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Backup Product Review

5 years ago, I was asked to review a beta of a backup product called Altaro. 5 years on, I’m reviewing the product to see how far it has come along. The first step is to download a copy of the software from, which was painless, and I went for the 30-day full trial. It has to be said they have a free community edition too, which is great for those who want to protect their home labs.

As before, I’m scoring my experience 0 to 5 . 0 being bad and 5 being really good.

I will review/evaluate Altaro using my home lab based on VMware vSphere 7.

Ease of prerequisites:

  • As you can see, its just a single executable and straightforward install.
  • I only had to deploy a windows server that met the perquisites >HERE<
  • Altaro installed any prerequisites for me
  • Score = 4 – I kept the score the same as I’m a believer in the virtual appliance way of doing things and never happy having to deploy a windows licensed VM

Ease of Install:

  • Super simple to install
  • Next next next, that’s all it took. Really it is that simple to deploy
  • Score = 5

Time to Deploy:

  • Very very quick install. It took no time at all. If you compare install time to other products on the market, you’ll know setup time can be mundane.
  • Score = 5

Ease of post-install config:

  • Prompts you to walk through steps
  • Very simple to attach the source i.e. Vmware or Hyper-V
  • Target locations can be a physical disk or network share
  • And my favorite option is a secondary offsite target, which can be an S3 type bucket on one of the public clouds.
  • Score = 4 < I upgraded the score from 2015 down to its pure simplicity

Ease of setting up a job:

  • This part always catches me off guard. I’m not sure if I’m doing it wrong, but I cannot figure out how to select I want a whole datacenter to be backed up and right now the expectation is to choose each VM one by one into a standard backup
  • However again Altaro is flipped on its head. The idea is to set up the schedule first then add-in source machines later. To do that, you simply drag and drop the infrastructure to the schedule.
  • Score = 4 < upgraded due UX experience. Software shouldn’t be complicated to use, and Altaro is very straight forward.

Restore Job Realization:

  • Completed no hassle
  • Nice extra feature I didn’t see last time was boot from VM. Not the only product that can do this but nice to see here
  • Score = 4

Restore Performance:

  • Time to complete restore is 3 minutes to restore a VM. No issues there:
  • Score = 4

File-level Restore:

  • Fairly Straight forward but no option for direct restoration.
  • Unsure about which file-systems it supports. < update still doesn’t seem to have Linux file-system support and offers a workaround with the boot from backup option. Altaro??? This is a must feature!
  • Score = 3

Self-service Portal:

  • Last time I scored this as a 0, but you’ll see later that having a documented API now is the key to self-service functionality, and to offer that in an external CMP solution like vRA or CloudBolt.
  • Score = 3 < upgraded

 Ability to Backup VSS Apps:

  • Has VSS function
  • Option to truncate logs too
  • Score = 5

Support for physical server:

  • Last year Altaro released a free community tool to allow you to Backup a physical server and restore it as VMs. Great as now there is a solution for physicals, but the contention I have with this is that the reason you might have physical servers is that you cannot run the application on a VM. So ending up with a restore on a VM might not be advantageous. I upgraded the score as it’s a big improvement on 2015, but needs more work. To find out more about this tool Click >HERE<
  • Score = 3

 DR capabilities:

  • Offsite capabilities. This is a must for some organizations. This negates the need to store an offsite tape, for example.
  • Since 2015 a replication feature has been added, which allows you to replicate to an Altaro Offsite Server. The Offsite Server acts as a target for copying backups over to a remote location. In a disaster, you can boot up at the remote site.
  • Score = 5 < big upgrade in the score since 2015


Data Availability:

  • Nice sandbox feature
  • Score = 4

 API functionality:

  • Update since 2015 – now documented REST API
  • This is a must IMO since I work in a managed services setting and the lead in automation in my company. No API, No Automation. Click >HERE< to review the API documentation
  • Score = 4


  • Hyper-V
  • VMware
  • Score = 3. Seems low but comparable to other products on the market.


  • Only as an offsite target
  • No cloud support for source infrastructure. This is a gap for me. Altaro is a great (one of the best) products for on-prem virtual infrastructure but is behind on cloud support. You could argue that most companies are still on-prem, but given what just happened in COVID19 we see a surge of migration to cloud looming. No company wants to be responsible for an on-prem datacenter anymore.
  • Score = 2


Unreviewed feature:

  • O365 Backup – you can back up and restore all your Office 365 mailboxes and files stored in OneDrive and SharePoint through, and you can centrally manage and monitor your backups through Altaro’s cloud-based management console. You also get unlimited backup storage. Click >HERE< to find out more
  • Score = 4 < even though I didn’t review this feature, it’s a notable feature.

Bonus Feature:

  • In-app support chat – gotta love that, right? In the Altaro console, you fire up a chat window and talk to Altaro support staff. I didn’t have to wait more than a few seconds. I had no problems to report but just wanted to test what would happen. Awesome feature!
  • Score = 5

Conclusion – Altaro, while I’d like to see more cloud support, is a great solution. Reasonably priced and hits the mark for many organizations. It was super simple to use, and from an on-prem perspective doesn’t lack many features. If you know me and know me well, you know the whole API thing was at the top of my list of wants, and Altaro doesn’t disappoint there too. Overall a great product!

Download your free 30-day trial here.

The Backup Bible

As the old adage goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail.


It’s the perfect description for backup, yet to this day so many companies don’t have an adequate backup & disaster strategy in place for when the worst-case scenario happens. Just how well are you protecting your vital data?


The Backup Bible, a free eBook from Altaro, guides you through the stages of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a substantial data loss event, which can otherwise be disastrous for a company of any size.


This eBook is the first instalment of a 3-part series comprising the complete guide to data protection. It covers how to get started with disaster recovery planning; how to set recovery objectives and loss tolerances; how to translate your business plan into a technically oriented outlook; how to create a customized agenda for obtaining key stakeholder support; and the essentials to setting up a critical backup checklist.


The second and third parts in the series will be released later this year but by downloading the first part, you’ll automatically receive the other eBooks in your inbox as soon as they become available!


Whether you’re just starting to put together a backup and disaster strategy or you want to make sure your current plan is up to scratch, every IT admin needs to read The Backup Bible.


Download your free copy today

Microsoft Azure Certifications Explained – A Deep Dive for IT Professionals in 2020


It’s common knowledge, or at least should be, that certifications are the most effective way for IT professionals to climb the career ladder and it’s only getting more important in an increasingly competitive professional marketplace. Similarly, cloud-based technologies are experiencing unparalleled growth and the demand for IT professionals with qualifications in this sector are growing rapidly. Make 2020 your breakthrough year – check out this free upcoming webinar hosted by two Microsoft cloud experts to plan your Azure certification strategy in 2020.


The webinar features a full analysis of the Microsoft Azure certification landscape in 2020, giving you the knowledge to properly prepare for a future working with cloud-based workloads. Seasoned veterans Microsoft MVP Andy Syrewicze and Microsoft cloud expert Michael Bender will be hosting the event which includes Azure certification tracks, training and examination costs, learning materials, resources and labs for self-study, how to gain access to FREE Azure resources, and more.


Altaro’s webinars are always well attended and one reason for this is the encouragement for attendee participation. Every single question asked is answered and no stone is left unturned by the presenters. They also present the event live twice to allow as many people as possible to have the chance of attending the event and asking their questions in person!


For IT professionals in 2020, and especially those with a Microsoft ecosystem focus, this event is a must-attend!


The webinar will be held on Wednesday February 19, at 3pm CET/6am PST/9am EST and at again 7pm CET/10am PST/1pm EST. I’ll be attending so I’ll see you there!


Click HERE to save a seat! 


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