Technological malfunctions, natural disasters, and human error. All of these can contribute to a server meltdown, and with such a reliance on technology and data, business continuity planning has never been more important. If you want to keep your business up and running no matter what, then you’re going to need a reliable and trustworthy business continuity and critical data backup provider. But who should you choose?
There are far too many providers to mention them all, so today we are going to focus on two of the leading ones: Axcient and Datto.
We will be comparing these two companies on a like-for-like basis, across several key areas, and provide a short, digestible summary on who we feel triumphs.
Let’s start with one of the most important parts of any data recovery solution: How often will your data be backed up?
Axcient uses an “agentless system”. This means that once emergency protocols kick in – in other words, if you ever have to use your backup – then it will stop running until it is reconfigured. In most circumstances, this isn’t a massive problem, but if your company resides in a fast-paced industry where your data is constantly being updated, then this does mean you run the risk of losing any important information that is generated between the emergency situation happening, and the backup being reconfigured.
Datto tends to offer faster and more regular data backups and will continue to run during and after emergency protocols kick in. If your business-critical data is regularly updated, then you will want your data backup to keep running regardless.
Key point: Datto offers faster, more frequent backups than Axcient.
In terms of physical security, both Datto and Axcient offer physical 24/7 on-premise protection. In other words, whichever provider you choose, you can relax knowing that security guards and alarm systems are protecting the physical servers from theft or vandalism.
It is worth noting, however, that Axcient’s data centre is in California, a place particularly prone to natural disasters, whereas Datto’s data centres are all coastal, and in areas of low risk of disaster. With that said, both providers are SSAE 16 certified, meaning you can equally trust that both of them are compliant with data protection laws and legislation.
Key point: Both Datto and Axcient keep your data physically safe.
Data Storage and Recovery
Axcient stores your backup data in a proprietary format – meaning a format they designed themselves. It’s hard to conclude whether this is a good thing or a bad thing… but it does mean that data conversion becomes a rather drawn-out process if you have to access your backup in an emergency.
Datto uses industry standard VMware VMDK format for storing your data. This means it can be quickly converted into a legible format and restored, should an emergency occur.
So how long might it take to recover your data from each provider? Let’s take a look:
- Axcient would take approximately 3 hours to re-assemble a backup image
- Datto is normally ready to restore your data within 30 seconds
One good thing to note for both Axcient and Datto, is that they both allow you to inject drivers for restoring your backup to brand new hardware, helping you to circumnavigate any incompatibilities that might crop up. In other words, if your technology fails, and you want to restore your backup data to a brand new computer infrastructure, both providers are able to help you ensure your old data will run just as well on your new hardware.
Key point: Datto’s storage method makes restoring from a backup much faster than with Axcient
We tested out the customer support quality from both providers, and both seemed pretty responsive. There is a fairly significant difference in availability, however:
Axcient: Support available 9am to 8pm EST, Monday to Friday
Key point: Datto is more readily available if you need to contact their team
Operating System Compatibility
Finally, let’s look at a feature that could really determine which provider you choose – operating system compatibility.
To start with, both Axcient and Datto can failover for Windows and Linux. However, Datto can also backup Max, and is compliant with Apple Time Machine.
Linux users might prefer Axcient’s solution as it provides real-time failover for Linux, but Apple users may prefer Datto.
Key point: Both providers are compatible with Windows. Linux users prefer Axcient, Mac users prefer Datto.
Our Short Summary
Both Datto and Axcient are reliable, trustworthy data backup and business continuity solution providers. They are both compliant, and they both have proved that they keep client data physically safe.
Axcient is slightly more favourable for users who need real-time failover for Linux, however, Datto seems to win the comparison in most other areas. For example:
- Datto backs up your data much more frequently
- Restoring your data is much faster with Datto
- Datto’s customer support team are available 24/7/365
- Datto has better compatibility with Mac users
- Datto’s data centres are in areas with very low risk of disaster