Datto BDR vs Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Backup

I have been selling Datto BDR to my clients for the past 4 years. Datto is a ┬áBDR solution sold by many MSP/VARs in the IT management space. It features a private label SuperMicro chassis with linux based OS running Datto’s software. It touts hybrid virtualization which means you have the ability to spin up your servers virtually in the Datto cloud in a DR scenario or spin up the server locally on the Datto appliance itself (only available in select models). For the most part it works however it’s expensive as you start backing up larger amounts of data. Anything over 1TB becomes out of reach for most SMB customers.

Datto Pros:

  • One appliance takes care of it all
  • IT company manages health of the appliance and monitors backup
  • Centralized management portal for all Datto appliances in MSP fleet
  • Datto managed DR scenario – support from Datto Team
  • Backs up legacy OS, Windows 2003 included
  • Works with VMWare, Hyper-V and Physical Servers

Datto Cons:

  • Requires 50% of free space to provide adequate protection
  • Non salable growth: if you surpass unit GB allowance, you must upgrade to a larger unit
  • Expensive for a BDR solution for clients with larger than 1TB of data

Microsoft’s Azure Site Recovery on the other hand was designed to backup on-premise physical and virtual machines. Both VMware and Hyper-V environments are supported. Certain linux distributions such as RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu and SuSE is also supported. There is a per instance fee of $25 per machine backed up but the costs are much more reasonable. The technology is also much better. Datto uses StorageCrafts backup technology which in my opinion is antiquated. Azure Site Recovery uses a Site Recovery dedicated machine and backups via site recovery agents. What you would have to do first is to design a Azure network used for your emergency workload. This means you are creating a vnet, a vnet gateway and a VPN back to your premise, setting up Azure Site Recovery, backing up your environment and testing your disaster scenario. If this is done right, you eliminate the need for having a high monthly Datto charge and you’ll end up with a highly flexible Azure solution.

Azure Site Recovery Pros:

  • Very salable, back up unlimited workloads and LOB applications – never run out of resources
  • Use Azure’s infrastructure for running your workload in a DR scenario
  • Priced very reasonably, $16/month for customer owned sites or $25/month to backup to Azure + the cost of Azure storage
  • Works with VMWare, Hyper-V and Physical servers
  • Allows pre-disaster orchestrating of a DR which will force you to think about DR before it happens
  • Can be used to migrate existing workloads to Azure

Azure Site Recovery Cons:

  • Requires more IT knowledge than Datto for set up and management
  • Requires Azure knowledge – vnet, storage, ASR and VPNs
  • Does not work with legacy OS, ie Windows 2003, older versions of Linux
  • Requires instance for ASR configuration server, essentially a backup management server