How does Datto compare to ShadowProtect?


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?

ITCS user
77 Answers

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Real User

Functionally, 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.

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Datto 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.

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Top 20LeaderboardReal User

Thank 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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Disaster recovery is a very large subject It can not be covered on one email. Organizations must follow best practices and the plan must be tested at list twice a year.

DR is always custom.

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Datto and ShadowProtect are more DIY solutions for heterogeneous / hosted environments. Scalable enterprise BaaS/RaaS, and DRaaS usually takes the form of data center and MSP centric solutions – which is our line of business. Accordingly, I don’t really get involved deeper into these techs and don’t want to post something that would seem biased.

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I don't use those products. I have no idea what is difference between those.

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I'm not familiar with either product, we are fully virtualized and use Veeam with Zerto potentially being added later this year to reduce our RPO to less than 6 seconds.

I did read through each of these products and the reason Datto is higher is because there is a physical appliance involved to store the images whereas ShadowProtect requires you to provide the backup storage. The inverse chain that Datto uses to store the images is good technology, something I wished was around when we were using AppAssure to backup our physical servers several years ago.

Summary: Datto strikes me as being a bit ahead with their technology and capabilities, but I used a product similar to ShadowProtect for many years with great success. Either one seems like a sound solution. It depends on your environment and final cost once you add in the storage.


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