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Commvault vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

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Updated 7th November 2022, Rob Morrison

People and organizations all over the world use computers, servers and smartphones to access and use data. However, not everyone is aware of how crucial it can be to maintain up-to-date backups of their information. If something unplanned happens (for example, if there is some sort of unexpected event, such as the data getting corrupted or deleted, a hard drive failing, or a malicious actor targeting your system), you could actually lose access to all your data. In the case of a business organization that has not correctly backed up its data, it could mean ultimately facing bankruptcy.

Theoretically, the process of backing up information is relatively straightforward. You must first create a copy of your files and applications and then store them in a safe alternative location. If anything goes wrong with the original location, you can just access the copied files and recover things to a previous point in time. However, the ways in which you can do this vary considerably depending on each person or company’s preferences. Some store backups on internal or external drives or USB sticks; others prefer a more flexible cloud storage system so the data is more easily accessible and the backups can be created regularly and automatically. Where very large data volume is involved, tape technology is sometimes used. Many opt for a combination of the above to help maximize reliability.

When it comes to choosing the perfect backup and recovery system, security and reliability are two key components to keep in mind. The good news is that there are a number of tools capable of guarding your data against disasters, accidents, and threats. Three popular choices are Commvault, Veeam, and Bacula Enterprise, although it can be a little tricky at first to understand what exactly each of these solutions offers. This article will go through them in detail and present their main features, benefits, and downsides so you can see which one fits your business model and needs best.

What are the critical things your backup software should do for you?


Commvault is an American data management and data protection company. Their backup solution has received high scores across numerous use cases and is considered a reliable and competent platform. One of Commvault’s main features is its scalability, which means it can grow somewhat in tandem with your business. One important thing to keep in mind when you’re considering Commvault as a backup solution is that the company is not geared toward servicing small businesses.

How it Works: Commvault has robust native deduplication capabilities and offers a few different choices for data backups, including Citrix Xen, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud. It also includes endpoint data and mailbox protection, VM and file archiving, operational reporting, and hardware snapshot management. Lastly, the solution can secure Windows, Linux, Oracle, Unix, applications servers, and hypervisors.

Commvault Main Features

Backup and recovery: Commvault uses a single interface for all its users’ backup and recovery needs. You can, for instance, see all files, apps, virtual containers, and databases from a single location. The program’s granular and rapid recovery options also have built-in ransomware protection and end-to-end encryption. You can easily move, back up, and recover data and workloads from and to different clouds, too.

Disaster recovery: The company offers easy-to-implement and cost-effective disaster recovery, including DR script automation, one-click failover and failback, and fast VM, storage, and application snapshot replication. This allows Commvault to offer its users sub-minute RPOs and good RTOs. Their disaster recovery features also include automated compliance reporting and test patches.

File Storage Optimization: Commvault can analyze and classify both backup and live data and offer better insights to take action. For instance, it can detect and remove redundant and obsolete data, align business-critical data to high-performing storage, accelerate migrations and consolidations based on user policies, and lower the risk of ransomware attacks by identifying and protecting critical data.

Commvault Pros

  • Simple and comprehensive backups: Commvault covers all workloads, such as apps, databases, files, and containers, using just a single platform and interface. You can also integrate numerous storage options and move data from and to different clouds.
  • Intelligent data services: The Commvault suite includes data protection, security, compliance and governance, transformation, and insights to solve challenges and remediate data risks. By using artificial intelligence and machine learning, the solution can also help optimize IT processes, detect anomalies, and mitigate breaches.
  • Distributed storage: Commvault uses distributed storage, or an option to customize your environment through cloud-native, scale-out, and software-defined storage. The distributed structure can write data across different locations simultaneously, no matter if it is in the cloud or in an on-premise data center, which in turn, leads to better compliance and data sovereignty.

Commvault Cons

  • Deployment difficulty: It can be pretty troublesome to initially configure and deploy all of the Commvault backup and recovery tools. For example, you might have to also install Commvault Hyperscale and Commvcault Orchestrate for scalable infrastructures and automation operations, respectively. These apps both have different setup requirements.
  • Only for enterprises: The services Commvault offers are not designed for small customers. In fact, the company’s focus is almost solely on enterprise users and larger cloud providers.
  • Unclear pricing model: Commvault does not share its prices directly through its website. You will have to contact them to understand what licensing options are available.

Commvault Technical Details

  • Supported types of deployment: On-premise and in the cloud.
  • Operating system:  Commvault runs on Windows.
  • Mobile app support: Android and App Store.

Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam Backup & Replication was first launched in 2006 and, since then, has continued to grow consistently, serving growing enterprises around the world. The company focuses mainly on data protection and data replication and offers flexible hybrid cloud solutions using Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, as well as robust recovery options and efficient ransomware protection.

How it Works: Veeam uses CBT (Changed Block Tracking) technology, virtual machine replicas, and VM snapshots (all of which include a redo file with all changes that were made during replication). Every time the platform finishes a job, Veeam merges the redo file into a live disk file, so when you start another replication process, only the latest changes need to be copied. For this reason, Veeam has a much longer RPO compared to its competitors, which can have the potential to disrupt production environments.

Veeam Main Features

Data Security and Recovery: Veeam can automatically scan your data to check for malware. The platform includes an intelligent verification tool that can uncover hidden threats such as spyware and ransomware. Veeam also supports end-to-end file immutability and replication encryption so you can easily move and recover your data, files, and apps through multiple clouds.

Various Infrastructure Setups: When using Veeam Backup & Replication, you can pick from over a hundred configurations for your storage infrastructure and cloud integration and combine different storage options using a single scalable repository. This means you won’t risk any proprietary hardware locking your data. This, in turn, translates into excellent TCOs that can result in cost savings of up to 50%.

Cloud-Native: The platform is purpose-built for Google Cloud, Azure, Azure Key Vault, AWS, and AWS KMS. Veeam also supports immutable snapshots and has an API-driven architecture that allows you to move production workloads to the cloud and leverage targets to be prepared for disasters and long-term retention.

Veeam Pros

  • Single, easy-to-use dashboard: Veeam Backup & Replication |has a centralized management console that allows you to run backup and restore processes for virtual machines, files, and specific volumes easily. The platform also lets you control the different backup versions stored and comes with built-in environment analytics.
  • Multiple granular storage options: The solution provides excellent granularity by allowing users to devise and maintain various restore points (you don’t need to create specific folders). You can also migrate data as required between laptops and remote workstations.
  • Service alerts: Veeam alerts every time there is an issue with a backup or recovery process, allowing you to see what’s happening with your data at all times. You can also set these notifications off if desired.

Veeam Cons

  • Very long RPO: Because Veeam uses snapshots to retrieve existing backups, you might have to wait several hours to regain access to non-critical data. This long RPO can result in damaging disruptions to production environments, and it’s something you should definitely keep in mind when choosing this backup and recovery solution.
  • Expensive license: Veeam Backup & Replication does offer a free trial version, but it’s pretty limited in terms of features. If you’re looking to back up more than one virtual machine, you will have to pay extra. Also, the trial version does not include phone and email support or live chat (if you need help, you will have to use the forums and ask other users for assistance).
  • No mobile app options: The platform only supports on-premise Windows, Linux (only non-open source versions), and macOS deployments. There are no Apple iOS or Android apps.

Veeam Technical Details

  • Supported types of deployment: On-premise only.
  • Operating systems: Veeam runs on Windows
  • Mobile app support: Not currently supported.

Bacula Enterprise

Most users agree Bacula Enterprise is a ‘heavy-lifter’ backup, disaster recovery, and restore solution. The system supports physical, virtual, cloud, container, and edge environments and is designed to keep up with the demands of medium and large businesses and large enterprises’ data centers. Bacula is an excellent option if you’re looking for a solution that can achieve minimal downtime and speedy, reliable recovery. Through various robust interfaces, Bacula can back up NDMP devices, directory servers, Exchange clusters, and NAS/SAN storage. It also offers a variety of highly effective deduplication technologies. One of the key qualities that sets Bacula apart from its competitors is its especially high levels of security, robustness, and reliability.

How it Works: Bacula includes numerous powerful backup features. For instance, it allows you to create and maintain snapshots and single-file restores and supports backup and recovery capabilities and advanced deduplication for physical, virtual, container, and hybrid cloud environments. Unlike most of its competitors, Bacula Enterprise is able to offer high levels of security without limiting data volumes or asking for costly license fees.

Bacula Enterprise Main Features

Excellent Granular Disaster Recovery: Bacula Enterprise allows you to restore one or more files, database catalogs, images, and complete systems quickly. The platform also supports bextract and stand-alone BLS, and doesn’t really care if the data belongs to different backups – which makes it an extremely flexible tool.

Numerous Storage Options: Bacula is extremely efficient in both physical and virtual environments. For example, it can support backups that are stored on tape, on disk, through robotic media libraries, on Edge, or in the cloud. It also integrates with AWS S3 natively in Windows, Linux, and other platforms and can work with different volumes and disks to ensure better validity and portability for all data.

Excellent Security: Bacula Enterprise includes a state-of-the-art set of impressive security features, such as a Tripwire-like capability and several systems for encrypting files. Bacula can also detect if there’s any silent data corruption instantly (for example, if an error has occurred while copying data), making it an excellent choice for businesses where security is paramount.

Bacula Enterprise Pros

  • Easy backups and restores: Bacula offers industry-leading speed and performance, allowing you to manage numerous backup routines, perform point-in-time backups, and automatically verify all services are always up and running.
  • Significantly extended integrations: Bacula Enterprise can integrate with an extensive range of applications, operating systems, clouds, data types, virtual machines (VMware, Xen, Hyper-V, RHV, Nutanix, Proxmox, KVM, etc.), and containers (Docker, Kubernetes, Openshift). It also supports the recovery of a very wide range of databases such as MySQL, Oracle, SAP HANA, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, and many more.
  • Excellent customer support: Bacula is known for providing customers with access to its senior support engineers, who provide highly personalized attention to all customers.

Bacula Enterprise Cons

  • Complex capabilities: Because Bacula has a rather complex set of features, it can take some time to get familiar with its interface if the user is unfamiliar with Linux. Some of its more advanced features will require a small degree of training. However, the support team is always to help new users configure their systems. Once the configuration is complete, maintenance is negligible.
  • Frequent program upgrades: Bacula Enterprise is updated frequently to further develop its cyber security strength and increase functionality for all users. This means that you will sometimes have to install frequent updates to keep your system protected and efficient.
  • Some integrations are not included: Bacula Enterprise offers a set of advanced paid integrations for which you will need to pay a fee. However, this modular approach, combined with a subscription licensing model, is one of the ways Bacula achieves its low price.

Bacula Enterprise Technical Details

  • Supported types of deployment: On-premise. Cloud, Edge.
  • Bacula runs on 34 different operating systems versions, including: Solaris, Linux, , Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Red Hat, AIX, Debian, Suse, CentOS, OpenSuse, as well as readily backing up data and applications on Windows and macOS platforms.
  • Mobile app support: Android app.

Commvault vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

The three backup and recovery solutions (Commvault, Veeam, and Bacula Enterprise) all have their own benefits… but also a few downsides. More importantly, they are designed with different operation scales in mind. So, which one is better and for which cases?

Why Commvault

  • Centralized enterprise backup solution: Commvault is a very good option for large enterprises with changing needs. As data gets more distributed across multiple environments, including multi-cloud and hybrid, the risk of losing data increases. Commvault can automatically backup data for critical business systems all within the same product.
  • Excellent reporting: The platform has advanced reporting and analytics capabilities that can help companies make better-informed decisions about their data.
  • Summary: Commvault is a reliable and scalable backup solution covering a number of systems and applications. However, the company’s offerings tend to serve bigger businesses and enterprises, can be expensive, and the pricing model is not easily explained on its website.

Why Veeam

  • Ease of use: Veeam is straightforward to deploy, the setup process is quite intuitive to configure, easy to manage and in general does not require a steep learning curve.
  •  Flexible pricing: When calculating the total cost of a Veeam implementation for your backup and restoring needs, you just need to count the number of workloads that need protection. Then, you can use the online calculation to choose from different subscription periods (for example, for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years). However, Veeam can become very expensive on large deployments.
  • Summary: Veeam is an excellent solution for companies that are not too worried about slow RPOs. It’s also a good option for those who want an affordable replication platform.

Why Bacula Enterprise

  • Especially tight security: Bacula removes nearly all security vulnerabilities  typically found in a lot of backup and recovery solutions. The platform uses immutable and Append-only volumes, two-factor authentication, TOTP (or Time-based One Time Password), a robust antivirus solution, and automated systems checks. Bacula utilizes a modern, modular architecture that doesn’t require two-way communication. This advanced security is multiplied further by its close relationship with the Linux platform.
  • Simple pricing model: Unlike most of its competitors in the backup and restore industry, Bacula Enterprise has no capacity-based pricing. All you need to do is pick a server, but the company doesn’t care how many CPUs you want to include in your backup and plan. You can also choose from a few subscription levels (Small, Business Edition, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans) based on the number of machines or agents that require backing up, restoring, and deploying. None of these have data volume charges, and they all give you access to features, patches, upgrades, and system updates. Bacula is massively scalable, both on a technical level, but also from a realistic pricing point of view.
  • Summary: Bacula Enterprise is the perfect backup and recovery solution for businesses that don’t want to worry about high data values. This solution also provides enterprise-level data security and one of the highest safety in the industry.

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

Commvault is an easy-to-implement backup and recovery tool that can accelerate migrations and lower the risk of ransomware, but it can also be challenging to deploy and costs a little more than other solutions. Veeam is easy to use and comes with an intelligent verification tool to find hidden threats, although the license is expensive and the platform has a very long RPO. Bacula Enterprise offers industry-level performance and speed and can integrate with an especially broad range of applications, operating systems, and virtual machines, but it requires some degree of training to make the best of its advanced capabilities. However, its additional security qualities often make the extra training well worth the investment. Command line and web-based GUI are also available.

Bacula Enterprise is the perfect backup and recovery solution for companies that want to keep large amounts of data safe and recover it quickly. The platform is highly robust and reliable and supports an impressive number of integrations. With Bacula, you can have mixed and hybrid operating environments with resources stored locally and on the cloud. Each IT department has its own unique set of challenges. With Bacula Enterprise, you can be sure your data will be protected by one of the most comprehensible, customizable, and flexible solutions in the market.

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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.