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Updated 29th April 2020, Rob Morrison

Alternatives and Competitors to Dell Backup

Since a company’s data is one of its greatest assets, there is no shortage of companies offering backup and recovery services nowadays. These companies can be old or new or anything in-between. They don’t necessarily work exclusively on the backup and recovery market. Dell EMC is one of those companies.

Dell EMC (formerly EMC Corporation) was founded in 1979, which makes it one of the oldest ones on the market. However, the renaming only happened in 2016, when EMC Corporation was purchased by Dell. It has been named Dell EMC since then.

As a product and service provider, Dell EMC is capable of providing a wide variety of products and solutions, from primary or unstructured data storage and networking appliances to infrastructure improvements and cloud services. However, since we’re taking a look exclusively at Dell EMC’s capabilities in the backup and recovery field, let’s take a closer look at the two main appliances created for exactly that purpose – PowerProtect Data Manager and Data Protection Suite.

veritas netbackup competitors 2017

PowerProtect Data Manager represents Dell EMC’s offering when it comes to backup applications. The main application of this solution are:

  • Cloud-native app protection;
  • Comprehensive control and governance;
  • Data center capabilities extension via cloud;
  • Self-service backup and restore when it comes to native apps;
  • Data collection for analytics and other purposes.

PowerProtect Data Manager is capable of delivering data management and protection capabilities, backup and restore capabilities, while ensuring compliance with local regulations at the same time. This applies not only to physical data storages, but to the virtual and cloud ones, as well.

Since PowerProtect Data Manager is more about managing your data in general and less about backing it up, let’s move on to the second essential Dell EMC product – Data Protection Suite.

It’s reasonable to say that, unlike PowerProtect Data Manager, Data Protection Suite is far more backup-oriented. The main benefits of this suite are:

  • Seamless backup and recovery process;
  • Disaster recovery capabilities from cloud environments;
  • Data replication option with the Point-in-Time recovery ability;
  • Consistent governance over the entire database or databases in general.

Of course, since it is a suite, there are a number of specific products that can be included in the packagel:

  • NetWorker – This part of the suite handles most of the backup and recovery jobs when it comes to enterprises. NetWorker has significant capabilities such as deduplication, snapshots, NAS, replication or even your usual backup to either disk or tape. It can also do backup and recovery jobs with your virtual data (VMware, Hyper-V, etc) as well as with the physical side. There’s also data protection and end-to-end management functionality if your specific environment requires snapshot capabilities.
    It’s important to mention that there is also a virtual standalone version of the service called NetWorker Virtual Edition (NVE) – all of the usual NetWorker capabilities deployed in either Azure or AWS to provide you with the virtual edition of all that backup and recovery functionality. Additionally, there are some additional features of this virtual version of the program, like protection of your data while in cloud, long-term retention to either public or private cloud storage and Azure Stack backup capabilities.
  • RecoverPoint for VMs – Another specific suite part that specializes in operating with VMware virtual machines. A list of functions includes disaster recovery orchestration, continuous data protection, automated provisioning and more. The principle purpose of this product is to provide a means of backing up and recovering of your virtual machines in case of disaster or as a part of routine operational recovery, while meeting your target RPO and RTOs (Recovery point objective and recovery time objective, respectively).
  • Avamar – Backup and recovery jobs that are fast and efficient are the main purpose of Avamar as a Data Protection Suite part. It is likely to be used primarily as a backup tool for daily full backups of all kinds of appliances, from basic virtual and physical environments to remote offices, NAS servers and so on. Avamar is also capable of providing both data encryption and data optimization to protect your data and lessen the bandwidth and storage usage, respectively.
    Similarly to NetWorker, Avamar has its own Virtual Edition deployed in the cloud and capable of providing the same capabilities as the standalone version, while also being capable of working with vSphere, Hyper-V and Azure virtual machines.

At first glance it might seem that both Avamar and NetWorker have a relatively similar purpose and use cases, but they do have their differences. For example, Avamar has generally better VMware integration capabilities, while NetWorker has generally higher data transport speed, etc. You can also use them together since, to a degree, they are capable of working in tandem.

Certainly, Dell EMC has quite a lot of different solutions, both within backup and recovery, as well as outside of it too. However, there are a lot of different Dell Backup alternatives on the market, and the nature of the modern constantly changing world makes it somewhat difficult to keep up with different customer demands. Here’s some of the most prominent features that allowed Dell Backup competitors to stay relevant and keep their audience:

  • Extensive scalability;
  • User-friendly initial configuration;
  • Comprehensive cloud integrations;
  • Deep integration capabilities in general;
  • Flexible licensing models;
  • Easier to understand UI/UX, and so on.

Bacula Enterprise is one of the strongest contenders as a Dell Backup alternative. Both solutions have some common qualities, like their disaster recovery capabilities, or the vast range of features available. There are some key differences between them. For example, one of Bacula’s strong points is its broad integration capabilities, which are somewhat more limited when it comes to Dell EMC. For example, Bacula is able to natively integrate with far more hypervisor-types, and is also able to cover containers and Kubernetes Clusters. There’s also the fact of Bacula offering some unique features, like single file recovery across apps and data, or bare metal recovery for physical servers, and so on. It may be, for organizations with especially complicated environments, Bacula’s ability to integrate natively with an especially broad range of databases becomes a key reason to choose Bacula. For example, Bacula’s unique way of integrating with MySQL and Percona means that it is able to backup very large, high transaction databases and recover data far more quickly.

Overall, it’s likely that if you’re looking for a Dell Backup alternative – Bacula might just be exactly what you’re looking for.


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.