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Rubrik vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

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Updated 23rd October 2023, Rob Morrison

The purpose of having a backup system is to allow your data to be restored in case of data loss, via an unplanned event such as a hard drive failure, a malicious attack, or accidental deletion.

All backup solutions procedures follow a similar process: You first copy your data (and possibly applications) and then store it in a safe location somewhere other than its original place. If there is a problem with the initial source data, you know you can always access and recover the files you saved at that earlier point in time.

Many companies use simple mediums (USB sticks, external drives, or tape drives) to store these copies and protect them against data loss. For others, a more resilient and flexible solution is required. For example, with a cloud storage system, users can typically access from any location and any device. A significant advantage of storing backups this way is that the system can automatically create (and retain) regular copies of your data, which results in extra security and reliability.

Rubrik, Veeam, and Bacula Enterprise are three of the most popular backup solutions that are available in the market. They all offer numerous benefits, so it can seem quite challenging to pick the best one for your business. This article will cover each of them in detail, reviewing their pros and cons and exploring their most relevant features.

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Rubrik is a cloud data management and data security company based in Palo Alto, California, USA Founded in 2014, this business consolidates software and hardware components into a management plane and can help automate thousands of backup jobs across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

One thing that differentiates this company from its competitors is that the product promises near-zero RTOs while also minimizing enterprise data loss. Rubrik is rated 4.8/5 by Gartner and is considered a highly efficient system for small businesses.

How it Works: Rubrik makes backups reasonably straightforward. You can use the platform to create backup strategies and policies very easily by selecting, for example, the frequency and retention and letting the system deal with their execution. Rubrik also supports instant predictive search and recovery, no matter if the data resides in the cloud or on premises. You can use virtual machine (VMs) backups, database backups, and cloud storage backup services from the same platform.

Rubrik Main Features

Backup and recovery: Rubrik can consolidate different software and hardware components and deliver instant recoveries at scale. For example, you can do database backups, VM backups (including replication and DR, archival, and analytics for your chosen hypervisor), and cloud backups with Rubrik Cloud Vault (isolated, off-site immutable data archival).

Ransomware recovery: Rubrik offers a solid ransomware recovery solution that, in the case of an attack, provides excellent visibility of the scope of damage and a fast recovery option. You can return to a clean state (usually, the most recent one) with just a few clicks. Rubrik’s systems are also built from scratch to be immutable, so they can’t be encrypted or deleted by ransomware attackers.

Cloud-native protection: You can handle all your apps and data from a single interface and consolidate all reporting for better compliance and control. Rubrik centralizes management across multiple cloud environments to optimize costs and provide granular, in-place restores.

Rubrik Technical Details

  • Supported types of deployment: On-premise, cloud-based, and via API.
  • Operating systems: Windows, Linux, Mac, and Web-Based.
  • Mobile app support: Not supported.

Rubrik Pros

  • Simple data backup and recovery: Rubrik’s main selling point is its easy-to-use interface and robust data management capabilities. The platform also enables automation at scale and can help companies adopt cloud storage, as it makes the process of recovering files relatively straightforward.
  • Continuous Data Protection (CDP): The company claims it can slash recovery times from hours to minutes, reduce TCO by 30-50%, and deliver near-zero RTOs. The platform also supports service level agreements (SLAs) across the entire lifecycle of the data.
  • Multiple deployments and Integrations: Rubrik can be deployed on Premise, Cloud-hosted, or via an open API. Its integrations include Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, Active Directory, and Oracle RDBMS.

Rubrik Cons

  • A new player: Rubrik is a relatively new player in the backup and data protection market. This means its reliability hasn’t yet been proven completely.
  • Quote-based and expensive: Rubrik’s pricing model is quote-based – so you will have to contact the company to find out how much your backup and recovery solution will cost. Most reviewers feel Rubrik is expensive.
  • No comprehensive AWS integration: Rubrik does not integrate well with Amazon Web Services, although it does support AWS outposts.

Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam Backup & Replication has grown considerably since it was first launched in 2006. This data protection service company focuses primarily on replication and virtual machine data and often partners with numerous businesses to support a large number of customers. Unlike some other backup services, Veeam offers a free plan and very detailed documentation to deal with different processes and potential issues. Most users agree the program’s main benefits are its speed and reliability.

How it Works: Veeam creates virtual machine replicas using VM snapshots and CBT (Changed Block Tracking) technology. All snapshots include a redo file that contains all changes that were made whilst the replication happened. When the system finishes a job, this redo file is merged into a live disk file – meaning that the next time you need to replicate a machine, you only have to copy the latest changes and not start over. Unfortunately, this also causes Veeam to have an RPO of hours, which can cause disruptions to your production environment.

Veeam Main Features

Supports Numerous Infrastructure Setups: Veeam Backup & Replication lets you choose from over a hundred storage infrastructure and cloud integration configurations, so no proprietary hardware will have the ability to lock in your data. As a result of this, Veeam has a good TCO that can help you save up to 50% in costs. You can also combine different storage options into one scalable repository.

Cloud-Native and Modular: Veeam is purpose-built for AWS, AWS KMS), Azure, Azure Key Vault, and Google Cloud. The program also has an API-driven architecture and uses native immutable snapshots so you can recover workloads no matter where you are.

Data Security and Recovery: Veeam can run automatic backup scans to constantly check for malware and has an intelligent verification tool capable of uncovering any unrevealed spyware. The platform also supports end-to-end immutability for all files and has built-in replication encryption to help you migrate data and recover apps and files across multiple clouds.

Veeam Technical Details

  • Supported types of deployment: Only on-premise.
  • Operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Mobile app support: Not supported.

Veeam Pros

  • Great granular storage: Veeam provides better granularity by allowing you to retain different restore points without the need to use folders. You can also move data around from remote workstations and laptops.
  • Dashboard: With Veeam’s centralized management console, you can back up and restore virtual machines and specific volumes and files. The system also provides excellent control for managing backup versions that are stored and includes built-in analytics for all environments.
  • Comprehensive service alerts: The system can alert you when there are issues with the backup or recovery of data.

Veeam Cons

  • Hours-long RPO: Veeam Backup & Replication uses snapshots to retrieve backups. This means that every time you need to recover your non-critical data, you might have to wait several hours – which can disrupt production environments.
  • No mobile apps: Veeam doesn’t provide a mobile app for either Apple iOS or Android. Additionally, open-source OS Linux is not supported.
  • Costly license: Although Veeam offers a limited free version, if you need to back up several VMs, you will have to pay a significant fee for the licensing. The free version also includes no phone, live chat, or email support (just forums).

Bacula Enterprise

Bacula Enterprise is a ‘heavy-lifter’ disaster recovery, backup, and restore solution for medium businesses and large enterprises. The system spans physical, virtual, container, cloud, and edge environments and can deal with the daunting demands of cloud providers and large data centers.

Bacula is the ideal solution when conditions require fast recovery and minimal downtime. However, unlike other backup and restore solutions, Bacula does not have data volume price traps.

How it Works: Bacula Enterprise offers several powerful backup features. For example, the platform allows you to make single-file restores, snapshots, advanced deduplication, and backup and recovery for virtual, physical, container, and hybrid cloud environments. Through various robust interfaces, Bacula can back up directory servers, NDMP devices, NAS/SAN storage, Exchange clusters, and directory servers.

Bacula Enterprise Main Features

Flexible Storage: Bacula Enterprise supports backups stored on the cloud, Edge, on disk, on tape, and through robotic media libraries. For the cloud, the solution integrates with AWS S3 natively (this option is available for Linux, Windows, and several other platforms). Bacula also works with disks and volumes to better distribute Storage Daemons and tape drives and tape, which can provide better portability and longer validity for the data.

Granular Disaster Recovery: Bacula allows users to quickly restore one or more files (no matter if they belong to the current backup or to a previous one) and restore relational database catalogs using bextract tool and stand-along BLS. You can also recover complete systems afresh.

Robust Security: Bacula has a unique set of state-of-the-art security features, including several file encryption systems and a powerful Tripwire-like capability. The platform can, for example, detect silent data corruption, one of the reasons why it has been chosen by many high-profile, high security military and government organizations.

Bacula Enterprise Technical Details

  • Supported types of deployment: Oly on-premise.
  • Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Solaris, Linux, Ubuntu, Red Hat, FreeBSD, AIX, Debian, CentOS, Suse, OpenSuse.
  • Mobile app support: Android.

Bacula Enterprise Pros

  • Easy backup and restore management: Bacula Enterprise allows you to perform point-in-time backups, manage backup routines, and quickly verify all services are up and running easily and fast.
  • Excellent support: Bacula’s senior support engineers are expertly qualified to solve all customer queries with personalized attention.
  • Especially broad technology integration: Bacula offers native integrations into an impressively wide range of data types, applications, OS’s, VMs, Containers and Clouds.
  • Bacula offers very high levels of security compared to other vendors.

Bacula Enterprise Cons

  • Frequent version upgrades: Because Bacula Enterprise is updated frequently to keep all functionality efficient and highly secure, you might encounter difficulties when getting a new version. However, their support team can help you resolve this quickly.
  • Advanced Interface: It takes some time to get used to Bacula’s complex interface. The tool offers several advanced features that might require training. On the other hand, you can use the program through your browser or via the command line.
  • Some paid integrations: If you want to use specific integrations for Bacula Enterprise, you will have to pay a fee.

Rubrik vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

Each of the three backup and data recovery solutions we have analyzed has its own benefits and downsides. So, in which case would you choose each of them?

Why Rubrik 

  • Instant recovery: Rubrik has an excellent instant recovery feature called Live Mount. This process allows users to fully restore a VM from a backup in just seconds. Legacy solutions can take hours to complete this job, but with Rubrik, you can choose the latest protection point or snapshot and execute a Live Mount. Within seconds, your application will be live again –  no matter if it is several Terabytes in size. You can also use Live Mount on SQL databases.
  • Customer support: Rubrik’s customers are extremely happy with the solution. The support team is available 24/7 across the globe and offers real-time support to its clients.

Summary: Rubrik is a robust solution with an intuitive interface and responsive customer support. However, the platform’s features are not as comprehensive as its competitors.

Why Veeam

  • Good security: Because Veeam’s native backups are immutable (they have both Amazon S3 Object Lock and Hardened Linux Repository), and because all patches are tested against production data that is always fresh, the platform offers good protection against malware.
  • Flexible pricing: The total cost of a Veeam implementation will depend on the number of workloads you need to protect. There are also different subscription periods (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years). This makes the model quite flexible and easy to calculate online.
  • Summary: Veeam is a good solution if you are not too bothered about RPO and you want an affordable platform for replication.

What people are saying about Rubrik and Veeam as alternatives?

There are a good number of opinions available regarding the comparison of Rubrik and Veeam! For example, this first post asks for any advantages of Veeam over Rubrik – aside from its cost.

One answer states:

Rubrik still feels half-baked in many ways, their only real selling point is immutable backups.

Other comments in the same thread specify that the topic starter’s security representative seems to be paying a lot of attention to security matters – and it seems that Veeam has had some issues with that over the years. The thread in question continues with other users stating that Veeam should be avoided for a few years until this is fixed – but one more user presents a counter-argument stating that Veeam has been around for over a decade now already.

One more comment appears to suggest combining Veeam’s free backup capabilities with third-party software for a makeshift cloud backup solution:

“If you’re using Windows you won’t find anything better than Veeam if you need whole image backups. I’ve tested it myself by backing up and restoring to different hardware, it works fine.

Veeam Backup and Replication has the community edition, which is free for 10 VMs. Veeam Agent is used for local backup only and is free for a single backup job. Community edition perfectly works with rclone https://rclone.org/ or Starwind VTL https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-virtual-tape-library. They push your backups to the cloud.”

Of course, this is not the only example of an Internet discussion revolving around this particular topic. Another thread within that same subreddit seems to be choosing between Veeam, Rubrik, and Cohesity – explaining their situation with Rubrik as their current backup and Veeam as the topic starter’s past backup, but the company this person works for seems to be against Veeam specifically.

The most liked response immediately calls out the bias in the company’s dislike towards Veeam specifically, stating that, while it can be pretty bad (especially when it comes to Veeam’s pricing), it is nowhere near the worst solution on this market. There is also another user stating a successful move towards Cohesity:

“We used to use Veeam, but it got too expensive and ended up switching to Cohesity. I really like it. It’s simple to use and backups just work. I haven’t had any issues with it in the 3 years we’ve had it, and restores are really fast and easy. That said, Veeam is still a really good product.”

Some users seem to be stating that Rubrik is somewhat superior to Veeam, such as:

What issues are you having? I’ve used Veeam and Rubrik extensively and currently a Rubrik customer. They don’t play in the same space. It’s like saying “Should I buy a 2500 sq foot single family home or a football stadium”, technically you can sleep in both.

You’ve already got one of the best backup products that exists, I’d look into why it isn’t doing what you think it should rather than dump it for something inferior.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Veeam, but if you’ve got Rubrik, you’ve likely outgrown the box Veeam targets.

Quite a lot of different users seem to be agreeing on the fact that moving from Rubrik to Veeam is going to be a downgrade, not an upgrade. There are multiple different analogies about Rubrik and Veeam being on completely different levels – “Disney vs Six Flags”, “Lexus vs Toyota”, etc.

Other potential solutions in this particular thread are:

  • Unitrends
  • Quorum
  • Synology (for edge cases or SMBs)

Of course, this is just two examples of opinions being exchanged on this particular topic, but these examples clearly illustrate that there are plenty of alternatives for practically any backup and recovery need, even for the most unusual use cases and situations. One obvious example would be Bacula Enterprise, which is an especially highly secure and scalable solution – used by small or medium sized businesses, through to some of the most demanding organizations in the world, such as NASA.

Why Bacula Enterprise

  • Modular architecture: Bacula Enterprise removes common security vulnerabilities present in most of its competitor’s solutions. In addition to using two-factor authentication, automated systems checks, and immutable and Append-only volumes, the solution uses a modular architecture that doesn’t need two-way communication. Bacula also features TOTP (or Time-based One Time Password), a robust antivirus solution, and encryptions for all communication. Bacula offers advanced Bare Metal Recovery. In fact, Bacula Enterprise has been chosen by some of the largest western governments and military organizations to protect their systems.
  • Very easy pricing model: One of the things that set Bacula Enterprise apart is the fact that it has no capacity-based pricing. Instead, you just need to choose a server and won’t have to worry about how many CPUs to include in your plan. The annual subscription gives you access to all upgrades, patches, and system updates. You can also choose from a number of subscription levels depending on the amount f agents or machines you want to back up, restore, and deploy (these include, for example, Small, Business Edition, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans, all o which give you access to all features and have no data volume charges).

Summary: Bacula Enterprise is the perfect option for companies that don’t want to be penalized for high data values when implementing a robust, reliable and scalable disaster recovery solution.

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

Rubrik consolidates different hardware and software components and is able to deliver solid ransomware recovery services, but it has no AWS integration. Veeam is easy to use, cloud-native, and offers modular storage options, although its RPO can be hours long. Bacula Enterprise has especially robust security, broad technology integration, and lightning-fast speed and performance, but its more advanced capabilities might require some training.

Bacula Enterprise is an excellent backup and recovery solution that can cover Linux, Windows and other IT environments. It is ideal if you need to store large amounts of data and be able to recover it quickly. The platform is reliable, very robust, highly secure, and supports an especially wide range of integration such as databases, containers, Virtual Machines, storage destinations and in-cloud requirements. It was also developed to be cost-effective, making it an excellent option for medium and large businesses alike.

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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.