The other day, as Katie noted, one of our customers had some really nice things to say about Unitrends and our all-in-one backup appliances.  You can read the entire original article here.

What happened next was pretty interesting as well.  Someone from Symantec posted noting some issues with some things that had appeared in this blog regarding the Backup Exec 3600 pricing and an original article concerning the Backup Exec 3600 in general.  That post then got taken down by Spiceworks because Symantec didn’t want it to be there.

Fortunately, I have a copy of it.  I’m not going to name the person – but I thought that what they wrote were reasonable criticisms of what I had written – so what I’m going to do here is to answer those.  Before I do – same old disclaimer: [I work for Unitrends and I’m more of a fan of Unitrends than I am Symantec.  At the same time, if I have any facts wrong, I sure would like to know about it.]

The text from the original post is reproduced between the ” symbols below.

“Mark has conveniently left out TCO and focused only on sticker price.”

I wasn’t trying to deceive – I felt that talking about TCO would be overkill.  But I’ll do so.  The TCO of a backup appliance and a OTTC (One Throat to Choke) single vendor sales and support motion will ABSOLUTELY be better than the TCO of software alone.  That’s why I congratulated Symantec for coming out with the Backup Exec 3600 – it’s a positive step for the company.  Also, the fact that more software is included on the appliance is great as well

The trouble is that not only is the price of the Backup Exec 3600 pretty darn high, but that on a TCO-basis, the partial licensing means true-ups. Plus, additional agent and other fees are going to be invoked after the sale, which means the TCO will be higher than an “all you can eat” licensing approach.

To be clear, however, I think that the fact that Symantec is now doing appliances with integrity (as opposed to slapping on Backup Exec on a Dell  PowerVault DL2100) is a step forward.  I think that the TCO of yotheur Backup Exec 3600 is going to be much less than the Backup Exec/DL2100 combination.  I just think you have a ways to go before you really get at the heart of the problem with respect to TCO after the initial price – which is the licensing scheme used.

“He was keen on highlighting that Backup Exec 3600 all-in-one appliance is Windows based, but didn’t mention that it embeds Symantec Critical System Protection. “

I use Windows everyday – I like Windows.  But Windows is like a high-crime neighborhood – there are a lot of criminals out there trying to do bad things with Windows.  If I have a lock on my front door and I lock it, that’s better than leaving the door wide open.  But it doesn’t change the fact that it would be better if I didn’t live somewhere that had such a high crime rate.

That’s one reason why I criticize backup done on Windows servers.  Most companies are dominated by Windows.  I like diversity around data protection.  And I also like not being the target of most of the criminals.  Because no matter how smart I am, sooner or later if there are enough criminals, one breaks in and does bad things to what I own.

“I could go on…”

Hey – to let anyone from Symantec or anyone else know – we absolutely ***LOVE*** this stuff.  We don’t claim that what we do is perfect – in fact, we understand it’s a journey.  If you think that I or someone else is being unfair, let us know.  If you want to remain anonymous, let us know and tell us that you don’t want to be quoted by name or even by company, and we’ll keep that out.

The reason we go to so much trouble communicating is that we believe by being of the most use to our potential customers that we have a better chance of converting them from potential customers to actual customers.  But we recognize that sometimes we make mistakes – and sometimes we’re not as strong as a competitor at something.  We think by being honest we have the best chance at delighting our potential and actual customers.  So – please – let us know when you think we’re missing the mark.


  1. I’ve just discovered this blog (and Unitrends as well), and am impressed. As an Admin, backups have been the bane of my existence. I truly despise them 😉 They always seem to be overly complicated and expensive.
    You sound like you’re on the right track and I will definitely be checking out Unitrends gear for my next backup project.

    1. Scott: Couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. One thing that backup vendors forget sometimes is that while many of us love the technology and the market for data protection, that most of our customers just want the pain to go away – to focus on their business rather than backup.

      Thanks tremendously for the note; really appreciate your checking us out. If there’s ever anything we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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