

My personal opinion on Vembu:

Vembu BDR Suite is a very well-known backup software. It boasts a good number of different features, supports a variety of storage types, and all of that is packed in just one single solution. Vembu’s backup and recovery capabilities are also applicable to virtual machines, including KVM, VMware, and Hyper-V. This includes agentless backups, extensive backup verification, application-aware backups, multiple backup types, CDP support, granular file recovery, V2V support, and so on. The software in question is rather expensive, and there is a notable feature disparity between the Linux and the Windows versions of the software, but the overall solution can be an excellent choice for VMware VM coverage of all shapes and sizes.


unitrends landing page

Unitrends was once of the most feature-rich backup solutions on the market, and it is still a great option for all kinds of use cases, especially when it comes to VMware ESXi appliances. Hyper-V is also supported, and there is a wide choice of data protection features, including instant recovery, integration with different cloud storage providers (Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3), and more.

Unitrends also has a free version of its product, with no limitations for the number of virtual machines supported. However, it does come with a 1TB limit of the amount of data that can be protected. Additionally, there is also a free guided trial that you can request from Unitrends themselves at any time.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.7/5 stars based on 34 customer reviews
  • TrustRadius7.9/10 stars based on 613 customer reviews
  • G24.3/5 stars based on 355 customer reviews


  • Offers centralized access to all kinds of information about the system in the form of a convenient dashboard
  • The backup processes can be launched with ease once the solution is set up and running
  • The entirety of a backup process can be controlled from start to finish and customized to some degree


  • The solution itself does not offer any form of instructions to it, it can only be found using web forums or other sources of information
  • Web interface limits the solution’s capability to initiate and control granular file recovery
  • False alerts are irregular and distracting

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Unitrends’s pricing information is not publicly available on their official website and the only way to obtain such information is by contacting the company directly for a quote, a free trial, or a guided demo.
  • The unofficial information states that Unitrends has a paid version that starts at $349 USD

My personal opinion on Unitrends:

Unitrends product has been available for a few decades now, expanding its capabilities and going through several mergers/acquisitions. It is a rather versatile backup and recovery solution that offers physical hardware to regular backup targets and virtual solution Unitrends Backup for VM coverage specifically (including both Hyper-V and VMware). It can simplify VM backup management, make it easier to manage VMs themselves, and even offer a variety of ransomware protection measures. Combine all that with plenty of backup and recovery capabilities, and you get a competent VMware backup solution with a few nuances to it, such as the lack of proper built-in documentation about the software’s capabilities.

Veeam Backup & Replication

veeam landing page

Veeam is another name that is popular on the backup and recovery market – and its product also works with both Hyper-V and VMware appliances. However, Veeam does not stop here and can also offer features such as VMware migration, granular recovery, support for both Linux and Windows, vCloud director support, and more.

Veeam’s VMware backup capabilities are available for all of the Veeam Backup & Replication users, as well as for Veeam Availability Suite users (Veeam Backup & Replication + Veeam ONE). There’s also a 30-day free trial and multiple free versions of different products, with some limitations in functionality.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.8/5 stars based on 69 customer reviews
  • TrustRadius8.8/10 stars based on 1,237 customer reviews
  • G24.6/5 stars based on 387 customer reviews


  • A lot of Veeam’s products and offerings have a dedicated free version that is great for either trying out the solution itself or for small companies to use on a regular basis for free
  • Veeam’s customer support receives a lot of praise from many customers all over the world
  • Initial setup process for Veeam is simple and intuitive


  • Veeam’s wealth of features is also a significant problem for newcomers since getting used to the solution and learning all of its capabilities takes quite a long time for most people
  • The solution’s pricing is referred to as relatively expensive, or higher than the average market cost
  • Veeam’s user interface is not exactly simple, nor easy to use
  • Security levels may be an issue for some.

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Veeam’s pricing information is not publicly available on their official website and the only way to obtain such information is by contacting the company directly for a quote or a free trial.
  • But there is a pricing calculator page that lets users specify the number of different environments they want covered with Veeam’s solution, as well as the planned subscription period. All of that can be sent to Veeam in order to receive a personalized quote.

My personal opinion on Veeam:

Veeam is one of the most popular backup solutions in the entire backup and recovery market. It has been a very successful data protection platform that can work with a variety of storage types ranging from regular storage to databases, virtual machines, and more. Veeam can offer instant recovery, storage-agnostic backup capabilities, extensive ransomware protection, an agentless integration with VMware and Hyper-V, as well as plenty of monitoring and analytical capabilities. It can be quite difficult to get used to its interface at first, and its ransomware protection capabilities are nowhere near as sophisticated as some – but the approach and fit of this software package as a whole is worth the money for some users.

N-able Cove Data Protection

n-able landing page

Another interesting example of a VMware backup solution is N-able Cove Data Protection – a backup platform that offers multiple different backup options and works on a Software-as-a-Service model. It works with both Hyper-V and VMware, can take snapshots of your entire virtual environment, encrypts all of your data while offering disaster protection, compatibility with several cloud storage services, as well as the ability to work with different environments from the same account.

N-Able is a commercial product that tailors its price depending on the client’s needs and purposes – but it also has a free 30-day trial with no limitations in terms of capability, allowing customers to explore the product before purchasing it for their company or business.

Customer ratings:

  • Capterra4.7/5 stars based on 35 customer reviews
  • TrustRadius8.8/10 stars based on 48 customer reviews
  • G24.3/5 stars based on 228 customer reviews


  • Single centralized source of information in the form of a dashboard with clearly traceable patterns and problems
  • Local storage is not mandatory but it could be added if it is necessary for the client
  • Generally high performance of backup/recovery operations across the board


  • Multiple issues with backup report emails, including aforementioned emails being sent out before the backup window closes
  • Reporting features are lackluster in some specific cases
  • Some integrations are very limited in their capabilities, including M365 integration that can only create very basic backups

Pricing (at the time of writing):

  • Cove Data Protection’s pricing information is not publicly available on their official website and the only way to obtain such information is by contacting the company directly for a consultation or after initiating a free trial.

My personal opinion on N-able Cove:

N-able Cove Data Protection is distributed using a Software-as-a-Service model, it is an interesting backup and recovery solution compatible with plenty of use cases. Not only can it cover physical storage of many shapes and sizes, but it is also capable of working with virtual storage such as cloud and VMs. When it comes to VMware and Hyper-V specifically, Cove Data Protection can offer automated backup verification, full and granular data recovery, exceptional performance, and plenty of backup-related capabilities. It is an impressive option for companies that are using multiple different storage types in their day-to-day work since N-able can cover most of them using the same solution with a unified interface and centralized data management. The solution isn’t without its own faults, though, be it the lack of report customization, or the lackluster integration with specific environment types.


The available choices for VMware backup software is large, and most solutions offer at least one way of testing their product before buying it. This is a great way for users to evaluate which solution suits them the most before deciding if it is worth buying in the first place – and we hope that our top 10 VMware backup list was useful to you.

There are also plenty of options that focus exclusively on VM support, such as Storware or VM Backup, with each solution being dedicated to providing a relatively cheap VM data security solution with a wealth of useful features.

Alternatively, there are solutions like Veeam that are a good example of a massive number of features in a single package, including VMware compatibility. Unitrends is very similar in this regard, offering a long-running effective solution that can work with plenty of backup storage locations, and not just VMware.

Bacula Enterprise is also a sensible choice for this category – a highly secure, flexible backup and recovery platform that does not charge based on data volume and has what is likely the broadest integration and compatibility on the market. Therefore, Bacula is especially effective in large, complicated and growing environments that require high levels of security.

At the end of the day, the choice between different VMware backup solutions is not always an easy one, and there are plenty of factors that have to be kept in mind when making a choice. IT managers therefore need to clearly itemize by priority their organization’s needs before spending too much time appraising different solutions.

Why you can trust us

Bacula Systems is all about accuracy and consistency, our materials always try to provide the most objective point of view on different technologies, products, and companies. In our reviews, we use many different methods such as product info and expert insights to generate the most informative content possible.

Our materials offer all kinds of factors about every single solution presented, be it feature sets, pricing, customer reviews, etc.  Bacula’s product strategy is overlooked and controlled by Jorge Gea – the CTO at Bacula Systems of Bacula Systems, and Rob Morrison – the Marketing Director of Bacula Systems.

Before joining Bacula Systems, Jorge was for many years the CTO of Whitebearsolutions SL, where he led the Backup and Storage area and the WBSAirback solution. Jorge now provides leadership and guidance in current technological trends, technical skills, processes, methodologies and tools for the rapid and exciting development of Bacula products. Responsible for the product roadmap, Jorge is actively involved in the architecture, engineering and development process of Bacula components. Jorge holds a Bachelor degree in computer science engineering from the University of Alicante, a Doctorate in computation technologies and a Master Degree in network administration.

Rob started his IT marketing career with Silicon Graphics in Switzerland, performing strongly in various marketing management roles for almost 10 years. In the next 10 years, Rob also held various marketing management positions in JBoss, Red Hat, and Pentaho ensuring market share growth for these well-known companies. He is a graduate of Plymouth University and holds an Honours Digital Media and Communications degree, and completed an Overseas Studies Program.

About the author
Rob Morrison
Rob Morrison is the marketing director at Bacula Systems. He started his IT marketing career with Silicon Graphics in Switzerland, performing strongly in various marketing management roles for almost 10 years. In the next 10 years Rob also held various marketing management positions in JBoss, Red Hat and Pentaho ensuring market share growth for these well-known companies. He is a graduate of Plymouth University and holds an Honours Digital Media and Communications degree, and completed an Overseas Studies Program.
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