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Cohesity vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

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Updated 2nd November 2022, Rob Morrison

For people and organizations around the world, maintaining up-to-date backups of all information stored in computers and smartphones can be critical. If something unexpected happens, for example, if the files get deleted or are found corrupted, a hard drive fails, or a malicious actor tries to steal information, you can still have access to your data.

In theory, backing up your information should be a relatively straightforward process. You first create a copy of your files, databases, and applications and then store them in a secondary location where they can remain locked and safe. In the case of an unplanned event, you can then go back to the copy and recover the data. However, there are many ways to do this. Some companies use external drives as a safe location, including USB sticks or tape storage. As cyber threats become more complex many also choose a cloud system that can make the data more accessible and automate the regular creation of backups.

A combination of both on-premise and cloud storage tends to be a popular solution when a large data volume is involved, as it can provide more security and reliability. Luckily, there are numerous tools that allow companies big and small to back up and restore their data. Three popular choices are Cohesity, Veeam, and Bacula Enterprise. So, what’s the difference between them, exactly, and what are each solution’s pros and cons?

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Cohesity is an American information technology company based in San Jose, California (although the firm also has offices in India and Ireland). Their goal is to simplify on-premise and cloud backup and recovery and protect other firms against ransomware and disasters that can compromise data. The platform offers an interface that is easy to use and allows many flexible delivery options.

How it Works: Cohesity offers backup and recovery on-premise, in the public cloud, at the edge, and as a service. They also have SaaS data isolation, AI-based early threat detection, immutable backup snapshots, and the ability to recover at scale. Cohesity is also able to back up physical servers, something many of its competitors cannot do.

cohesity landing page

Cohesity Main Features

Backup and recovery: Cohesity has quite a good set of tools for the backup and recovery of traditional and modern data sources. The interface works across several locations and environments, and the platform uses an SLA-driven automated policy framework to meet service levels. Cohesity can be used as self-managed, Cohesity-managed, or partner-managed and can run backups as a service without the need for on-premise hardware.

Ransomware recovery: The platform offers a multilayered data security architecture with AI-based early anomaly detection, DataLock capabilities, immutable backup snapshots, and strict access and administrative controls. You can also use Continuous Data Protection to recover mission-critical data from any location and at any point.

Data security and governance: With Cohesity Threat Defense, a comprehensive data security architecture, you can recover sensitive data after complex cybersecurity threats. If a suspicious anomaly is detected, the platform can automatically respond to incidents and recover quickly at scale. You can also govern all your data to meet compliance regulations such as HIPAA, CCPA, GDPR, and PCI.

Cohesity Technical Details

  • Supported deployment types: On-premise, in the cloud, as a service, and at the edge.
  • Operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Mobile app support: Android and App Store.

Cohesity Pros

  • Instant recovery options: Cohesity includes several instant-recovery options for critical files. You don’t need to wait hours or days to do an urgent restore; you can access the files quickly.
  • Integrations: You can use Cohesity with on-premises laptops and desktop computer backups, and it integrates with numerous applications and databases. In fact, all available tools are offered through a Cohesity Marketplace, where customers can explore different solutions.
  • Reliable cluster upgrades: Because Cohesity takes down one node at a time when it needs to perform an upgrade (and goes through them one by one), there is less risk of disruption. This process applies to software updates, security updates, firmware, and even OS upgrades.

Cohesity Cons

  • Clunky interface and limited documentation: Although Cohesity prides itself on having a very easy-to-use interface, the dashboard can feel clunky and, in some cases, over-simplified. There is also very little documentation, so users can depend less on Cohesity’s customer support.
  • Basic reports: Frequent users agree that Cohesity’s reports and analytic tools tend to be quite limited. The platform also offers no data lifecycle monitoring feature; you will have to read all backup statuses through the dashboard.
  • No local management for nodes: You can’t manage multiple nodes through the Cohesity environment. Instead, you will need to go node by node, hopping between them and working on them independently.
  • Its BaaS solution suffers from complex pricing and is limited in capability

Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam is a US-based information technology company specializing in backup, data protection, and disaster recovery. It was created in 2006 and remains a popular choice for physical, virtual, and multi-cloud infrastructures, including solutions using Google Cloud, Azure, and AWS. The platform also provides some good recovery options and adequate ransomware protection.

How it Works: Veeam is a single platform for cloud-based and hybrid cloud environments and offers good visibility across an enterprise. Its products support automated backup and recovery processes, as well as governance and analytics capabilities across virtual, physical, and cloud deployments. Security is built into the product, and the software is designed for vendor independence and performance.

Veeam front page

Veeam Main Features

Supports numerous Infrastructure Setups: Backup & Replication allows you to choose from more than a hundred configurations to store your data and combine them as needed into a single repository that is also highly scalable. As a result, the platform can provide excellent TCOs and considerable cost savings (up to 50%).

Data recovery and security: One of Veeam’s main features is that it can continuously scan your data, looking for malware. The platform also comes with a smart verification tool capable of uncovering various hidden threats (for example, ransomware and spyware). Veeam also provides replication encryption and end-to-end file immutability through multiple clouds.

Cloud capabilities: Veeam is purpose-built for Azure, Azure Key Vault, Google Cloud, AWS, and AWS KMS. The platform also supports immutable snapshots and provides its users with an API-driven architecture that lets them leverage targets and move production workloads to the cloud for long-term retention in case of a disaster.

Veeam Technical Details

  • Supported deployment types: On-premise.
  • Operating systems: Windows, Linux (limited), and macOS (limited).
  • Mobile app support: Not supported.

Veeam Pros

  • One-stop-shop dashboard: Veeam comes with a centralized management console where users can create and run backup and restore processes for files, volumes, and virtual machines quickly. You can also control different backup versions and explore some built-in environment analytics.
  • Granular storage: Veeam supports good granularity by maintaining several restore points without the need to create folders for each. It’s also easy to migrate data between remote workstations and laptops.
  • Comprehensive alerts: The platform sends an (optional) alert every time there is a problem with a backup process or recovery process, so you can be up to date on what’s going on with your data at all times.

Veeam Cons

  • Extremely long RPO: Veeam uses snapshots to gather its backups, which means that you might have to wait hours to have access to your non-critical restored data. Many companies see this long RPO as a potentially damaging disruption to a production environment, a reason why many customers choose a different backup solution.
  • Expensive licensing model: Although Veeam offers a free trial version, it is quite limited in terms of what you can do. For example, you won’t be able to backup more than one virtual machine without paying extra, and you won’t have access to the firm’s support team.
  • No mobile apps: Veeam only supports on-premise deployments for Windows, non-open source version Linux, and macOS. There are no mobile apps available for this platform.

Bacula Enterprise

Bacula Enterprise is a ‘heavy-lifter’ subscription-based backup, disaster recovery, and restore solution. The platform supports virtual, physical, container, cloud, and edge environments and is typically more able to meet the demands of large enterprises. Bacula also offers high reliability (minimal downtime) and fast recovery while providing robustness and especially high levels of security.

How it Works: Bacula allows companies to create and maintain single-file restores and snapshots and supports advanced deduplication for virtual, container, physical, and hybrid cloud environments. Unlike Cohesity and Veeam, Bacula has no data volume limits, no capacity-based licensing, or costly license fees.

bacula enterprise landing page

Bacula Enterprise Main Features

Flexible storage options: Bacula Enterprise is equally efficient in both virtual and physical environments and, unlike many of its competitors,  can support backups stored on disk, tape, on Edge, through robotic media libraries, and in a range of clouds. The platform also integrates natively with AWS S3 in multiple operating systems and can work with various disks and volumes to ensure all data is always highly portable.

Granular disaster recovery: With Bacula, you can access paramount granularity for your data. For instance, you can restore one or more images, database catalogs, files, and complete systems effortlessly. Bacula also integrates with an unusually high choice of technologies, including databases, Hypervisors, Containers, Cloud, and storage types.

Trustworthy security: Bacula incorporates numerous industry-leading security features, such as powerful file encryption, a Tripwire-like capability, and silent data corruption detection (for example, if there is a problem while copying data). In addition, the core system of Bacula (called “Director”) works on a Linux platform, further increasing its security credentials against many of its competitors. The platform’s extreme ability to adapt without compromising security has made it the first choice for many large western government and military institutions.

Bacula Enterprise Technical Details

  • Supported deployment types: On-premise. Cloud, Edge.
  • 34 different Operating systems are supported, including Windows, Solaris, Linux, Red Hat, AIX, macOS, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Debian, Suse, CentOS, and OpenSuse.
  • Mobile app support: Android.

Bacula Enterprise Pros

  • Easy to run and restore backups: With Bacula Enterprise, you can easily and quickly manage several backup routines and verify all services are running correctly. The platform also allows you to perform point-in-time backups and continuous or real-time backups by automatically saving a copy of every change that is made to your data.
  • Excellent integrations: Bacula can integrate with an insurmountable number of popular applications, cloud, operating systems, virtual machines, data types, and containers, and supports a wide range of databases such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SAP HANA, MSSQL, and others.
  • Expert customer support: Bacula Enterprise employs senior support engineers to help its customers solve all queries. Its support team is both qualified and able to provide personalized attention to all Bacula users.
  • Higher levels of security. Finding a backup and recovery software that has the right levels of security to meet current and future requirements is becoming the number one concern for many organizations. Bacula ticks all the boxes here.

Bacula Enterprise Cons

  • Learning curve: Because Bacula Enterprise has a large number of advanced features, some users have reported it can take some time to get used to their interface (particularly when the person is not familiar with Linux). You will need a small degree of training to access some of Bacula’s more complex features, but once everything is set up, Bacula’s reliability and stability mean maintenance becomes negligible.
  • Frequent upgrades and updates: Bacula wants to ensure the platform remains secure and functional for all users, so you might have to install regular updates and upgrades to keep your system up to date.
  • Some paid integrations: Some of Bacula’s more advanced integrations come at additional cost. However, customers can easily combine this modular approach with the platform’s subscription licensing model to maintain a low price. Users only need to pay for what they use.

Cohesity vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

The three backup and recovery platforms we have reviewed (Cohesity, Veeam, and Bacula Enterprise) all come with their own benefits, but they also have downsides. Or, rather, they are designed to support firms with different operation scales. Let’s see which one applies to which case.

Why Cohesity

  • Good scalability and security: Cohesity uses a single interface to give you good visibility and control over multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments. The platform’s threat defense can also protect against sophisticated ransomware attacks.
  • Flexible deployment choices: You can deploy Cohesity as a self-managed, SaaS, or partner-managed solution.
  • Summary: Cohesity is a good solution for data management and backup control that centralizes most use cases into a single location. However, its reporting is quite basic, and the tool falls somewhat behind on features, particularly when compared to Veeam and Bacula Enterprise.

Why Veeam

  • Intuitive and modern platform: Veeam is considered an easy-to-deploy and easy-to-use backup and recovery solution. Its main features include backup modernization, ransomware protection, and cloud acceleration.
  • Flexible pricing: You can calculate the total cost of your implementation by counting the number of workloads that need backup and restore capabilities. The company offers an online calculator that shows prices for the different subscription periods (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years), which is helpful for larger deployments.
  • Summary: Veeam is a good backup and restore solution for companies that don’t mind slow RPOs particularly. The pricing for smaller companies tends to be good, although there is no backup for physical servers in the base product.

Why Bacula Enterprise

  • Excellent customization: Bacula Enterprise allows you to innovate and modernize your data backup and recovery while increasing efficiency and reducing costs. It offers super-fast recovery and high-security incremental, differential, and virtual-full backups and supports native hybrid cloud integration.
  • Lower costs and simple pricing model: Bacula Enterprise does not base its price on capacity (something most backup and recovery solutions do). You can have as many CPUs as you want; all you need to do is choose a subscription level (Small, Business Edition, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans) based on the number of machines or agents your company has. All the plans give you access to all patches, features, system updates, and upgrades.
  • Significantly higher security than its peers. Bacula’s unique modular architecture, special security features, and Linux-based design mean it offers one of the highest security levels (i.e., against ransomware) in the industry. In addition, its ability to fit with many technologies means users can protect their entire IT estate from a “single pane of glass.”
  • Summary: If you want to protect your data without having to worry about high volume, Bacula Enterprise is the perfect solution for all your backup and recovery needs. The company offers exceptional levels of security and can protect all data from almost any operating system.

Which is Better: Cohesity, Veeam, or Bacula Enterprise?

Cohesity offers several instant recovery options that allow you to access critical files without having to wait and can be used with numerous apps and databases, but the platform provides limited reports, and there is no local management for nodes. Veeam supports several infrastructure setups to store data and can continuously look for malware and hidden threats, but it also has a highly long RPO resulting in having to wait hours to recover backups. Bacula Enterprise offers flexible, robust, and extremely secure storage options that are easy to run and can integrate with an impressive number of applications, databases, virtual machines, containers, and operating systems, although its complex features require some training.

Bacula Enterprise is a comprehensive, robust, and reliable backup and recovery solution ideal for organizations and companies that need to deal with large amounts of data and ensure it is kept safe and can be recovered quickly. The tool supports mixed and hybrid operating environments (physical, container, and hybrid cloud backup and recovery) and includes numerous powerful integrations. With Bacula Enterprise, you can be confident all your critical information will be protected.

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.