Home > Glossary > Nakivo vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

Nakivo vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

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Updated 23rd February 2023, Rob Morrison

A basic backup process has always been relatively simple, consisting of only two parts – copying existing data and storing it somewhere else. That way you can recover the data copy when you need it. Combine this with a rotation scheme and a 3-2-1 rule (three different copies of data in two different locations with at least one copy off-site), and you arrive at a common approach to backup used by professionals for many years.

However, as the technological world continued to evolve and become more complex, so did the backup process. Now there is a lot more attention given to protecting a company’s sensitive data from cybercriminals and other parties with malicious intent, putting a lot of added pressure on organizations to keep their data safe. Additionally, it is not that uncommon for companies to experience downtime and data loss because of various environmental and weather effects, from flooding, to earthquakes, to power outages.

All of that results in potential downtime for companies, and downtime can be either inconvenient or even totally destructive for a business. Additionally, different businesses have different compliance regulations, turning downtime into further disaster for some companies.

Nakivo, Veeam, and Bacula Enterprise are three examples of data protection solutions that offer backup and recovery capabilities. Their capabilities enable some of the most straightforward ways to protect your data from a range of risks, both accidental and malicious. They also provide advanced, sophisticated approaches to bring specific and unique benefits. However, the backup market is big and determining a specific solution for your company can be unsuccessful without proper research. This article’s goal is to provide a detailed explanation of each of these three services, compare them and figure out specific benefits and shortcomings.

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NAKIVO Backup & Replication

As a data protection solution, NAKIVO is a relatively new player in this market, as the solution itself has only existed since 2012. It is an agentless backup software that focuses its efforts on VM backups, offering support for Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV, VMware, and AWS EC2. It has different pricing plans, where the price can be calculated per workload or per user (Microsoft 365), as well as a free trial to test the solution’s full range of features for 30 days.

It is an agentless solution with a variety of features that can be deployed on all three of the popular operating systems, or even directly on some of the more popular NAS devices – ASUSTOR, QNAP, Synology, WD NAS, etc. It uses Changed Block Tracking technology to make all its backups incremental, while also reducing file size via deduplication, reducing the amount of bandwidth consumed with compression. It also aids data security by applying encryption.

nakivo backup and replication landing page

NAKIVO Main Features

Affordability. NAKIVO has a relatively public and clear-cut pricing list on its website, which is a rarity for backup solutions that work with enterprises. There are five different pricing plans available – Pro, Pro Essentials, Enterprise, Enterprise Essentials, and Enterprise Plus. Both Pro and Pro Essentials are the “basic” version of the software, with the biggest difference being the fact that the Essentials version of the subscription has a limitation of 50 workloads (and a reduced price per workload). The same could be said about the Enterprise/Enterprise Essentials pair, even though both of these solutions have more features than their predecessors (backup to S3 and Wasabi, native Tape backup, etc.). Last is the “Enterprise Plus” plan, offering all the features that NAKIVO has..

Microsoft 365 Support. NAKIVO’s support of Microsoft 365 workloads allows it to create backups of very specific app data that is necessary for a lot of companies, including mailboxes, SharePoint data, OneDrive data, contact data, etc. What is even more interesting is that it is possible to buy NAKIVO for less than a dollar per user if your single goal is to cover that Microsoft 365 data.

Ease of installation. A combination of a user-friendly installation process and 24/7 customer support availability makes NAKIVO extremely easy to set up and use, even if the user in question may not be particularly well-versed in terminology and understanding of different features, since NAKIVO also has a vast variety of automatization included in its solution.

Backup and Recovery. NAKIVO supports Instant Recovery as a feature for MS Exchange, SQL Server, and AD objects, as well as VMs and files. Backups themselves can be copied either offsite or to one of many cloud providers available, and it is even possible to create a complete mirror of your VM or ESXi host to offer a quick way to recover a VM in case anything happens with the original. Backup verification is also a must for any and all NAKIVO-created backups to ensure data consistency and the absence of viruses, disk errors, etc.

NAKIVO Technical Details

  • NAKIVO Backup & Replication does not have a dedicated mobile application.
  • NAKIVO Backup & Replication works with Linux and Windows devices
  • NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be deployed to a large number of different locations, from physical servers and NAS installments to Amazon cloud.

NAKIVO Benefits

  • NAKIVO is one of the few data backup solutions on the market that offers two different payment models – per user and per workload, depending on what specific features are needed. Speaking of features, NAKIVO also has different pricing plans for different feature sets available, be it NAS backup, physical backup, M365 backup, data protection for VMs, and so on.
  • NAKIVO boasts a wide variety of different features for its backup purposes, including CBT, M365 support, Log Truncation, data compression, data deduplication, app-aware backups, backup replication, backup testing, and more.
  • NAKIVO is a generally versatile solution that works with a variety of different data types and locations, it can be installed on physical operating systems, it can be installed on existing NAS hardware, and it can even be deployed as a Linux appliance or straight-up in Amazon’s cloud.

NAKIVO Shortcomings

  • NAKIVO’s versatility in terms of pricing is also its weakness, since the pricing page alone is no small affair, and if you try to calculate how much it will cost you by combining prices from five different tables, it becomes even more confusing. NAKIVO seemingly acknowledges this problem by providing a payment calculator on its website near the “pricing” page.
  • The same logic applies to NAKIVO’s UI – while it is easy to set up and start using the solution, an abundance of different technical terms in the interface would make it hard for most users to set up specific rulesets or change specific settings without referring to customer support or additional research to know what these technical terms mean.
  • Some users were also reporting rather generic error messages and lacking a properly detailed error log, citing both could be doing a lot better when it comes to showcasing what went wrong for end users.

Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam Backup & Replication is a data protection solution from a company that has been on the market since 2006. The backup platform as a whole has been growing at a rapid pace ever since, offering plenty of different data-related solutions with a significant focus on VMs. Speed and reliability are some of the more significant advantages of the entire Veeam platform. The existence of a free plan allows almost any user to try out the solution before committing to a purchase decision.

The main feature of Veeam is the creation of VM replicas via a combination of the snapshot technology and a CBT (Changed Block Tracking) technology. That way, both the snapshot and the redo file are created at the same time and then merged – creating a live disk file that eliminates the need to create a full VM backup from scratch for every subsequent backup job. However, this kind of approach could be a detriment to active production environments and have rather large Recovery Point Objectives of hours and hours, so it is important to keep these potential issues in mind.

Veeam front page

Veeam Main Features

Security. Veeam Backup & Replication can keep its clients’ data free from spyware and malicious programs by performing automatic backup scans. It also provides automated verification and end-to-end immutability for said data.

Infrastructure. A client of Veeam has a choice between dozens of different storage infrastructure providers to make sure that no data can be locked to the proprietary hardware of a specific storage provider company – while also allowing for various combinations of storage providers for more effortless scalability.

Modularity. Veeam’s core structure is API-driven and built specifically to work with the biggest companies in the cloud storage market, be it AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud. Native snapshots and vast security options are provided for every user to ensure the ability to restore workloads from any possible location whenever necessary.

Recovery. Veeam’s software-defined infrastructure-agnostic platform allows for clients’ data to be recovered in a portable data format across different cloud storage providers, while also offering replication encryption for data migration purposes and generally fast recovery times.

Veeam Technical Details

  • Veeam Backup & Replication does not have a dedicated mobile app
  • Veeam Backup & Replication works for Linux, Mac, and Windows devices
  • Veeam Backup & Replication can be deployed on either a virtual or physical device that meets the requirements.

Veeam Benefits

  • Customizable service alerts are great for notifying clients about various events before, during, or after the backup process – be it about the backup (or recovery) process as a whole, or about potential issues with said process.
  • High level of granularity with restore processes, with the ability to create multiple restore points for convenience purposes. Data transmission from remote workstations and portable devices such as laptops is also possible.
  • A centralized dashboard with a plethora of capabilities and features – backup operations, granular restore capabilities, detailed built-in analytics, etc.

Veeam Shortcomings

  • Security. Veeam has limited capabilities for running on Linux, which infers security questions.
  • As a counterbalance to the existence of a free version, the overall pricing of Veeam is rather high, even by the overall industry standards. At the same time, Veeam’s free version does not have any kind of customer support whatsoever (be it phone, email, or live chat), and it is also limited in how many VMs it can create backups of at once.
  • Veeam Backup & Replication does not have any kind of mobile app, be it for iOS or Android. Additionally, its Linux support is also rather limited, with some of the popular open-source versions of Linux lacking any support in the first place, so it is important to double-check supported Linux distributions before committing to a purchase decision with Veeam.
  • While general recovery times with Veeam are relatively short, its reliance on snapshot technology may create situations with RPOs of several hours, which may be a significant issue for businesses that are sensitive to longer RPO and RTO times.

Bacula Enterprise

Bacula Enterprise is a highly secure and versatile backup and recovery solution that primarily targets medium-sized companies and large enterprises. This solution can cover physical environments, virtual environments, container environments, cloud and edge deployments, etc. It can cover the extremely varied and complicated IT environments that data centers and cloud providers themselves often have. Minimal downtime and fast recovery are some of the biggest selling points of Bacula Enterprise as a backup solution, and it also has the massive benefit of not having a pricing policy that is dependent on how much data is backed up or restored.

Bacula Enterprise is capable of creating backups of NAS/SAN storage devices, as well as NDMP devices, directory servers, and Exchange clusters. It supports advanced deduplication, granular recovery, and a multitude of backup approaches for all kinds of environment types. But perhaps most importantly, it has a highly secure, modular architecture that sets industry standards for safety and robustness.

bacula enterprise landing page

Bacula Enterprise Main Features

Recovery. A very specific tool named bextract is used in combination with stand-along BLS to allow for quick recovery on a varied scale, ranging from specific files and relational database catalogs to entire systems from scratch.

Security. Bacula Enterprise’s security capabilities are significant enough for a number of government-level organizations to use it as a backup platform. It has multiple and highly customizable file encryption capabilities, runs on Linux, has strong anti-virus and many other scanning tools, has special data corruption  detection abilities, is FIPS 140-2 compliant, has Multi-Factor Authentication, has advanced immutability tools and offers a wide range of methods to highly secure air gapping techniques. It also hosts a vast choice of other special security features, such that it is trusted by the West’s largest military organization.

Flexibility. Bacula Enterprise has native integration with AWS S3 for cloud backup purposes, and it is also capable of supporting a variety of different backup target locations – including disk, tape, cloud, and even robotic media libraries, covering a number of different backup purposes at once. Storage types such as disks are more suitable for short-term backup operations, with the ability to create multiple “volumes” to distribute storage daemons to (for the sake of distributing the overall load of writing files in one place). At the same time, support for tape backups allows Bacula Enterprise to also cover long-term protected storage that is rarely used outside of emergencies and other unusual situations when other, more convenient options are not available.

Bacula Enterprise Technical Details

  • Bacula Enterprise can only be deployed on-premise.
  • Bacula Enterprise has a dedicated mobile app for Android devices.
  • Bacula Enterprise backs up practically all kinds of data and applications. However, in terms of which operating systems its core engine runs on, that is Linux. This is one reason why Bacula is especially secure. It is also notable that Bacula supports over 34 different operating systems.

Bacula Enterprise Benefits

  • Bacula Enterprise’s modular system allows it to support and integrate with a massive number of technologies and systems – including different applications, operating systems, cloud storages, data types, virtual machines, tape drives, and so on.
  • A generally high level of security is considered a standard for all Bacula Enterprise installments, with features such as encryption, data corruption detection, tripwire-like capability for internal systems, FIPS 140-2 compliance, and so on.
  • Aside from backup and recovery operations themselves, Bacula Enterprise can also offer manageable backup routines, point-in-time backup support, service verification before the backup starts, and other management-related features.
  • High quality and especially responsive customer support is another significant benefit of Bacula Enterprise, with a large team of qualified, senior experts that are ready to help each and every customer at a moment’s notice.

Bacula Enterprise Shortcomings

  • Some very specific modules and integrations of Bacula Enterprise as a platform have a separate price tag.
  • Bacula will not operate in a pure Windows environment. Although it backs up Windows data and applications easily, at least one Linux server is needed to run Bacula’s core software. While this is a plus in terms of security, it may rule out some Windows-only System Administrators.
  • Bacula Enterprise’s impressive versatility means it possibly has a more complex interface than some other solutions, and that may be somewhat difficult for users with little experience of backup systems, or who have no knowledge of Linux. While the platform does have two main forms of controlling interface in the form of a command line and a web-based GUI, a small learning curve is at least required for new users, especially the less (IT) experienced.

Nakivo vs Veeam vs Bacula Enterprise

Now that we have explained the benefits and shortcomings of each one of these backup solutions, it is time to answer one of the most important questions – what are the selling points of every solution mentioned above?

Why Nakivo?

NAKIVO is a competent data protection solution that focuses on VM backups, offering a number of different backup and recovery features – backup verification, backup mirroring, snapshots, CBT, data compression, data deduplication, and more. NAKIVO’s backups are also app-aware, and it is even possible to truncate log files after performing Microsoft SQL or Microsoft Exchange VM backups with a feature called Log Truncation.

NAKIVO’s overall pricing is also a big selling point, offering one of the lowest entry points on the market for this level of backup and recovery solutions. Most of it is licensed per workload and upfront once a year, but there is an option to purchase a subscription per user when it comes to Microsoft 365 data specifically.

Generally speaking, NAKIVO is a good choice for smaller companies or for companies that cannot afford the price of a more comprehensive enterprise backup solution. When it comes to calculating how many features are offered for what price, NAKIVO is one of the best offerings on the market, even if it does have functional limitations for high-end users.

Why Veeam?

Veeam’s data protection features are effective, using a combination of Amazon S3 Object Lock and Hardened Linux Repository to create immutable native backups that are also capable of testing security patches and verifying backups with a combination of antivirus and malware solutions.

Veeam is also extremely functional when it comes to reporting, coupled with a wide range of customized alerts, from backups being completed to various errors and mistakes monitored during backup or recovery.

All in all, Veeam is a great backup solution that is relatively affordable in certain situations. It has a respectable number of different backup and recovery features, although it can suffer from potentially long RPOs. This might be detrimental for some companies, but that may not necessarily be an issue for users in industries that do not lose money for every second their business is offline.

Why Bacula Enterprise?

Bacula Enterprise’s modular nature is already a large advantage both in its technical flexibility and pricing of the entire solution. Bacula makes it easier to implement scripts, or to mix-and-match command line interface with its web-based user interface, depending on what is more preferable for the customer.

Regarding security, the fact that a number of military/government-related companies use Bacula Enterprise for data security purposes is testimony to Bacula’s extensive security capabilities. MFA, Time-based One Time Password (TOTP), immutable volume protection, data encryption and automated system checks are only a few examples of how Bacula makes your data enough to be trusted by even the most demanding Western military organizations.

A simple and low cost pricing model is one of the clear advantages of Bacula Enterprise. While there are several different subscription “levels”, the only significant difference between them is how many clients the system is backing up. Additional paid features are also few and far between, making it a lot easier to calculate and forecast the current and future total price of a solution for your company or business.

Bacula Enterprise offers additional advantages for larger companies that operate with massive volumes of data and do not want to be penalized monetarily by further growth, nor compromised in their data security efforts. Bacula is especially scalable, reliable, and versatile enough to cover a wealth of different user needs and company types.

Which is better: Nakivo, Veeam, or Bacula Enterprise?

NAKIVO is a good starting point for a lot of companies, and it does offer some of the lowest entry prices on the market, but it is also not particularly easy to use to its full potential – and it also has a number of issues with different parts of its solution, such as alerts and error messages that are not always descriptive enough to be helpful. Veeam is perhaps able to offer more features, but it is also not without its issues – it is not particularly cheap, is Windows-oriented, and is somewhat limited in what types of Virtual Machines it is compatible with. Bacula Enterprise on the other hand, is an extremely versatile, highly secure solution with a broad range of features and integrations. However, it can be harder to master, even with its two choices of user interfaces (command line and web-based GUI).

As it stands, Bacula Enterprise tends to be a strong fit for organizations that are  medium-sized or larger, and this solution becomes even more effective if you are dealing with many different data types and files, high data volume, or many storage destinations at once. Bacula is especially used in HPC and super-computer environments, or in truly mission-critical use cases. Bacula can act as a single pane of glass for all of your backup and recovery operations, greatly simplifying the entire process without the need to try and look for ways to patch together or integrate different backup solutions into one another. It can also significantly reduce costs, freeing up budgets for an IT department to use in other ways.

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.