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Microsoft System Center vs Altaro: Finding Your Company’s Best Back Up Strategy

Microsoft System Center vs Altaro: Finding Your Company's Best Back Up Strategy

Data backups are one of the most important aspects of any company’s technology infrastructure. Data loss costs companies millions each year and can be devastating to their growth.

The average cost of data loss per each file is €135. (IBM Security)

Two of the backup applications that continually get high marks for reliability, functionality, and robust features are Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) and Altaro.

Each of these backup solutions is designed to keep your data backed up, stored safely and recovered easily. They also help ensure your business workloads, applications, and services are continuously available in the event of any outages.

But with two excellent options, which one is the best fit for your organization?

We’ll go over a comparison of the two below to help you find your company’s best backup and recovery strategy.

Comparison: Altaro vs Microsoft System Center DPM

While both of these backup solutions offer a number of robust features, one is designed for more complexity and granular recovery capabilities (Microsoft DPM), while the other is more lightweight and designed for faster backups (Altaro).

Backup Application Descriptions

Here’s how each manufacturer describes their solution.

  • Microsoft DPM: System Center Data Protection Manager is a robust enterprise backup and recovery system that contributes to your business continuity disaster recovery strategy. You can back up an entire virtual machine (VM) or run application-aware backups of Microsoft workloads on Hyper-V VMs.
  • Altaro: Altaro machine backup and replication for Hyper-V and VMware is a fast, affordable, high performance backup and replication solution. It’s designed to give you the power you need, without the hassle of a steep learning curve.

Speed of Install & First Backup

Microsoft DPM is a more complex solution and therefore has a larger install file than Altaro. DPM’s install file is approximately 3.7GB as compared to 183MB for Altaro.

The approximate timing to install each is:

  • Microsoft DPM 4+ hours
  • Altaro: Less than 5 minutes (if the .Net Framework is already installed)

Time to first backup will depend on the speed in which the operator can configure the backup target, but it’s approximately 30 minutes or more for MS DPM and less than 5 minutes for Altaro.

So, if you’re looking to get started with a new backup solution as fast as possible, Altaro may be your best option.

Backup Capabilities

Altaro is focused on Hyper-V, while MS DPM has the capability to backup Hyper-V VMs as well as any type of Microsoft client operating system. It can also run from a VM hosted in Azure.

Altaro allows you to backup VMs to an Azure Block Blob storage account or other public clouds, such as AWS or Google Storage.

You get more backup options with MS DPM, which allows you to back up to Azure, to Disk (for short-term storage), or to Tape (for long-term storage).

So, if you use tape for your long-term data storage or want to have more options for your backup destination, then Microsoft DPM would be the solution that delivers that flexibility.

Costs for Solution

If you are already using Microsoft System Center, there is no extra cost for the Data Protection Manager, which could be a big benefit to many organisations.

For those without System Center, you would need to purchase it in order to have access to DPM, which can’t be purchased separately. Pricing can vary according to customer needs, but pricing, which is the Open NL L&SA 2-year price (licensed by cores), runs approximately:

  • Standard Edition: $1323, 2 operating systems/Hyper-V containers, unlimited Windows Server containers
  • Datacenter Edition: $3,607, Unlimited operating system/Hyper-V containers and Windows Server containers

Altaro’s pricing is based upon a per host cost and they offer four different editions.

  • Free (for micro businesses): 2VMs per host, manual backup retention
  • Standard Edition: $595 per host, 5VMs per host
  • Unlimited Edition: $695 per host, unlimited VMs per host
  • Unlimited Plus Edition: $895 per host, unlimited VMs per host (only one that includes cloud backup to Azure and WAN-Optimized replication)

Components/Features Included

Components/features that are advertised with Microsoft DPM, both editions, include:

  • Configuration Manager
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Endpoint Protection
  • Operations Manager
  • Orchestrator
  • Service Manager
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • Application-aware backup, File backup, Hyper-V backup, and System backup

Components/features that are advertised with the Standard and Unlimited editions of Altaro include:

  • Offsite Backups Over WAN/Internet
  • Offsite Backups Over LAN/Local Connection
  • File Level Restores
  • Restore VMs to a different host
  • Sandbox Restore & Backup verification
  • Flexible Backup Scheduling
  • Hot/Live Backups
  • Fast & Small Backups – Compression
  • Restore Clone
  • Military Grade (AES) Encryption of Backups

Bottom Line

Ultimately, if you have a fairly elaborate technology infrastructure and need additional features, flexibility, and complexity for your backup system, then you may want to consider Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.

If you’re looking for an easy backup solution that sets up fast and does not have a steep learning curve, yet still has robust capabilities, then Altaro may be the one you should choose.

Need Help Selecting Your Perfect Backup Solution?

FutureRange is a premier provider of IT solutions to businesses throughout Ireland. We can take a look at your device and server infrastructure and help you choose the best backup solution to fit your distinct needs.

Contact us today to discuss your best backup options. Call +353 1 2960 560 or reach out online.

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