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Unitrends vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

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Updated 28th July 2023, Rob Morrison

The ongoing process of digitalization for many aspects of our lives has been around for about two decades now, and it has changed many different aspects of people’s day-to-day lives. This transition has also affected all kinds of businesses around the world and changed user perspectives in regards to their own data.

Information was always an important topic for plenty of industries, but the ongoing digitalization started producing more and more data of wide variety, underlining the fact that information is now one of the most important resources a company may have. Data is inevitably used in all business projects; the bread and butter of everything that a company works with in some way, shape, or form.

Since information is so critical to business, the task of protecting said information becomes that much bigger than ever before. This is how the first examples of data protection solutions became prevalent – comprehensive software platforms offering multiple ways to secure and safeguard a company’s internal data without interrupting its natural flow of operations.

The range of features that a data protection solution may offer tends to differ quite a lot, but there are some features that are essential for any comprehensive data protection solution. Data backup and recovery is one such feature, a process that lies at the core of most comprehensive security systems today.

Backup itself may seem like something that would not be particularly effective in a modern-day environment – a process of creating a copy of the company’s existing data and transferring that copy to a location that is different from the original’s location. Of course, a modern-day backup process is far more complex than that – using multiple methods of keeping data up-to-date without creating multiple copies of the same information and utilizing plenty of different backup storage locations, from remote physical locations to cloud storage providers.

There are plenty of different events that can result in some form of data loss, including human error, natural disasters, cybercriminal actions, accidents and so on. The problem of over-privileged data access has been around for some years now, and the fact that ransomware and other malware types are evolving and becoming more complex on a regular basis is also a massive issue. This means that data protection solutions also have to do their part to constantly evolve and improve themselves.

Luckily, there are plenty of data protection software to choose from and the overall market for data backup systems is evolving incredibly vast as well as being highly competitive. In the grand scale of things, this is a positive situation for any potential customer. However, figuring out what specific solution to use for your company is a process that many people describe as long and arduous, since there are dozens of different solutions with seemingly similar feature sets, and every solution has to be analyzed thoroughly in order to discern every possible detail and nuance about it.

Of course, this challenge is well-known in the industry, and accordingly there have been attempts to try and solve it, or at least mitigate it to a certain degree. Our way to help customers with that problem is to try and take a small selection of data protection solutions and compare them to one another, noting their benefits, shortcomings, and best potential use cases. In this particular example, our comparison revolves around the topic of Unitrends vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise.

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

Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam has been in this particular market since 2006, and managed to earn itself a great reputation as one of the most well-known backup solutions. Veeam Backup & Replication is a comprehensive backup platform that has been growing nonstop ever since it was first released. Now it is a versatile backup solution with a significant focus on data-related tasks for VMs, it is fast, reliable, and even has a free version for any potential customer to try out for themselves free of charge.

Veeam’s main driving point is its ability to combine the changing block tracking technology (CBT) with a snapshot technology in order to create fast replicas of virtual machines. This particular approach allows Veeam to create a live disk file – a result of merging the snapshot and the redo file, both of which are created at the same time. That way, there is no need for Veeam to perform a full VM backup every single time there is a new backup job, saving a lot of time for the client. This kind of approach is not perfect, it has its own issues, the biggest one being a large Recovery Point Objective time, which is why it is necessary to be aware of it beforehand.

Veeam Main Features

When it comes to storing VM backups, Veeam can offer its customers a choice between multiple storage infrastructure providers. The main goal of this particular approach is to eliminate the chances of a company’s data being locked to a specific company or a specific hardware type. At the same time, combining multiple storage providers is a great option for better scalability in different situations.

Veeam’s platform is both infrastructure-agnostic and software-defined, creating a lot of different options for customers when it comes to creating and recovering backups across dozens of cloud storage providers. Additionally, Veeam can provide data encryption, data replication, fast Recovery Time Objectives (RTO), and easy data migration.

Veeam’s entire API-driven structure is created to provide the best compatibility with different cloud storage providers, including Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure. Veeam’s security options include automatic backup scans on a regular basis, making sure that all of the client’s data is safe from malware and viruses. Other security-related features provided by Veeam are end-to-end immutability and automated backup integrity verification.

Veeam front page

Veeam Technical Details

  • Veeam Backup & Replication supports Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems
  • Veeam Backup & Replication has no dedicated mobile application
  • Veeam Backup & Replication supports both physical and virtual deployment types

Veeam Benefits

  • Centralized dashboard with the ability to see most of the processes related to data management in a single location, also gives access to detailed built-in analytics, different backup types, granular restore feature, and so on.
  • The aforementioned granular restore process is one of the biggest advantages of Veeam, with the ability to generate multiple restoration points for convenience’s sake, a high level of restore process granularity as a whole, as well as the ability to perform data transmission remotely from portable devices or workstations.
  • A variety of service alerts may also be useful to end users, with the ability to notify the user about all kinds of events during, before, or after the backup process. The event in question may be related to the backup process in question or not related to it at all.

Veeam Shortcomings

  • While it is true that there is a limited free version of Veeam’s backup solution, all of its pricing in regards to premium software versions is widely considered to be significantly above the market average – and the free version itself has plenty of limitations to it, from the number of VM backups that can be created at once to the complete lack of customer support
  • The number of different Linux distributions and versions that Veeam supports is rather limited, and does not include a few of the most popular options already, which is why it is always recommended to double-check this particular topic before purchasing the software.
  • Veeam’s approach to VM backups creates a very unusual situation where the solution offers low RTOs but high RPOs – this is a massive issue for a specific range of companies that rely a lot on frequent backups and low recovery times at once
  • Limited coverage of different types of Hypervisors
  • Possibly not as secure as some other vendor solutions, especially versions running on Windows.


Unitrend as a company was founded a long time ago – in the year 1989. It has been developing backup and “crash-recovery” technologies ever since, with their first product being called CTAR (Compressing Tape Archiver), that was originally created specifically for medical missions, and then repurposed to be sold commercially. The first example of a backup software from Unitrends was a stand-alone Unix-based solution that offered bare metal recovery for a very specific set of platforms.

Ever since then, Unitrends released new and better backup products to its customers, and 2002 was the year when the company sold its first hardware-based backup appliance. Twenty years later, Unitrends offers both hardware-based backup appliances, as well as backup software, software for Disaster Recovery as a Service, and even a dedicated cloud storage. It is fast, secure, has plenty of features, and can be installed either as a hardware appliance or as a software solution (for virtual machines).

Unitrends Main Features

Both the software and the hardware variants of Unitrends can be deployed in a relatively short time frame, they are easy to use, a lot of their features are practically automated, and the customer support is always there to answer any questions that may arise in the process.

Not only Unitrends offers a hardware solution for different backup needs and a software for disaster recovery and virtual machines, but there is also support for different applications, and it can even backup endpoints. This kind of versatility is always welcome for medium-sized and large businesses that already deal with plenty of storage variations to begin with.

UniView is a centralized management solution from Unitrends that was created in order to have a simple yet effective management platform for SaaS backups, cloud backups, and hardware backups. It already supports 2FA and is exceptional at managing different backup types, and more features are firmly in the “coming soon” category, as well, such as SSO support and unified alerting capability.

unitrends landing page

Unitrends Technical Details

  • Unitrends supports Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems for some of its basic operations, but compatibility of more complex features has to be checked manually on a case-to-case basis
  • Unitrends does not have a dedicated mobile app
  • Depending on the nature of the product that the client is purchasing from Unitrends, it can be deployed on-premise (physical hardware, endpoint backup), or deployed in cloud (VM, DR, applications, etc.)

Unitrends Benefits

  • Extensive control over how backups themselves are performed, including backup types, backup storage locations, backup time frame, and more
  • Most of the operations within the software are easy to set up and use, with a generally low entry barrier for newcomers
  • A hardware solution from Unitrends also offers a dedicated file explorer with a variety of features of its own
  • UniView dashboard is an incredibly versatile and helpful way of controlling everything Unitrends-related within the single company’s reach

Veeam Shortcomings

  • While it is true that there is a limited free version of Veeam’s backup solution, all of its pricing in regards to premium software versions is widely considered to be significantly above the market average – and the free version itself has plenty of limitations to it, from the number of VM backups that can be created at once to the complete lack of customer support
  • The number of different Linux distributions and versions that Veeam supports is rather limited, and does not include a few of the most popular options already, which is why it is always recommended to double-check this particular topic before purchasing the software.
  • Veeam’s approach to VM backups creates a very unusual situation where the solution offers low RTOs but high RPOs – this is a massive issue for a specific range of companies that rely a lot on frequent backups and low recovery times at once
  • Limited coverage of different types of Hypervisors
  • Possibly not as secure as some other vendor solutions, especially versions running on Windows.

Bacula Enterprise

Bacula Systems is an increasingly well-known backup and recovery software provider. Its product, Bacula Enterprise, may be one of the most flexible and feature-rich enterprise-level backup solutions available. Bacula’s capabilities include virtual environments, physical environments, cloud deployments, container environments, and offers especially high levels of security compared to other vendors – with it being relied on by the largest military organizations in the West. It is even used in incredibly complex infrastructures, such as that of cloud providers, HPC Centers and National Laboratories.

Bacula Enterprise manages to combine its high backup/restore speed and minimal downtime with a wealth of capabilities and features – granular recovery, advanced deduplication, NDMP device coverage, backups to NAS, and an extraordinary range of different hypervisors and databases. Bacula’s pricing policy does not include any form of data caps, and the solution itself is remarkably stable and highly modular as a whole. Bacula Enterprise’s wealth of features and capabilities serves as an industry standard for its competitors in terms of both speed and feature set.

Bacula Enterprise Main Features

Bacula Enterprise is used as the main backup solution in many different government-level organizations, which is testimony to how seriously it approaches the topic of data security. Bacula’s security-related feature set includes a variety of scanning tools (including anti-virus scanning), a variety of file encryption capabilities, support for multi factor authentication (MFA), data immutability features, air gapping, and even FIPS 140-2 compliance.

Bacula Enterprise supports many different backup target locations, including cloud, tape, disk, robotic media libraries, and more. It offers a native AWS S3 integration for cloud backup, and disk backups can be split into multiple “volumes” in order to distribute the overall writing load. There is also the fact that Bacula supports long-term storage in the form of tape libraries – it may not be as popular as short-term storage, but it always has to be there to act as a safeguard in case something goes wrong and all primary backup options are corrupted beyond repair.

Bacula’s recovery capabilities combine stand-along BLS and a dedicated tool called bextract in order to quickly restore data no matter the scale, from specific files to entire systems from scratch.

bacula enterprise landing page

Additional Bacula Enterprise Technical Details

  • Bacula Enterprise supports over 34 different operating systems, including multiple Linux distributions
  • Bacula Enterprise has a dedicated Android application that has a lot of useful backup-related features
  • Bacula Enterprise as a backup platform can be deployed on-premise or in the Cloud

Bacula Enterprise Benefits

  • Bacula Enterprise offers a surprising combination of speed and versatility, with the ability to generate multiple backups at the same time with little to no loss of performance – and all of the newly generated data is constantly monitored and checked for errors or malware
  • Bacula Enterprise has a staggering number of different integrations with various systems, platforms, and storage formats, including containers (Kubernetes, Docker, Tanzu, Openshift), databases (Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Hadoop and many more), VMs (Hyper-V, VMware, KVM, Xen, Proxmox, Nutanix, OpenStack), and more.
  • Customer support is another strong point for Bacula Enterprise, offering a highly personalized approach to every client with 24/7 availability – something that is surprisingly uncommon in an industry this hyperfocused on working with businesses and enterprises

Bacula Enterprise Shortcomings

  • Bacula relies quite a lot on its modular system in order to extend its functionality, but not all of the modules are readily available from the get-go, and some of the more specialized modules have their own price tag that is separate from the solution’s price
  • An unfortunate consequence of Bacula offering this many features and integrations is the fact that it may be somewhat difficult to start using for customers that are not particularly familiar with this type of software
  • Bacula’s update cycle is relatively short, shorter than most of the solutions on the market, offering a more frequent access to new features and faster fixes for security gaps, but this also comes with the downside of having to perform update installations on a regular basis, which can be somewhat inconvenient for some customers

Unitrends vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

Unitrends, Veeam and Bacula Enterprise are three backup solutions with their own unique sets of benefits and shortcomings, weaknesses and advantages. Deciding a single best solution on this list is not the correct way to approach this comparison – showcasing every solution’s special features and unique factors is a much better approach in general.

Why Unitrends?

Unitrends is a convenient solution provider with both hardware and software options to choose from depending on whether a client needs a regular storage backup, a VM backup, a DRaaS, or an application backup. The ability to work with different storage types, mix and match different backup types, and control all of them from a single location is what makes Unitrends so attractive to potential customers. A lot of what Unitrends offers is easy to use and requires little to no initial setup – although, there are some features that are not explained or integrated as well as the rest of them, such as the granular file restore option.

Why Veeam?

Veeam as a solution may be mostly focused on working with just a couple of different VM-types, but its feature set in this field is truly impressive, offering backup immutability by combining Hardened Linux Repository capabilities with Amazon S3 Object Lock. New and existing backups are regularly scanned and checked for all kinds of malware, and a customizable reporting system helps against any unusual or unexpected malicious attacks, although overall security is perhaps not Veeam’s biggest advantage. The biggest problem of Veeam as a whole is perhaps the limited integration possibilities, and potentially long RPOs, although that is only a serious problem for a specific category of backup software clients that rely on data availability at all times.

Why Bacula Enterprise?

Bacula Enterprise remains something of an enigma in the world of backup software, offering a comprehensive solution that is both fast and versatile with the ability to integrate into a myriad of different systems and storage types. Bacula can also offer MFA support, one-time passwords, data immutability, automatic system checks, easy scripting and huge scalability. There is a surprisingly small list of possible disadvantages and the entire pricing model of the solution is not based on the amount of data backed up or recovered whatsoever. This means that overall, significant security gains and reduced costs can typically be easily achieved.

Which one is better: Unitrends, Veeam, or Bacula Enterprise?

Unitrends is a notable provider that can offer both hardware and software backup products for its customers, and most of its features are easy to work with, user-friendly and easy to set up. At the same time, it has its share of problems with instructions being located outside of the solution itself, some features being needlessly convoluted in terms of their usage, and the problem of false alarms.

Veeam is a fast solution with a significant focus on VM’s. It can offer a varying level of granularity during the restoration process, as well as a dedicated customizable alert service and a convenient centralized dashboard. It is however, rather limited in what it can do with Linux distributives (including what distributions are supported in the first place), relatively expensive, and has an issue with long RPOs.

Bacula Enterprise is a great option for medium-sized companies or large enterprises, and the effectiveness of the solution gets even higher if the company in question works with many different storage types, complex environments, or high volumes of data. Overall, if high security is a key concern for an organization, then Bacula probably has to be number one on its list. In addition, Bacula’s versatility allows it to be efficient in many different use cases, including supercomputer environments and super-mission-critical use cases. It can create a single centralized overview of all current backup-related activities, making it far easier to manage the entire data security system in the first place. Its in-cloud capabilities are numerous and expanding quickly. The fact that its pricing is not based on data volume is also a massive advantage to enterprise-level users. These users will need at least a superficial knowledge of Linux, however.

The overarching conclusion here is that every solution has its own clientele and its own use cases. As such, it is always a good first step to analyze your own company’s goals and needs in terms of a backup solution before deciding what backup software to go for. Once the company is aware of the feature set it needs from a data protection solution, it becomes that much easier to start identifying what software to work with. Using curated, detailed lists of backup solutions like this is hopefully how the process itself can be made that much less stressful.

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.