Jun 19, 2024
15 min read

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 vs CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 vs CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup

Commvault and Veeam, two well-known names in the backup and recovery industry, offer solutions that not only back up your Microsoft 365 data but also protect it from unexpected threats.

In the spirit of full disclosure, it's worth noting that Veeam, although a competitor, has played a crucial role in driving innovation in the industry by leading the most recent funding round for Alcion, which shows how competitive yet collaborative the backup solutions sector can be.  

This article aims to explore how the unique features and approaches of Metallic and Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 shape the way businesses protect their critical data.

What is Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365?

From our Top Microsoft 365 Backup solutions article: Veeam stands out in offering detailed and specific backup solutions for Microsoft 365, ideal for large organizations dealing with tricky backup requirements.

Veeam Microsoft 365 Backup page
via Veeam

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive backup and recovery solution designed specifically for Microsoft 365 environments. It operates using a traditional approach, where users install the software on Windows servers, either on-premises or in the cloud. While Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 offers advanced features and flexibility, you should also consider the implications of managing the necessary infrastructure, especially when compared to more cloud native Veeam alternatives. Setting up Veeam, particularly in large environments, requires careful management of multiple configurations and backup proxies.

As a market leader, Veeam provides one of the most feature-rich backup solutions for Microsoft 365, catering to complex backup scenarios. However, while Veeam is known for its on-premises solutions, it is transitioning towards a Backup as a Service (BaaS) model. This shift involves leveraging its existing software in the cloud, delivered as a SaaS product through a purpose-built front-end.

It's crucial to note that this approach still involves running Windows servers in the cloud, which may require additional considerations from a security standpoint, like traditional on-premises setups.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Features Snapshot

Core Backup & Restore

Veeam's approach enables precise backups of Microsoft 365 data, covering Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams. This level of detail allows businesses to execute accurate recoveries, right down to specific emails or documents, which helps to minimize disruptions in the event of data loss incidents.

However, the effectiveness of these features depends on a well-planned implementation. Managing backups across different Microsoft 365 services adds complexity, requiring a deep understanding of both the company's data and specific recovery needs.

Security and Infrastructure Management

As an enterprise with substantial data protection needs, you'll find Veeam's security and management capabilities tailored to your requirements. However, it's important to note that leveraging these features requires a significant amount of infrastructure management on your part, including the configuration of backup proxies and servers. To streamline this process, you might consider opting for a Backup as a Service cloud vendor, which can potentially reduce the operational burden associated with maintaining a robust security stance.

It's worth mentioning that there's a lack of documented ransomware detection capabilities. The primary focus is on immutability for malware defense, supplemented using YARA rules for malware detection. However, automated incident response mechanisms and delayed deletion support are not provided by Veeam.

The balance here lies between the high level of security offered by Veeam and the operational overhead required to sustain this security posture. It's crucial for your organization to carefully evaluate your capacity to meet these demands, ensuring you can effectively harness Veeam's security capabilities without straining your IT resources.

Transition to Backup as a Service

Recently, Veeam has been making strides towards a Backup-as-a-Service model, aiming to capitalize on its robust backup capabilities in a cloud-based offering.

However, this shift isn't without its challenges. Veeam's original approach still involves running Windows servers in the cloud, a setup that carries many of the same security and management considerations as traditional on-premises environments.

Monitoring and Management

To get the most out of Veeam, it's important to keep a close eye on backups, restores, and storage space. Monitoring backups helps ensure that data is being saved correctly and regularly. By checking for any issues, you can fix them quickly and prevent data loss. Restores also need to be checked to make sure data can be recovered when needed. This involves testing restores often and confirming that the recovered data is accurate and complete.

Managing storage space is another crucial task. As data grows, so does the need for storage. Regularly monitoring and predicting storage needs can help prevent problems, like running out of space, which could interfere with backups.

However, this level of management can be time-consuming and requires expertise. It also means that the system design may need to be changed to keep up with changes in data volume, rules, or business needs.

Total Cost of Ownership

When deciding to use Veeam, it's important to consider the financial commitment involved. This doesn't just include the cost of licensing fees, but also the investment needed for infrastructure and personnel.

Licensing fees are the initial cost of using Veeam's software. However, to effectively use this software, you also need the right infrastructure. This could mean investing in additional hardware, like servers and storage devices, or even upgrading your current systems.

Moreover, managing Veeam requires skilled personnel. You may need to hire or train people to handle tasks like monitoring backups, managing restores, and addressing capacity issues. These costs, while often overlooked, are a significant part of the overall financial commitment.

Check out our article about Rubrik Microsoft 365 Backup vs Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Pricing

Veeam's cost structure is based on a per-user model, meaning you pay a certain fee for each user. However, it's crucial to understand that this per-user fee only provides a starting point for understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO). The TCO can be less clear due to additional expenses that may come up.

These additional costs often include infrastructure expenses, such as servers, storage devices, and networking equipment. For instance, you may need to purchase or upgrade servers to support Veeam's software or invest in more storage to handle your backup needs.

Moreover, managing this infrastructure also adds to the overall cost. This could involve hiring or training personnel to handle tasks like monitoring backups, managing restores, and addressing capacity issues. These operational costs, while not always obvious, are a significant part of the TCO.

What is CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup?

From our Microsoft 365 Backup solutions comparison article: Great for businesses needing a broad range of Microsoft 365 services, including Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365, and catering to extensive backup needs.

Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup page
via Commvault

Metallic, a Commvault venture, leverages Commvault's established on-premises backup and recovery expertise and brings it into a cloud-native front-end designed for the service. Essentially, Metallic utilizes the same proven Commvault software that runs in data centers but delivers it as a SaaS product.

While this approach builds on the robustness of Commvault's traditional software, it's important to understand that behind the cloud-native front-end, Metallic still runs the same version of Commvault that operates in data centers. This means that there are Linux servers in the cloud running Commvault on your behalf, which has significant security implications. Metallic's approach allows Commvault to claim the use of cloud-native software while leveraging their existing, proven technology. However, this lift-and-shift method may limit the potential for true cloud-native innovations and raises questions about data control and security, as the management of the underlying infrastructure remains with Commvault. Despite these considerations, Metallic offers a robust feature set inherited from Commvault's established platform and provides a path to cloud-based backup for organizations looking to leverage Commvault's expertise in a SaaS model.

CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup Features Snapshot

Comprehensive Service Coverage

Metallic supports a wide range of applications, including Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365, making it a flexible solution for businesses with diverse backup requirements.

Cloud-Native Features

Metallic's feature set is defined by what Commvault supports. This ensures a robust and dependable array of features. However, it may restrict the potential for innovative cloud-native functionalities.

Authentication and Cloud Compatibility

For secure and seamless integration, Metallic uses Azure AD apps for Microsoft 365 authentication. This ensures a smooth and protected connection between Metallic and Microsoft 365.

On-Premises and Cloud Integration

Metallic provides on-premises backup options through the Metallic gateway. This is advantageous for businesses that favor a hybrid approach, combining the flexibility of the cloud with the control of on-premises data management. This balance allows businesses to leverage the benefits of both cloud and on-premises solutions.

CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup pricing

Metallic charges a per-user fee with two different service levels: Standard and Enterprise.

The Standard plan does not include certain features like Archive Mailbox and multi-geo support, and it comes with a 1-year retention period. In contrast, the Enterprise plan offers extended retention of up to 10 years and includes additional features.

However, it's crucial to be aware that extra storage usage can lead to additional costs, making budget planning more complex. For instance, if you exceed the 50 GB of storage allocated for each user, you may end up paying more. This pricing structure, therefore, requires careful planning and monitoring to prevent unforeseen expenses.

Who Uses Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 vs Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup?  

Veeam is well-suited for organizations that have large-scale data needs and complex setups. Its advanced capabilities make it ideal for bigger companies that require detailed, customizable backup solutions. These companies often have specific backup needs and complex environments where the granular backup and recovery capabilities of Veeam can be fully utilized.

On the other hand, Metallic is more suitable for businesses that require a wide range of Microsoft 365 services backed up, including less commonly used applications like Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365. If your organization heavily relies on these additional Microsoft services, Metallic's extensive coverage might be the deciding factor. However, keep in mind that Metallic's pricing structure can be a bit more complex, with potential additional costs for storage usage and different service levels. If budget predictability is a top priority for you, this is something to consider carefully.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup
Ideal Users Large corporations that require in-depth, customizable backup solutions and have complex IT environments. Businesses that heavily use a wide range of Microsoft 365 services, including less common applications like Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365.
Deployment Complexity Demands significant IT resources for detailed setup and backup management, challenging for organizations without dedicated IT staff. Moderately complex setup, but less involved than Veeam and balanced though their SaaS offering.
Data Environment Designed for complex data environments where granular control over backup and restore processes is necessary. Suitable for businesses with diverse Microsoft 365 data across various services, including niche applications.
Security and Compliance Provides robust security features but requires substantial infrastructure management. Focuses on immutability for malware defense. Offers secure backups with features like data immutability through Azure WORM storage. Provides some ransomware detection capabilities.
Operational Requirements Requires dedicated IT staff with expertise in Veeam's software for setup and ongoing management. Involves managing backup infrastructure. Requires less specialized expertise compared to Veeam. Offers a more user-friendly experience with its SaaS model.
Scalability Offers extensive scalability for growing data volumes, catering to organizations with expanding backup needs. Requires active management of backup infrastructure. Scalable to accommodate diverse Microsoft 365 data growth. Leverages a cloud-based model, reducing the need for infrastructure scaling.

Commvault vs Veeam at Reddit

When comparing Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 and CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup, it's essential to consider community feedback and experiences with both solutions. The community on Reddit has strong opinions for both products.

When users discuss their experiences with different backup systems for Office 365, Veeam and CommVault are among the solutions mentioned. Some users have expressed interest in Veeam's solution due to its well-documented process and space reclamation capabilities. Some users have reported challenges with Commvault's backup for Microsoft 365. A notable concern is the lack of space reclamation, which can lead to storage concerns. These issues have led some users to explore other options like Veeam.

SaaS Solutions and M365 backup: There is a preference among some users for backup-as-a-service platforms due to their immutability and ease of management, among others.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Vs. CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup Compared

Core Backup & Restore Features

Certain core features are universally essential for any backup tool to provide robust data protection. These features not only define the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the solution but also its ability to meet the specific data protection needs of an organization.

Both Veeam and Metallic offer robust backup and restore capabilities, but they have their unique strengths and differences that can impact your experience and your data availability.

From the breadth of protected services to the flexibility of restore options, we compare how each platform addresses the essential aspects of backup and restore functionality, offering insights into their suitability for various operational contexts.

Core Backup & Restore Features Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Vs. CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup at a glance

Core Backup & Restore Features Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup
Comprehensive Service Coverage Coverage across Microsoft 365 suite. Covers all essential Microsoft 365 services, including Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365.
Automated Service and Resource Discovery Requires more hands-on involvement. Has numerous exclusions and specific requirements. More automated approach.
Automatic Resource Protection A need for configuration to protect new resources. Periodic review and adjustment may be needed. Automatically protects new resources.
Intelligent Backup Solutions Does not offer intelligent backup scheduling. Does not offer intelligent backup scheduling.
On-Demand and Legacy Backup Scheduling Offers flexibility with manual initiation and configurable daily or interval-based backups. Separate backup jobs needed for different schedules. Supports on-demand initiation. Scheduling is tied to an SLA-defined RPO, determining backup frequency.
Search & Backup Browsing Capabilities Robust search capabilities, enabling detailed management and quick navigation through backups. Focuses on streamlined browsing capabilities.
Flexible Restore Options or Local Download Offers a wide range of restore options, including restoring to on-premises environments and various file formats. Standard restoration capabilities, with some limitations in exporting to external formats like PST or MBOX.
Operational Reporting Rich, real-time tracking and detailed reporting on backup jobs, suitable for larger environments. Streamlined reporting features.

Comprehensive Service Coverage

When selecting a backup solution, it's crucial to ensure that it can protect a wide range of Microsoft 365 services. At the very least, it should cover the core applications, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Teams.

Veeam has got you covered with its extensive support for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams. If you're also using on-premises Exchange and SharePoint environments, archived mailboxes, or OneNote, Veeam can handle those too. Just keep in mind that there are some limitations with Team Chats and OneNote notebooks due to API constraints.

Metallic, on the other hand, not only backs up the core Microsoft 365 services but also extends its coverage to additional applications like Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365.

All solutions, including Alcion, effectively cover essential services like Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, addressing the majority of common needs.  If your organization leverages a broad range of Microsoft 365 services, Veeam's service coverage might be more aligned with your requirements.

Automated Service and Resource Discovery

Nobody wants to spend hours manually configuring their backup solution to include every single resource. That's where automated discovery comes in handy. It automatically detects new users, groups, sites, and data as they're added, ensuring that no critical information slips through the cracks without protection. It simplifies your setup and maintenance, significantly reducing the manual effort required to keep your backup strategy up to date.

With Veeam, you might find that there's a need for more hands-on involvement in configuring and updating your backup parameters to include new services and resources. It does offer comprehensive discovery post-setup, but you'll have to manage exclusions and specific requirements. This means you'll have to keep a close watch on your Microsoft 365 environment to ensure new items are included in your backup schedule, and you need to have the resources to manage these complexities.

Metallic takes a slightly different approach. While it allows automatic discovery of supported resources, you'll need to configure each service separately. It might take a bit more time upfront, but once set up, it gets easier to maintain compared to Veeam.

Unlike Veeam, which requires more hands-on involvement, or Metallic, which needs separate configuration for each service, Alcion automatically detects and protects your Microsoft 365 environment with minimal user input. This set-it-and-forget-it approach saves you time and ensures that no critical data slips through the cracks.

Automatic resource protection

As your organization grows and evolves, you want your backup solution to automatically protect any new users, groups, or data added to your Microsoft 365 environment.  

In the context of Veeam, auto-backup for new users is possible with jobs covering the entire organization, which some customers may not choose for several reasons, such as scheduling, bandwidth, or storage constraints. But if you have multi-job setups for resource management, you might not get automatic protection. This is especially true if you're running Veeam on older hardware and need to spread out backups across the day. As it easily appears, you may need to periodically review and adjust settings to ensure new resources are covered and stay proactive in updating your backup configurations to encapsulate all new additions to your Microsoft 365 environment.

Metallic, like other products, has your back when it comes to automatic resource protection. If you've selected "All users" or specific AD groups for backup, any new users added will be automatically protected.

While Veeam and Metallic offer automatic protection to some extent, Alcion takes it a step further by eliminating the need for periodic reviews and adjustments. Alcion stands out with its ability to automatically protect new users, groups, and data as soon as they're added to your environment.

Intelligent Backups

Intelligent backups optimize the management and scheduling of backups by aligning them with the actual usage and activity within your Microsoft 365 environment. This approach ensures backups are performed during periods of low activity, minimizing the impact on system performance, and enabling efficient data protection without disrupting your operations.

Unfortunately, neither Veeam nor Metallic offer truly intelligent backup scheduling at the moment. They both rely on standard periodic intervals or manual scheduling.

When it comes to intelligent backup scheduling, Alcion is in a league of its own. By leveraging advanced AI and analytics, Alcion dynamically adapts backup activities to your organization's unique data usage patterns, ensuring optimal protection without compromising performance. While Veeam and Metallic rely on standard scheduling methods, Alcion's intelligent approach represents the future of data backup, delivering unparalleled efficiency and effectiveness.

On-Demand and Legacy Backup Scheduling

On-demand backup capabilities offer the flexibility to manually initiate backups whenever there are significant updates or changes, ensuring your data is protected during critical moments. This feature is particularly useful when you need immediate data protection, rather than waiting for the next scheduled backup.

On the other hand, traditional scheduling frameworks allow you to customize backup activities according to your specific operational requirements. This means you can set up regular backups to run at specific times or intervals, aligning them with your business needs.

Veeam gives you that control, allowing you to run backups manually or set up daily or interval-based schedules. flexibility in backup scheduling. In addition to on-demand backups, Veeam enables you to configure Microsoft 365 backups to run daily at specific times or at regular intervals within a defined window. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for organizations seeking to tailor their backup routines to match operational schedules or data traffic patterns. For instance, you can set up hourly backups between 8 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday.

However, if weekend backups are also required for example, a separate backup job must be created, as Veeam's current configuration does not support multiple distinct schedules for the same organizational backup within a single job. This limitation means that for continuous hourly backups throughout the week, the same schedule applies to both weekdays and weekends.

Metallic also allows you to perform manual backups of any supported resource at any time. It uses Server Plans for backup configurations, aiming for incremental backups every 24 hours. If you encounter any backup issues, Metallic offers solutions like requesting Microsoft to disable throttling temporarily.

If you require detailed control over when backups occur, including the ability to respond immediately to data changes, Veeam's robust scheduling options will likely meet your needs. Metallic and its mix of on-demand backups and Server Plan-based scheduling approach may be more streamlined than Veeam's but may not offer the same level of granular control. Alcion combines the best of both worlds, offering the flexibility of on-demand backups and the simplicity of scheduling.

Search & Backup Browsing

Efficient navigation and search capabilities are key features to look for, as they enable you to quickly locate and restore specific items, which is crucial in minimizing downtime and ensuring rapid recovery processes.

Veeam provides robust search functionalities that enable detailed management and quick navigation through your backups. You can search within specific date ranges, filter emails by sender, and even combine criteria to find exactly what you need.

Metallic also provides rich search capabilities using common metadata. You can easily browse through your backups and select individual objects for restoration. While Metallic's search functionality may not be as extensive as Veeam's, it still offers a user-friendly way to locate and restore your data.

Veeam and Metallic both offer distinct approaches to search and backup browsing within the Microsoft 365 environment, with Veeam focusing on advanced search functionalities suitable for complex data retrieval needs, and Metallic emphasizing user-friendly search capabilities using common metadata. While it may not be as extensive as Veeam's search functionality, it still offers an intuitive way to locate and restore your data. Alcion strikes the perfect balance between power and simplicity, combining the best of Veeam's advanced search capabilities with Metallic's user-friendly approach.

Flexible Restore Options or Local Download

The ability to adapt to various recovery scenarios ensures that data can be restored precisely as needed, accommodating different recovery requirements. In some cases, you may need to restore data directly back to Microsoft 365, such as when recovering from accidental deletion or data corruption. You may need to download data locally or to recover data to an alternate location.

Veeam offers a wide range of restore options, including restoring to on-premises environments, alternate locations, and even exporting to desktop or PST files. This versatility is particularly useful when you need to recover data to a different environment or retain it locally for further analysis.

Metallic also provides diverse restore options, including original location, alternate location, downloadable .PST files, or individual files. However, it focuses more on simplicity and security, prioritizing direct restores back to Microsoft 365.

Veeam and Metallic offer diverse levels of flexibility in their restore options within the Microsoft 365 environment. Veeam excels in providing a wide range of restore possibilities, including direct, alternative location, and local restores, catering to diverse recovery needs. Metallic also provides diverse restore options but it focuses more on simplicity and security, prioritizing direct restores back to Microsoft 365.

Operational Reporting

Clear and detailed operational reporting is essential for effectively managing and monitoring your backup activities, the status and performance of your backups, and will help you maintain control and visibility over your data protection efforts.

Veeam delivers comprehensive reporting with a robust user interface, real-time tracking of backup jobs, and the ability to filter and manage jobs directly. Its reporting features, such as detailing protected users and mailboxes, are especially useful for organizations managing backups in batches.

Metallic, while offering basic reporting capabilities, relies on subscribed reports for detailed insights. Its dashboard provides summary statistics but may require additional steps for in-depth analysis. It lacks the real-time visibility into ongoing backups that Veeam provides.

Veeam and Metallic both offer valuable operational reporting capabilities within Microsoft 365 backup solutions, with Veeam focusing on depth and detail. Metallic offers basic reporting capabilities but relies on subscribed reports for detailed insights and it lacks the real-time visibility into ongoing backups that Veeam provides. Alcion provides comprehensive reporting features that give you the insights you need to stay on top of your backup activities.

Total Cost of Ownership

The Total Cost of Ownership provides a more comprehensive view of the overall investment required, helping you make a more informed decision. The TCO includes not only the licensing fees, but also other expenses related to infrastructure, staffing, setup, and ongoing management. For instance, you may need to invest in additional hardware or software to support the backup solution or hire or train staff to manage it.

Moreover, setup and implementation costs, such as data migration or integration with existing systems, can also contribute to the TCO. Ongoing management expenses, including maintenance, updates, and support, are another significant factor to consider.

CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup vs Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Cost at a glance

TCO Aspect Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup
Licensing Model Complex model challenging for cost forecasting. Factors in users, service level, and discounts. Excludes infrastructure costs. Per-user fee with Standard and Enterprise tiers. Potential extra costs for storage or advanced features.
Infrastructure and Storage Cost Models Resource-intensive model requiring considerable upfront investment. No added infrastructure costs, but potential extra charges for high storage usage.
FTE Administration Cost Demands dedicated staff for backup administration. Low FTE needs but requires backup expertise.
Software Updates and Security Patching Significant user responsibility for managing updates and patches. Demands dedicated attention. Automated updates as SaaS.
Complexity of Setup and Onboarding Setup and onboarding can be complex, especially at scale. Moderately complex setup, AD app configuration required.
Overall Ease of Use and Ongoing Management Complex features requiring regular attention. Initial complexity affects long-term ease of use. Regular attention to backup success needed. Can be challenging compared to other SaaS solutions.

Licensing Model

The licensing model of a backup solution significantly influences the predictability and manageability of costs.  

Veeam’s Licensing model factors in the number of users, service level, and potential discounts for long-term commitments, but it doesn't include infrastructure costs. While this approach allows for customization to fit different organizational sizes and requirements, the complexity of the model can make it challenging to forecast costs, especially as your needs evolve over time. Figuring out your TCO can be difficult, as the additional costs for servers, storage, networking, and ongoing management can vary significantly. Although Veeam is available through MSPs, the specifics of the SaaS pricing are not clearly defined, which can contribute to uncertainty in overall cost estimations.

Metallic, on the other hand, charges a per-user fee with Standard and Enterprise tiers. The Standard plan excludes certain features like Archive Mailbox and multi-geo support, with a 1-year retention period, while the Enterprise plan offers up to 10-year retention and includes additional features. However, extra storage usage can incur additional costs, which adds complexity to budget planning. You may end up paying more if you use more than the allocated storage for each user.

The licensing models of Veeam and Metallic offer distinct approaches to managing costs for Microsoft 365 backup solutions. Veeam provides a customizable but complex model based on user count and service levels, requiring active management for cost predictability. Metallic's tiered model focuses on scalability and flexibility, potentially fitting growing organizations despite challenges in forecasting costs. If you're looking for a licensing model that prioritizes transparency and predictability, Alcion's straightforward per-seat pricing, mirroring Microsoft's approach, could be the ideal solution. With Alcion, you'll have a clear understanding of your costs upfront, making budgeting and forecasting a breeze.

Infrastructure and Storage Cost Models

Understanding the financial implications of the infrastructure requirements of a backup solution is crucial for accurate budget planning and cost management. Infrastructure requirements typically include the necessary hardware and software for maintaining the backup system. For instance, you may need to invest in servers to run the backup software, which can involve capital expenses for purchasing the servers and ongoing costs for maintenance, updates, and support.

Moreover, storing your backups can also incur costs, whether you choose on-premises or cloud storage.

Veeam presents a resource-intensive model that requires considerable upfront investment. For infrastructure, this means an on-premises deployment that includes servers, storage hardware, and potentially additional networking equipment, leading to significant costs. The suggested Azure VMs (F8 or F16) necessary for Veeam's operation can cost between $3,000 to $7,000 annually. This infrastructure investment directly feeds into the storage costs, as Veeam demands active resource management from its users. This setup suits organizations that are equipped to handle complex storage setups and those ready to actively manage variable costs, but it places a considerable burden on resource allocation and cost management.

In contrast, Metallic operates without the need for any on-premises or cloud infrastructure for Microsoft 365 backup, offering a streamlined SaaS experience. However, it does provide the option to copy backups to on-premises infrastructure, catering to organizations that prefer having local backup copies. While this eliminates the need for dedicated backup infrastructure, organizations with high storage demands, like extended retention or large volumes of data, may face additional costs for extra storage. Both active and archived data contribute to storage usage, adding to the potential for exceeding the included amount.

The choice between Veeam and Metallic hinges on an organization's capacity to invest in and manage infrastructure and storage. Veeam requires a significant commitment to infrastructure and active management of storage, which could lead to higher costs and complexity. On the other hand, Metallic, with its cloud-first SaaS model, offers a more streamlined and potentially cost-effective approach. However, it's crucial to carefully consider any potential additional storage costs. With Alcion, you'll benefit from a fully managed service that includes storage costs, ensuring transparency and simplicity in your backup strategy.

FTE Administration Cost

The staffing expenses associated with administering your Microsoft 365 backup solution are a significant factor to consider. This includes the cost of dedicated personnel responsible for setting up, managing, and troubleshooting the backup system. These staffing costs play a crucial role in determining the overall cost-effectiveness of the solution.

A backup solution that requires a large team for administration can significantly increase the total cost of ownership. As such a solution that can be managed by a smaller team or even a single administrator can help reduce costs and improve cost-effectiveness.

Veeam requires a significant amount of administrative time. Administrators must continually monitor the performance of the server, storage, and network infrastructure, on top of regular backup and restore management. This comprehensive oversight means a higher time investment and greater resource commitment compared to simpler solutions, often requiring dedicated IT staff or additional training for existing teams to effectively manage and optimize the backup processes.

Metallic offers lower FTE requirements compared to on-premises backup systems but still requires specialized backup expertise. However, there is some expectation that administration might not be as straightforward as other similar solutions, potentially requiring more attention and effort from administrators than initially expected.

Veeam and Metallic present contrasting approaches to FTE administration costs for Microsoft 365 backup software. Veeam's solution demands a significant administrative effort, making it a more resource-intensive option. Metallic offers a more streamlined administrative experience, potentially reducing the required administration costs. If you're looking to minimize the burden on your IT team and reduce administration costs, Alcion is the clear choice. With its user-friendly design and minimal ongoing management requirements, Alcion allows your staff to focus on more strategic initiatives while ensuring your backups are running smoothly.

Software Updates and Security Patching

Manual updates for your M365 backup solution can significantly increase the workload for your IT team and potentially introduce security risks. This is because manual updates require constant monitoring and intervention, which can be time-consuming and prone to human error. On the other hand, automated updates ensure that updates are applied timely and consistently, reducing the operational burden on your IT team. They can also help minimize security risks by promptly addressing vulnerabilities and ensuring that your backup solution is always up to date.

Veeam puts a lot of responsibility on the user for managing updates, requiring constant monitoring, and patching to deal with Windows and Veeam security issues. This adds extra work for IT security tasks, needing more dedicated attention to keep the backup environment secure.

Metallic, operating as a SaaS solution, includes automated software updates and security patching. Customers benefit from this integrated service, which guarantees that they are always using the latest, most secure version of the software.

Metallic - as Alcion - simplifies the process of software updates and security patching through automation, reducing operational strain and enhancing security. In contrast, Veeam requires more active involvement from the user to manage updates and patches, presenting a potential increase in workload and security risk. Alcion takes care of everything behind the scenes, ensuring your backup solution is always up to date and secure, giving you peace of mind and freeing up your IT resources to focus on more important tasks.

Complexity of Setup and Onboarding

The simplicity and swiftness of setup can impact the initial user experience and the quick implementation of your backups.

Veeam's setup for Microsoft 365 backup is notoriously complex, requiring the installation and configuration of four distinct components, each with its own detailed settings. This intricate process, which includes over 100 mouse clicks and various technical inputs, demands considerable time and technical understanding. Creating multiple Azure AD applications for different functionalities, each needing separate naming and authentication, adds to the setup's complexity.

Metallic's setup is moderately complex, involving configuration of AD apps for authentication and separate setup for each supported app. This process is less complex than Veeam's but more involved than Alcion's straightforward setup. No need to configure storage or compute capacity.

Metallic offers a more streamlined and less complex setup experience compared to Veeam. Veeam, while offering granular control and customization, demands significant technical knowledge and time investment during setup, making its initial onboarding experience more challenging. If you value simplicity and want to get up and run quickly, Alcion with its one-click setup and intuitive interface, allows you to start protecting your Microsoft 365 data in minutes.

Overall Ease of Use and Ongoing Management

Evaluating the user-friendliness of a backup solution and the ongoing effort needed to maintain it is vital. This ensures your backup strategy stays strong over time without placing unnecessary strain on your team.

Veeam's set of features comes with a complexity that requires regular attention and management to optimize backup processes and ensure data protection. Once configured, Veeam operates with a degree of user-friendliness, functioning akin to standard Windows applications, with backups executed automatically. However, the initial complexity in installation and configuration affects its ease of use and how the product works in the long term. Veeam demands continual monitoring for backups, restores, and capacity issues, requiring adjustments to system design. This level of ongoing management is significant due to its software-based nature.

Metallic, while easier to use than Veeam, is considered more challenging and less intuitive than Alcion. Documentation suggests issues with backup completion times. User feedback indicates a perception of it being harder and clunkier compared to some SaaS competitors. Metallic requires regular attention to backup success, which can be an issue. Monitoring backup effectiveness is a key ongoing management task in Metallic environments.

Metallic's approach is geared towards simplification and automation, minimizing the burden of ongoing management, and making it a friendlier solution. Veeam, while offering a comprehensive feature set that becomes more user-friendly once configured, requires a more substantial ongoing management effort, reflecting its software-based nature and the depth of its configurability. Alcion, with its set-it-and-forget-it approach and user-friendly interface, does not require constant babysitting compared to other solutions.

Data Security  

To safeguard your crucial data, assessing the security features of your Office 365 backup solution is essential. This includes examining key elements like ransomware detection, malware protection, incident response capabilities, and the strength of backup protections such as immutable backups and integration with advanced threat detection systems.

Data Security Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Vs. CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup at a glance

Data Security Feature Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup
Native Ransomware Scanning Lacks documented ransomware detection features. Provides some level of ransomware detection through anomaly detection.
Malware Detection and Elimination Emphasizes immutability of backups as primary defense against malware but may need additional measures for comprehensive protection. Lacks clear documentation on malware scanning capabilities, suggesting a potential gap in this area.
Incident Response Capabilities Lacks documented features for both ransomware detection and automated incident response processes. Offers basic anomaly detection and response but lacks advanced incident response measures.
Backup Protection (Delayed Deletion, Immutable Backups) Offers conditional immutability requiring additional setups but does not support delayed deletion. Supports data immutability through Azure WORM storage but does not seem to support delayed deletion.
XDR (Extended Detection and Response) Integration Lacks documented integration with any XDR tools, indicating a potential vulnerability in utilizing external threat intelligence. Can send data to SIEM tools, but lacks the ability to receive, process, or connect to XDR tools.

Native Ransomware Scanning

Given the current threat landscape, it's vital to have a built-in early warning system for ransomware attacks. Native ransomware scanning capabilities in your backup solution can significantly aid in detecting and minimizing the impact of these attacks on your organization.

Veeam's Microsoft 365 backup solution currently lacks documented native ransomware scanning capabilities. While Veeam provides comprehensive backup and recovery options, this gap suggests that organizations may need to incorporate additional measures or third-party solutions to specifically address ransomware detection within their backup strategy.

Metallic, however, provides some level of ransomware detection through anomaly detection. It can identify unusual patterns in backup data, such as excessive file backups, which could indicate potential ransomware activity.  

In the face of escalating ransomware attack complexity, native ransomware scanning is a game-changer. While Metallic provides some proactive ransomware threat detection through anomaly detection in backup data, Alcion surpasses both with its exclusive AI-driven per-user and per-site scanning capabilities. This offers advanced ransomware detection designed to evolve and learn from continuous activities, setting Alcion apart.

Malware Detection and Elimination

Preserving clean backups and maintaining data integrity is crucial, making malware detection a key element of your backup solution.

Veeam emphasizes the immutability of backups as its primary defense against malware, incorporating YARA rules for malware detection. However, this aspect may not be as developed as its immutability features, suggesting a need for additional measures or third-party solutions to comprehensively address malware detection and elimination.

Metallic's documentation lacks clear information on its malware scanning capabilities, which may indicate a potential gap in its ability to detect and eliminate malware from backups. This absence of clear documentation raises questions about the completeness of its malware protection measures.

Don't take chances with malware in your backups. While both Metallic and Veeam offer varying degrees of malware protection, Alcion's built-in malware scanning and elimination, powered by seamless integration with Microsoft Defender, ensures your backups stay clean and recoverable.

Incident Response Capabilities

How a backup solution reacts to security threats, especially ransomware and malware detections, is a vital aspect of its overall effectiveness.

Veeam's absence of documented features for both ransomware detection and automated incident response processes reveals a considerable gap in its incident response capabilities. This implies that users might need to implement extra security measures or third-party solutions to efficiently handle incident responses.

Metallic offers basic anomaly detection and response capabilities, allowing users to identify unusual patterns in backup data and take corrective actions. However, its incident response capabilities are limited, lacking advanced measures that could hinder its effectiveness in complex incident recovery scenarios.

Alcion's proactive approach automatically initiates backups upon ransomware detection and effectively identifies unaffected backups for recovery, significantly boosting recovery capabilities. Metallic provides basic incident response capabilities, although its effectiveness may require further validation. Veeam, however, shows a notable gap in incident response, lacking both ransomware detection and automated response processes.

Backup Protection Backup Protection (Delayed Deletion, Immutable Backups)

Delayed deletion stops the immediate removal of backups, providing a shield against accidental or malicious deletion. Immutable backups ensure backup data remains unchanged and undeleted for a set period, protecting against ransomware and unauthorized modifications.

Veeam provides conditional immutability that needs extra setups like Linux servers or S3 object lock for genuine immutability. These requirements introduce operational complexities and could incur additional costs. It's important to note that Veeam does not support delayed deletion, creating a vulnerability where backups could be accidentally or maliciously removed immediately and permanently, lacking an extra safeguard against premature data loss.

Metallic allows customers to enable WORM (Write Once, Read Many) storage in Azure for M365 backups, ensuring immutability and preventing deletion before the specified retention period. However, like Veeam, Metallic does not seem to support delayed deletion, which could expose backups to accidental or malicious deletion without the safety net of a delay period.

Alcion bolsters security with an extra two-week retention of backups post-deletion, offering a crucial window for data recovery and enhancing protection against accidental or malicious deletions. The decision between Veeam and Metallic depends on your organization's unique needs for backup integrity and protection. Metallic showcases backup protection capabilities through WORM storage, contrasting with Veeam's conditional approach to immutability, which requires additional setups.

XDR (Extended Detection and Response) Integration

A backup solution's capacity to integrate seamlessly with broader security systems strengthens your defense against advanced cyber threats. This integration enables your backup environment to leverage comprehensive threat intelligence and responsive actions, reinforcing your overall security posture.

Veeam lacks documented integration with any XDR tools, revealing a gap in this aspect. This points to a potential vulnerability in Veeam's ability to harness external threat intelligence for enhanced security measures. The absence of XDR integration might force organizations to search for additional solutions or workarounds to attain a comprehensive security approach.

Metallic can send data to SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools but lacks the ability to receive and process data from them or connect directly to XDR tools. This limitation suggests that Metallic may not be able to fully leverage external threat intelligence to enhance its security capabilities, potentially hindering its ability to provide a holistic security solution.

While Alcion excels with its integration with Microsoft Defender for XDR, offering a seamless connection that enhances detection and response capabilities without additional effort from the customer, when deciding between Veeam and Metallic, consider how the integration, or lack thereof, with XDR systems impacts your security strategy.  

Open-Source Microsoft 365 Backup Solutions: Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Vs. CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup

Neither Veeam nor CommVault's Metallic actively participates in open-source projects specifically for M365 backup solutions, focusing primarily on their proprietary offerings. However, you'll find that Alcion stands out by providing a free and open-source community edition called Corso. This edition offers a subset of Alcion's commercial version features, allowing you to experience its capabilities while also inspecting, modifying, and contributing to the codebase.

Corso supports native binaries and container images for multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, making it accessible to various users like you. Corso embodies Alcion's commitment to delivering a scalable, secure, and accessible backup tool for Microsoft 365 to users who prefer or require open-source solutions. It presents an alternative for organizations that value the flexibility, customization, and community-driven nature of open-source software.

While Veeam and Metallic do not engage in open-source projects for Microsoft 365 backup solutions, focusing instead on their proprietary technologies, Alcion distinguishes itself by embracing the open-source community.

Alcion Backup as a Service for Microsoft 365: A Better Alternative to Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 and CommVault's Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup

From our Microsoft 365 Backup solutions comparison article: Alcion, stands out for businesses of all sizes seeking advanced security measures, AI-assisted ransomware and malware detection protection, AI-driven backups, and ease of setup, combined with transparent pricing and all-inclusive SaaS convenience.

If you're tired of the complexities and limitations of traditional backup solutions like Veeam and CommVault's Metallic, it's time to switch to Alcion Backup as a Service (BaaS) for Microsoft 365. Alcion offers a fresh approach to data protection, combining the power of the cloud, artificial intelligence, and user-friendly design to deliver a truly modern backup experience. In addition to further strengthening this position we are proud that we are funded by Veeam itself. Read why Veeam led Alcion’s latest funding round.

Alcion stands as a top M365 backup choice for businesses seeking not just data backup but a defense mechanism against modern cyber threats, especially ransomware.

Streamlined Integration and Intelligent Automation: Unlike Veeam, which requires you to install and manage software on your own servers, or Metallic, which runs Commvault's software in the cloud, Alcion is built from the ground up as a true cloud-native solution. This means you don't have to worry about provisioning, configuring, or maintaining any backup infrastructure – Alcion takes care of everything for you. Alcion's SaaS model provides a fully managed service, allowing you to focus on your core business while ensuring your Microsoft 365 data is always protected.

Intelligent Data Protection: While Veeam and Metallic rely on traditional backup scheduling and manual configurations, Alcion uses machine learning algorithms to intelligently optimize your backup strategy.

Alcion analyzes your data usage patterns and automatically adjusts backup frequencies to ensure maximum protection with minimal impact on performance. It proactively detects potential issues and alerts you to any anomalies, giving you peace of mind knowing that your data is always secure.

Advanced Security Features: Alcion's built-in ransomware detection and malware scanning capabilities, powered by AI and seamless integration with Microsoft Defender, provides an unparalleled level of protection against cyber threats. It automatically detects suspicious activities and initiates proactive measures to protect your data. Moreover, Alcion's immutable backups and delayed deletion features ensure that your data is always recoverable, even in the face of accidental or malicious deletions. With Alcion, you can be confident that your backups are secure, compliant, and readily available when you need them.

Effortless User Experience: While Veeam and Metallic can be complex and require specialized expertise to set up and manage, Alcion makes data protection simple and accessible to everyone. With Alcion's intuitive interface and streamlined workflows, you can easily configure and monitor your backups without any special training. The one-click setup process gets you up and running in minutes, while the automated backup verification ensures that your data is always recoverable.

Alcion also provides flexible restore options, allowing you to quickly locate and restore your data using powerful search and granular recovery capabilities. Whether you need to restore a single email, a specific version of a file, or an entire mailbox, Alcion makes it easy and efficient.

Transparent Pricing and Predictable Costs: Finally, Alcion offers a simple and transparent pricing model that eliminates the guesswork and hidden costs associated with traditional backup solutions. With Alcion, you pay a predictable per-user fee, which includes all the features and storage you need.

Unlike Veeam, which requires you to manage your own backup infrastructure and can lead to unpredictable costs, or Metallic, which may charge extra for storage or advanced features, Alcion provides an all-inclusive service with no surprises.

What's next for your organization?

If you're ready to simplify your Microsoft 365 data protection, enhance your security posture, and enjoy a truly modern backup experience, it's time to switch to Alcion Backup as a Service. With its cloud-native architecture, AI-powered features, advanced security, user-friendly design, and transparent pricing, Alcion is the obvious choice for organizations of all sizes.

Don't settle for the limitations and complexities of traditional backup solutions. Upgrade to Alcion and experience the future of Microsoft 365 data protection. Get in touch with our team or sign up for a free trial and get in the driver’s seat to see why you get so much more with Alcion.

Shilpi Srivastava
Shilpi Srivastava
Head of Corporate and Product Marketing

Shilpi is passionate about all things data, AI, and cloud. She is the Head of Corporate and Product Marketing at Alcion. Her early career as a systems engineer at JP Morgan Chase ignited a passion for data-driven solutions. Since then Shilpi has held marketing leadership positions at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Pure Storage, bringing to market products and services spanning cloud infrastructure, data management, AI Ops, and cybersecurity. Now, at Alcion, she thrives on delving deeper into AI-driven innovation within the data protection space and sharing these innovations with the world.