EMC Avamar vs Veeam (and a few words on Double-Take Availability)

For the last week I have been implementing a VMware vSphere 5 environment with HP DL380 G7 hosts and EMC VNXe3100 storage*.
*The VNXe3100 is very easy to use. One thing to watch out for if you’re creating VMware Datastores from the Unisphere GUI, is that it formats them as VMFS3 - not a big problem as can easily do a live upgrade from VMFS3 to VMFS5 via the vSphere GUI.

EMC Avamar vs Veeam

The customer already had EMC Avamar backup appliances (one appliance in the Head Office, another in the DR site,) which they were using to backup their physical environment via EMC Avamar agents loaded on the guest O/S.

EMC Avamar comes as either the:
·         EMC Avamar Virtual Edition - a VMware virtual appliance
·         EMC Avamar Data Store - a purpose built hardware appliance (like the below image.)

EMC Avamar feature notes:
·         Can backup physical servers (via an agent) or virtual servers (via a proxy virtual appliance).
·         Dedupes at source (via the agent); so if you’re using it to backup physical servers in branch office sites, it only transmits the changes across the WAN links.
·         Data Store appliances cannot be bought singly - must buy at least two to make a replicated pair.
·         Data Store appliances can be configured in a Redundant Array of Independent Nodes (RAIN) for high availability and reliability.
·         Licensed per TB.
·         Can make deduplication reductions of up to 95 percent, meaning each licensed TB can be worth 20TB of backups.
·         Pricing (don’t quote me on this) is something like £20k per TB for the physical appliances of which you must buy two, and gets cheaper the more TB you buy.

After reading the above, then it is pretty clear that you cannot really compare EMC Avamar vs Veeam Backup and Replication. Veeam would need to be considered with a deduplication appliance like DataDomain, Dell DR4000, Falconstor, Exagrid, …. Veeam is also licensed per host socket. And Veeam is not able to back up of physical servers.

Veeam has the upper-hand with regards replication; as far as I could make out with EMC Avamar (please feel free to correct me if I am wrong here), in a DR situation the VM backups replicated to the DR site would first need to be restored to a virtual infrastructure; of course, if Site Recovery Manager is being used as the DR solution, then this would not be a problem. Also, I don’t see an instant recovery feature, and …

All said, for a pure VMware and/or Hyper-V environment, I’d favour using Veeam with deduplication appliances. For customers who’ve already invested in EMC Avamar and are happy with the solution, there’s unlikely to but much value for them to purchase Veeam, unless it is purely to use the replication functionality.

Double-Take Availability

Tip: If P2V-ing servers where only the absolute minimum of downtime is acceptable, see if you can get a free-trial of Double-Take Availabilty (or even a paid for edition) and use this to configure a virtual replica of the physical server, then failover when you’re ready!

Additional note on Double-Take softwares:
·         Double-Take Availability competes with PlateSpin Protect.
·         Double-Take Move competes with PlateSpin Migrate.


  1. I would consider Symantec System Recovery if you need to P2V-ing servers. That goes for V2P too. It's an imaging product that's lightening fast. Can’t get much better than that.

  2. CA ARCserve Replication and High Availability is a great tool for P-V and V-P (even V-V) replication with Zero downtime and much much cheaper than doubletake.

    CA also offers an imaging solution called D2D that can do P-V and V-P if you prefer a snapshot approach. That's very similar to Symantec System Recovery proposed above.


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