In the test: Unitrends Enterprise Backup

This post has already been read 15629 times!

Unitrends asked me review their Enterprise Backup software appliance. As I like to review a lot of different backup software I agreed. I first took a look at the differences per version here and downloaded the software:

The following requirements must be met before deploying on ESX or ESXi:

  • You need to have ESX/ESXi 4.1 update 1 or ESXi 5.0 update 1 (ESX5.1 is not yet supported, but will be released soon)
  • ESX host must be 64‐bit
  • vSphere client or vCenter server administrative interface
  • 2 virtual processors and 4 GB of RAM allocated to the target virtual machine
  • 100 GB of provisioned space must be available on the target hard drive. Use thick provisioning for best performance.


Let’s Install

    I downloaded and deployed the appliance, ploy the appliance on a different storage than where your VM’s reside you want to protect (chicken and egg)

After you deployed the appliance (import ovf), we just start the appliance:image

Note: The system’s default IP address is If this address is currently in use on the network, disable network on the appliance and just change the IP-address of this appliance.

Configure the system

Open the Appliance VM console and press “1” and configure the network. and press “2” to configure a new root password.

Once the Unitrends Appliance is configured on the network, it can be setup. To log into the system, direct a web browser to: https://<system IP address>/

Accept the license agreement

The following message made my day Glimlach: Because we need a record of your system in order for you to get free software updates FOREVER. But please note – our promise that “we still won’t freakin’ call you” if you’re a Free Edition user still holds on.image

Next I set the time zone, set the time and date right, the NTP client, the SMTP server in my lab environment, e-mail address for alerts and the password for the root user (again).

Next I installed this appliance as a local backup system.image

Next I added my vCenter 5 server in the wizard:image

The option to enable deduplication is on by default.image

After I finished the wizard the interface looks like this, quite empty:

My First Full backup. I choose a small VM just to test, clicked OK, and the job disappearedimage

You need to press this button to get the last 7 days of backups:image

Please take a good look at the interface when you use it, things are kind of hidden.
On the right side there are two tabs which list the Job Queue Present and Future.

I think it took me 10 minutes to figure out where every option is located.

What’s Next?

Now that we have installed and configured Unitrends Enterprise Backup we can:

  • Add the license you requested.
  • Create scheduled backup jobs to protect your virtual machines. First create a full backup to test and create scheduled incremental forever for all the VM’s you want to protect.
  • Configure additional appliance options, including email alerts and custom retention policies.
  • Use Storage vMotion and boot the VM directly from our backup
  • Use Instant Recovery for VMware guests.
  • Archive data to tertiary storage for long-term retention

How does this compete with Veeam

  • Unitrends is able to protect physical servers and virtual environment which is  not possible with Veeam)
  • Unitrends offers a fully functional FREE product with a hard limit to 4 VM’s protected. Veeam is offering limited functionality (manual ZIP backup) but unlimited VM’s


Other Specifications

  • Unitrends offers physical appliances in addition to the virtual appliances for the IT admin who wants a separate appliance and storage for backups.
  • With VMware version of our Unitrends Enterprise Backup, Unitrends can archive to SAN or NAS storage as well as to TAPE and USB disks.
  • Support of 40+ operating systems with agents
  • Protect Virtual and physical servers
  • File-level, block-level and appliance-level protection is included
  • Unitrends can protect RDM’s when our competitors cannot because of our ability to install an agent


Wrap up

The product is very simple to install, setup and use. The configuration, the look and feel gives great users experience with minimum hassle when setting up. The flash interface is something you need to get used to. But it feels very stable and is fast. But the best part is… It is an appliance. No single Windows or MSSQL license required.