Unitrends builds all-in-one PBBAs (Purpose Built Backup Appliances) that are deployed as either physical appliances (from 1TB raw storage up to 187TB raw storage) or virtual appliances (deployed on either VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Citrix XenServer.)  Unitrends also sells its software as a run-time install for RHEL (Redhat Enterprise Linux.)  Veeam sells its software as a run-time install on Windows.  The concept of run-time install software is a fairly old one that is used throughout the industry and predates both Unitrends and Veeam and is used by both companies, so I’m not going to spend much time on it.  Instead I’m going to talk primarily about physical and virtual PBBAs since the fact that Unitrends offers this is different than Veeam.

Physical PBBAs

Physical PBBAs are typically desktop or rack-mounted appliances. You don’t buy a separate server, storage, operating system, and backup software – these are all-in-one, plug-and-play, converged and in some cases hyperconverged continuity and backup solutions.  Physical PBBAs have the fastest TtV (Time to Value) and the lowest management and monitoring labor cost; however, the capital expenditure associated with a physical PBBA is higher since you’re trading off higher capital expenditure for lower operational expenditure.

Virtual PBBAs


Virtual PBBA are software that is packaged in a virtual appliance form factor.  Virtual PBBAs have most of the same advantages as physical PBBAs; however, virtual PBBAs must be installed in an existing virtualized infrastructure.  The cost of a virtual PBBA is lower; the operational expenditure is a little higher than a physical PBBA but is much lower than installable software since all of the software comes packaged within the virtual appliance.  Unitrends supports virtual PBBAs for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer.

Not a PBBA: Run-Time Installable Software

Both Unitrends and Veeam offer run-time installable software: Unitrends on RHEL (Redhat Enterprise Linux – which includes CentOS as a binary compatible “version” of RHEL) and Veeam on Windows.  Unitrends includes the virtual and physical backup software, the bare metal software, the WAN optimization, the archiving software for tape, disk, NAS, SAN, and third-party hyperscale cloud, and the replication software.  Veeam includes the virtual backup software, the WAN optimization, the archiving software for tape, and the replication software.  Unitrends charges the same price as we do for the virtual PBBA.  The labor associated with monitoring and managing is the highest of any deployment form factor.

Got any questions about PBBAs or anything else?  We’d love to hear from you.