Unitrends: Backup And Disaster Recovery (BDR) Solution Product Review

There are a lot of services an MSP can sell its customers, but almost every MSP includes BDR services as one of its core offerings. For this month’s product review, Business Solutions once again turned to MSP Remote Technology Management (RTM). CEO Eric Brown and Technical Manager Kevin Danis tested seven BDR solutions in their Massachusetts test lab over a two-week period, investing more than 40 hours. True to RTM’s conclusion when it tested RMM (remote monitoring and management) products for our January issue, Brown says, “There is no single solution that meets every MSP’s needs perfectly.” To that end, we share highlights of RTM’s tests of the following vendors: Asigra, Axcient, CharTec, Datto, KineticD, StorageCraft, and Unitrends. The MSP met with key product experts from each of the above vendor companies and went through the onboarding process with each one.

Unitrends Logo BDR

Part 1 – Interview with Unitrends

Do you offer cloud storage?
Yes, Unitrends provides public and private cloud service offerings. Our public offering is called Vault2Cloud. Vault2Cloud integrates a client’s on-premise (physical or virtual) Unitrends appliance with our multi-tenancy cloud-based architecture or with the partner’s own private cloud.  Vault2Cloud addresses the cloud computing concerns that have prevented many businesses from taking advantage of cloud-based backup: security, performance of local backup and recovery, and initial data synchronization.

If yes, what is the monthly cost to your partner for file storage?
Unitrends Vault2Cloud offering is 25 cents per GB

Do you offer virtual machine (VM) storage in the cloud?
Unitrends does not currently offer the capability to spin up virtual machines in the cloud however this offering is planned for the near future. 

If yes, what is the monthly cost for VM storage?
Not currently available today.

How is your product priced? (e.g. per agent, per device)
Product price for Unitrends appliance is a flat fee – there are no additional fees per agent, per O/S, per device.  We call it no limits licensing.  With Unitrends Enterprise Backup (UEB), our software-only version of our recovery series, we can do capacity or resource license based on environmental needs.  For example, per license resource means we offer the price at per socket, server, application, desktop or laptop. While capacity based licensing is priced per protected TB, but with the added advantage of unlimited virtual and physical clients, operating system support and applications. The Cloud service is priced at $.25/GB.

Are there any other services available with your backup and disaster recovery solution that VARs/MSPs can purchase? If so, please list.        
Unitrends offers installation services for our product offerings and these are available today.  This service provides a "white glove" approach to configuring and setting up the backup and disaster recovery offering.

Do you offer mobile device backup services?
Direct backup of mobile devices are not available at this time, however if the user replicates the data to a host, we can protect the data directly from the host.

If yes, which mobile operating systems can you back up (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows 8, Mac OS)?
Unitrends does not support the mobile operating systems however we do support Windows 8 as well as MAC support in addition to over 100 different operating systems, applications, storage, and devices.

What type of direct VM Export do you support?
Unitrends offers services to V2V, P2V, V2P allowing for VM Export from replicated or local data to any of these deployment models.

Can your product be purchased as a HaaS (hardware as a service) offering?
Unitrends does not offer this service directly, but through our extensive partner network, our channel can enable HaaS leveraging Unitrends as the backup and data recovery platform.

Can your product be purchased as a SaaS (Software as a Service) offering?
Unitrends does not offer this service directly, but through our extensive partner network, our channel can enable SaaS leveraging Unitrends as the backup and data recovery platform.

What type of local backup does your solution offer: image-based or file-based?
Unitrends supports both image-based and file-based backup offerings.

Is there anything else about your backup/restore technology and/or channel program that differentiates your product from your competitors that can be listed succinctly here?
All IT environments are dynamic, with Unitrends customers can deploy physical, virtual or a combination allowing them a very robust, yet cost-effective tool to address current data and recovery needs as well as allowing them nimbly to address data growth requirements over time.  Unitrends offers No Limits Licensing, a very straightforward all-in pricing structure that customers find extremely valuable.  We offer an enterprise-class, robust feature set yet make it available at a very competitive and affordable rate for the mid-market. In addition to being able to try an evaluation unit, Unitrends offers a successful Freemium model for UEB. We also offer best in class support with a 98% customer satisfaction rate, offering customers self-service support as well as US-based support staff where calls are picked up within 3 rings by a live agent.

I had my final follow up with the tester, and we just had one final question we need your help with. Since Unitrends doesn’t support virtualization in the cloud, could you please provide Eric and me with your data restoration options? For instance, if the local appliance fails, does the MSP contact its Unitrends rep and you ship them a copy of their data on a hard drive? Also, what is the normal turnaround time for this process?
Unitrends provides a Vault2Cloud offering as well as private cloud support where data can be replicated, protected and recovered from in the event of an unplanned loss of data.  If a local appliance is lost and the data is replicated to Unitrends Valut2Cloud (or private cloud) then the data can be recovered from the DR site.  The recovery time window would depend on the size of data.  Unitrends support will replace the failed hardware on a local appliance. Turnaround time on the replacement would depend on the Support level contract in place.  Our Platinum support would provide the customer with replacement hardware within the next business day.

Part 2 – Interview with Remote Technology Management (RTM)

After reviewing this product, describe your overall assessment.
Unitrends provides partners with the ability to set backup intervals in 1-minute increments, meaning you could have a 6-minute interval or 17-minute interval. This is nice if you have a specific requirement from the customer. Most of the other vendors have a list of backup intervals that they support, such as 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 1 hour. You can also do an instant recovery if you have their appliance. It is not possible if you are running the backup software within your Hyper-V or VMware environment.

Read the Testing Methodology

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