Disaster Recovery Software Forum

Dan Gospe
Chief Operating Officer, and HIPAA Privacy Officer at a tech services company
The pricing of Datto is much higher than that of ShadowProtect, and it seems that you can set up exactly the same system there.  Is there any fundamental difference between the two?
Adam MeddersFunctionally, Datto and Storagecraft are the same. Historically, Datto has used Storagecraft as its backup engine and likely still does. They have recently been developing their own backup agent, but I don't know if they've rolled that out into production. Datto generally builds BDR devices which double as Hypervisors that can boot your backups direct to Virtualbox VMs. With Storagecraft, you can go cheap until you need that BDR device and roll it out as needed, which I prefer for smaller clients. You can also build your own BDR, which I also prefer. Support is where you will see the difference. Datto has pretty good support and it's 24/7. Storagecraft support is business hours only, which you can see the issue when nearly every step in their troubleshooting process requires a reboot. I have had to get daytime maintenance windows for reboots just so their support can fix the issue, which is never easy. They do have a 24/7 emergency support, but it's not great. Historically, Datto has also required you replicate to their cloud, which is again why they are so expensive. With Storagecraft, you can back up to a NAS, we like Synology NAS, and then use Storagecraft's product Imagemanager to replicate to another NAS offsite, so you have a very inexpensive offsite backup. Another difference is the user interface. Datto has an easy to navigate and pretty-on-the-eyes interface where Storagecraft is very clunky, not super user friendly, and can be confusing until you get used to it. That said, I think the support tradeoff is well worth the price difference. We love Storagecraft and the ability to manage every step of the way with recovery while keeping costs low. You just have to get good at supporting it yourself.
Clifford LewDatto and ShadowProtect are indeed similar in that they both use a form of image-based backup onsite with replication to the cloud. First, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. SP offers different Retention Tiers and Service Levels with their Cloud Service, whereas Datto typically offers just two different retention options, but always includes a free instant recovery in the cloud. Datto also bundles in the appliance cost with the subscription, with the option to upgrade the appliance. Make sure your SP quote includes your onsite hardware cost. If you’re sure you’re comparing apples with apples, then you have dig deeper. Compare how they handle encryption onsite, in transit, and as stored in their respective clouds. Compare how they handle de-duplication and compression of your data too, as this affects your hardware costs, bandwidth usage, and capacity subscription. Finally, compare how each vendor manages the specific needs of your DR environment in case you need instant recovery in the cloud. If you’re just failing over a couple internal facing servers, no big deal. But, what if you’re failing over external facing servers, who need public IP addresses, and are in a three-tier architecture so need a virtual private cloud environment. Both vendors are able to do this, but compare how fast and how easy it is to do in your particular city.
Dan GospeThank you everyone. Adam, thank you for confirming what I had suspected, that they use the same engine. I love the Datto interface, and when demoing it I was really very impressed. ShadowProtect is clunky at best, especially when using Imagemanager. I still like Acronis Backup Cloud quite a bit. It's really cheap, they charge for cloud usage but you get the onsite virtualizable backup basically for free (at least, on the MSP model). So if you have a client with 3 GB on the cloud, then that costs $0.24/month and you're able to virtualize your locals. The web interface is pretty slow, though, and will drop out but it's hard to beat that price. If only Datto was a little more competitive with Acronis, I would definitely jump on. It's a great service to be sure, and our Autotask/Datto reps are second to none.

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