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NetBackup vs. Backup Exec: Comparisons, uses and benefits

Veritas offers two distinct backup products: NetBackup and Backup Exec. While only one is designed for enterprise use, that's not the only area where they differ.

Most backup vendors offer a single backup product, with multiple editions of that product targeted toward various industry segments, such as consumer and enterprise. Veritas, however, is an exception. The company offers two different backup products -- NetBackup and Backup Exec. Although NetBackup and Backup Exec are both made by Veritas, they have distinct differences.

The primary difference between NetBackup vs. Backup Exec is that Backup Exec is designed for small to midsize businesses, while NetBackup is designed solely for the enterprise. Both products offer a wide range of features, but NetBackup has a more advanced feature set because it is designed for enterprise use.

In terms of features and capabilities, NetBackup is clearly the more advanced product. However, Backup Exec's ease of use and lower price will likely make it the better choice for smaller organizations. Below, find out how they differ in key areas such as security and cloud vendor support.

Both Backup Exec and NetBackup are suitable for use in on-premises and cloud environments.

Cloud support and capabilities

Both Backup Exec and NetBackup are suitable for use in on-premises and cloud environments. Backup Exec, for instance, includes connectors for the major cloud vendors and supports all the AWS cloud storage tiers. Similarly, Backup Exec can be deployed in AWS or Azure using marketplace templates.

NetBackup supports all the major cloud vendors but offers capabilities that are not found in Backup Exec. NetBackup supports multiple tenants across multiple clouds. It also offers support for bulk data migrations or seeding using AWS Snowball and Azure Data Box. Additionally, NetBackup includes several cloud optimization and orchestration tools that are not found in Backup Exec.

Inline deduplication, a critical feature for cutting redundant data and reducing drive wear, is supported by both NetBackup and Backup Exec.

Security features and ransomware protection

NetBackup and Backup Exec also differ from one another in terms of security and protection. Both products are designed to safeguard backups against ransomware attacks, but NetBackup enables users to revert everything back to a single point in time just prior to an infection with a single click. If the organization must perform a recovery operation due to a ransomware infection, NetBackup will take steps to ensure that the recovered systems are ransomware free. NetBackup also uses AI and machine learning to look for anomalies and threats.

Backup Exec provides the basic security features that IT pros would generally expect from a backup product: encryption, secure data transfer, multifactor authentication and reduced RPO, among others. Backup Exec uses air gap backup, which keeps copies of data safe offline and out of reach for ransomware attackers. Credit card transaction data is encrypted and stored securely. Backup Exec includes regulatory compliance assistance as well, including its "GDPR Guard" feature to help businesses comply with GDPR.

NetBackup builds on the basic security capabilities offered by Backup Exec. It supports features such as role-based access control and multifactor authentication. NetBackup also offers Transport Layer Security encryption for data that is in motion and AES-256 encryption for data at rest.

One of the most significant security features NetBackup offers is its support for storage agnostic immutability. Storage immutability is essential for ransomware recovery, because ransomware cannot encrypt immutable storage. Immutability can also be helpful for certain regulatory compliance initiatives. Normally, data immutability is achieved through immutable storage, but NetBackup enables data immutability without the need for specialized storage.

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