Unitrends and Veeam: Scalability of Backup Software and Appliance Solutions

Scalability is not mentioned in the Veeam page “advertising” Unitrends.  When I read Veeam’s pitch to buyers to buy Veeam instead of Unitrends and noticed the absence of any discussion of scalability, I thought of the great quote by John Dryden “Secret guilt is by silence revealed.”

First, let’s talk about the concept of scalability.  Scalability is simply the capability of a system to handle a growing amount of work and the potential to enlarge that system to handle that growth.  There are two typical methods that are used to enlarge a system:

  • Scale-up: The ability to add to an existing system to handle growth.
  • Scale-out: The ability to add a new system to an existing system to handle growth.

Veeam and Unitrends both started as companies focused on the SMB (Small and Medium Business) market; however, the paths of the company have diverged.  Unitrends had to support large single instance deployments (scale-up) as we kept introducing new physical appliances.  Our largest physical appliance today is almost 200TB.  But that was only the beginning of the story – as we began becoming involved in ever-larger deals, our customers have come to expect our Unitrends Backup software to support single instances larger than any single physical appliance we sell – hundreds and hundreds of terabytes.  And our use of our software in our own Unitrends Cloud, which is almost ten petabytes and growing, has meant for efficiency’s sake we’ve built scalable software that is inherently multi-tenant in terms of consolidation (the number of customers and storage per single instance of Unitrends Enterprise Backup Software.  And of course Unitrends supports scale-out of our Recovery-Series physical appliances and our Unitrends Enterprise Backup software through an HTML5- and AngularJS-based single pane of glass monitoring and management usre interface.

Veeam uses a proxy and repository system to handle scale-out of their backup software.  Recently, they announced that their repositories could with their latest version of backup software handle scale-out – a feature that Unitrends developed and offered several years ago given the nature of our larger and more sophisticated customers.  We’d encourage you to read the comment section concerning the complexity of the Veeam “scalability” approach.




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