Running out of backup storage space?  Funny, when you deployed that new backup solution a few years ago you never thought you would use ALL of that space up.  Let’s face it, data is growing for everyone.  That’s a good thing.  It means your business is growing.  Now you just need to keep up with it.

What do you do now?  If you want a backup appliance, then you just need to buy one that should be big enough for the next 3-5 years, but that may be difficult to predict.  If you are in that position, then maybe you could find a solution that will grow with you.

Unitrends Enterprise Backup software is the perfect fit for growing companies, because it will grow with you.

The Unitrends Enterprise Backup software solution deploys as a virtual backup appliance into VMware, Hyper-V and XenServer.  The storage for the backups can be attached directly to the virtual appliance, or you can write out to a NAS or SAN device on your network.  The direct attached method is the preferred method that lets you easily grow your backup datastore over time.  Just start out with the amount of storage you need and then add virtual disks to the Unitrends backup appliance to grow your backup storage.

The idea is to give yourself the ability to grow your solution with your environment using your own storage instead of buying a purpose built backup appliance(PBBA) with pre-allocated storage.  Many businesses use the Unitrends Recovery Series PBBA in their environment with great success, but it is not for everyone.

Another great use for the virtual Unitrends appliance is the backup copy target.  Unitrends customers know this as the Replication target, but we call it Backup Copy now.  (For more information about the different types of Backup Copy targets please see my “Do You Want Your Data Hot or Cold?” blog post.)   As your backup footprint grows so does your backup copy target appliance.  As a growing company you can deploy either the Recovery Series appliance or the Unitrends Enterprise Backup software virtual appliance to the remote sites for backup.  Now just copy the data back to a single Unitrends Enterprise Backup software virtual appliance at a central location or DR site.

Here is a table listing the best practices for choosing the type of backup storage to connect to your Unitrends software virtual appliance taken from our Unitrends Software Deployment Best Practices Guide


Ranking Storage Protocol Comments
Best (by far) Attached virtual disk
  • Uses the hypervisor IO stack for interaction with backup storage
  • Large virtual disks are available
  • Easily expanded by adding virtual disks
  • Nearly all NAS and SAN storage vendors can be configured as virtual storage through NFS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel and even SMBv3 (for Hyper-V 2012/R2 only)
  • Types of storage protocols connecting to the hypervisor can also be ranked as follows:
    • (Best) Direct attached storage
    • (Better) Fibre Channel and iSCSI
    • (Good) NFS and SMB v3
Good NFS
Okay iSCSI within the UEB guest
CIFS (non-Windows)
Do Not Use CIFS on Windows
  • This protocol using an NTFS Windows file system is highly prone to error for backup operations
  • Consult a Unitrends representative, but it is much better to convert the Windows server to a Hyper-V host, an ESXi host or a Linux server to run UEB directly on that server


Small, medium, large, enterprise and MSP customers can all take advantage of this deployment scenario to keep their investment working well for many years.

If you are still undecided, then please take a look at our website for more information about the Unitrends backup software, or give us a call and speak with a Sales Engineer about your environment.

About Unitrends

Unitrends increases uptime, productivity and confidence in a world in which IT professionals must do more with less. Unitrends leverages high-availability hardware and software engineering, cloud economics, enterprise power with consumer-grade design, and customer-obsessed support to natively provide all-in-one enterprise backup and continuity. The result is a “one throat to choke” set of offerings that allow customers to focus on their business rather than backup.