Feb 21, 2024
14 min read

Commercial and Open Source Alternatives to Veeam Backup and Recovery for Microsoft 365 (2024)

Commercial and Open Source Alternatives to Veeam Backup and Recovery for Microsoft 365 (2024)

Exploring the landscape of Microsoft 365 backup solutions reveals a complex market where Veeam stands out as a heavyweight contender. Known for its comprehensive backup and restore capabilities, Veeam caters especially well to large corporations that demand detailed customization, extensive reporting, and management of multifaceted environments. Its prowess in executing detailed restore functions and integrating a variety of storage solutions marks it as a leader in the space. However, this level of sophistication introduces a layer of complexity in storage management, prompting some organizations to seek alternatives that might better align with their specific needs.

In the spirit of full disclosure, it is noteworthy to mention that Veeam, despite being a competitor, has played a significant role in fostering innovation within the industry by leading the latest funding round for Alcion, a testament to the competitive yet collaborative nature of the backup solutions sector.

In this article, we will cover the best Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 alternatives currently available examining each option's features, advantages, and potential drawbacks.

Let’s go!

What is Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365?

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 sets the standard in safeguarding Microsoft 365 data as one of the oldest platforms. Veeam differentiates itself by aligning with the needs of large corporations that face complex data environments. By integrating with diverse storage solutions, Veeam offers flexibility, ensuring businesses can maintain robust data protection protocols while managing the inherent complexities of such versatility.  

As a solution that evolves alongside the shifting paradigms of cloud and on-premises data management, Veeam operates in a conventional setup where customers install the software on Windows servers, either on-premises or in a cloud environment.

While it offers advanced features and flexibility, organizations considering Veeam should also evaluate the implications of managing its infrastructure, especially when comparing it to more cloud-native solutions. Furthermore, setting up Veeam, especially in large environments, demands careful management of multiple configurations and backup proxies, highlighting the need for meticulous planning and execution in its deployment to ensure seamless operation and data protection.

Who Uses Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365?  

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is the go-to choice for large corporations seeking advanced backup solutions tailored to their complex needs. It stands out for its ability to provide intricate backup customization and detailed reporting, catering to organizations with multifaceted environments.  

Its prowess in delivering precise restore functionalities, especially the capacity to restore data back to on-premises setups, positions Veeam as a critical tool for intricate IT landscapes.  

Additionally, Veeam's compatibility with a variety of storage solutions offers flexibility but necessitates careful management to navigate the complexity this flexibility introduces. Perfect for entities that prioritize comprehensive data protection strategies, Veeam excels in environments where complexity is the norm, not the exception.

Why Look for a Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Alternative?

While Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is a cornerstone for many in ensuring data protection, certain factors prompt users to explore alternatives. These include:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Seeking solutions that offer a more favorable cost structure without compromising on quality or functionality.
  • Simplicity and User Experience: The need for a system that reduces complexity, making it easier for teams to manage backups without extensive training.
  • Unified Backup Solutions: The desire for a more integrated approach to managing backups across various data sources to streamline operations.
  • Specific Feature Requirements: Looking for solutions that provide features or integrations with Microsoft 365 that Veeam might not fully support, such as granular mailbox recovery or dynamic SharePoint site backup.
  • Infrastructure and Management Considerations: Evaluating the impact of Veeam's infrastructure demands, especially in large environments and as it transitions towards a BaaS (Backup as a Service) model, on resources.

What to Look for in a Veeam Alternative?

In our analysis of top Microsoft 365 Backup solutions, Veeam emerged as a strong contender, especially praised for its cloud-to-on-premises backup capabilities and advanced restore options in complex environments.  

It serves large corporations with a legacy footprint, offering extensive backup and restore choices, robust search functionalities, and detailed reporting.  

However, depending on your company's size and diverse organizational needs, you might seek alternatives that address Veeam's limitations. This exploration is crucial for organizations aiming to find solutions that not only meet but exceed the challenges posed by Veeam's infrastructure, including cost, complexity, and specific feature sets.

Seek Simplicity in Management

Opt for a solution that declutters the complex landscape of infrastructure management. A platform that leans towards a cloud-native approach, minimizing or outright eliminating the need to juggle Windows servers, whether they're stationed on-premises or in the cloud. This shift promises a more streamlined approach to both security and resource management, offering peace of mind and operational efficiency.

Prioritize User-Friendly Setup

Your aim should be a backup solution that’s synonymous with ease—easy to deploy and even easier to manage, regardless of the scale. Solutions that feature user-friendly interfaces, automatic processes, and minimal manual input allow for smoother operation, making them invaluable for organizations of any size.

Demand Cost Efficiency

A viable Veeam alternative should not only fit your technical requirements but also your budget. Look for solutions offering transparent pricing without hidden costs—a model that ensures you get the most bang for your buck. This becomes crucial for smaller entities or those mindful of their financial framework.

Embrace Cloud-First Approaches

In the realm of backup and recovery, the future is in the cloud. Hence, selecting a solution that is either fully integrated with cloud services or offers uncomplicated cloud migrations can significantly reduce the intricacies associated with traditional server management. The ideal choice would be a solution that fully embraces a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, leveraging cloud scalability and accessibility to offer a seamless, efficient backup experience.

Arm Yourself with Modern Ransomware Protection  

A solution with modern ransomware protection and advanced threat detection, vigilantly monitors for suspicious activity. Intelligent backups and rapid restoration capabilities mean you are always prepared, minimizing operational downtime.

What are the alternatives to Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365?

The landscape for Microsoft 365 backup solutions is rapidly evolving, driven by diversifying needs of organizations ranging from small businesses to global enterprises, the Microsoft 365 ecosystem proliferation, and breads of new and advanced cyber threats. The top Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 alternatives include Alcion Backup as a Service for Microsoft 365, Commvault’s Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup, AvePoint Cloud Backup for Microsoft 365, and Rubrik Microsoft 365 Backup, each with its own benefits and differentiators.

Against this backdrop of innovation and competition, Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 has carved out a reputation as a preferred solution for many users. Its appeal lies in its broad service coverage and sophisticated restore capabilities, which stand out in a crowded marketplace. However, as the market matures and demands evolve, it is crucial to examine how Veeam holds up against these alternatives, each with its unique strengths and areas of specialization. Here is what we know about each in comparison to Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365.

Alcion Backup as a Service for Microsoft 365

Alcion Backup as a Service for Microsoft 365 screenshot

From our Microsoft 365 Backup solutions snapshot 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.

Alcion Backup as a Service for Microsoft 365 redefines data protection with its AI-driven approach, seamlessly blending user convenience with high-level security measures. 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 choice for businesses seeking not just data backup but a defense mechanism against modern cyber threats, especially ransomware.

Cloud-First: Embracing a cloud-native strategy, Alcion eliminates the need for on-premises infrastructure, reducing both cost and complexity. Veeam, while powerful, often necessitates additional infrastructure investment, catering to organizations equipped to manage such environments.

Intelligent Backup: Alcion introduces an innovative, AI-powered scheduling system that optimizes backup timing based on actual data usage and risk assessment. This ensures efficient data protection without unnecessary redundancy, a feature yet to be matched by Veeam, which relies on more conventional, scheduled backup strategies.

User-Friendly Setup: Alcion's service simplifies the deployment process with an intuitive one-click setup, markedly contrasting Veeam's more complex configuration requirements. This ease of setup ensures that Alcion is accessible to a wider range of users, from small businesses to large enterprises.

Cost Efficiency: Alcion presents a clear advantage with its transparent per-seat pricing model, offering organizations a predictable cost without hidden fees for infrastructure or maintenance. Veeam's pricing structure, while robust, can introduce unpredictability in overall costs due to its infrastructure and management requirements.

Modern Ransomware Protection: Alcion utilizes AI to analyze user behavior and system activity, detecting and responding to ransomware attacks in real-time. These modern ransomware detection capabilities ensure that backups are initiated preemptively upon detection of a threat, securing data before it can be compromised. While Veeam focuses on data immutability and resilience as its primary defense mechanisms, it lacks the advanced AI-driven detection and automated response capabilities that Alcion boasts. Veeam's traditional approach to ransomware protection may require manual intervention, which could delay response times in the event of an attack.

Proactive Malware Detection: Alcion's backup solution is designed to automatically detect and filter out malware during the backup process, integrating closely with Microsoft Defender to enhance this capability. This level of protection is crucial for preventing malware from contaminating backups and ensuring clean restores.

Incident Response: Alcion's system marks known good backups, simplifying recovery, and minimizing downtime in the event of an attack. This capability, continuous and automatic customer backups verification, combined with its advanced ransomware detection, positions Alcion as a leader in incident response among backup solutions for Microsoft 365.

Commvault’s Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup

Commvault’s Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup screenshot

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

Commvault’s Metallic Microsoft 365 Backup emerges as a comprehensive solution, distinguished for its extensive Microsoft 365 service coverage, including support for less common applications like Microsoft Project and Dynamics 365. This breadth positions Metallic as an adaptable choice for businesses with diverse backup requirements, ensuring a versatile backup solution that aligns with both modern cloud environments and legacy system support.

Scope and Coverage: While Veeam is recognized for cloud-to-on-premises backup and advanced restore options in complex environments, Commvault’s Metallic stands out for its wide-ranging Microsoft 365 service coverage. Metallic’s ability to back up additional applications extends its utility beyond the conventional suite, catering to enterprises seeking comprehensive data protection strategies.

Cloud-native vs. Legacy Leverage: Metallic's SaaS model offers a seamless cloud experience, simplifying the transition for businesses leaning into cloud infrastructure. In contrast, Veeam, traditionally focused on on-premises solutions, is transitioning towards a BaaS model, still necessitating Windows servers in the cloud.

Security and Infrastructure Management: Both Veeam and Metallic prioritize security and data integrity, yet their approaches to infrastructure management differ. Veeam’s setup, especially in larger environments, demands meticulous management of configurations and backup proxies. On the other hand, Metallic requires regular monitoring to ensure backup success, like Veeam's need for continuous management of backup operations and infrastructure  

Ransomware Scanning and Malware Detection: Both solutions offer anomaly detection capabilities; however, Metallic's documented approach to ransomware scanning and the absence of malware detection features suggest a more focused but potentially limited security approach compared to Veeam's broader, albeit less documented, strategies.

Incident Response: Metallic's basic anomaly detection and response capabilities may limit its effectiveness in comprehensive incident recovery scenarios, contrasting with Veeam's more developed, if not fully automated, incident response processes.

Simplicity and Maintenance: Veeam’s comprehensive capabilities come with a complexity that requires dedicated IT resources, particularly for organizations with intricate backup needs and large-scale operations. Metallic, by incorporating CommVault’s established backup technology into a cloud-native solution, aims to simplify the backup process, potentially offering a more user-friendly experience for businesses transitioning to cloud-based infrastructures.

Cost of Ownership: Organizations considering either solution must weigh the total cost of ownership, which includes not just the licensing fees but also the costs associated with infrastructure, management, and maintenance. The financial lens reveals another layer of consideration. Metallic's SaaS pricing model may align better with businesses desiring transparent costs, whereas Veeam's robust feature set and scalability could justify its investment for enterprises with extensive backup demands.

Overall, Commvault’s Metallic and Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 each provide powerful solutions tailored to different organizational needs. Metallic’s appeal lies in its extensive service coverage and cloud-native flexibility, making it particularly suited for businesses seeking broad Microsoft 365 backup solutions with modern applications support. Veeam, with its focus on complex environments and advanced restore capabilities, remains a formidable option for large corporations with detailed backup customization needs.  

AvePoint Cloud Backup for Microsoft 365 (Office 365)

AvePoint Cloud Backup for Microsoft 365 (Office 365) - screenshot

From our Microsoft 365 Backup solutions snapshot article: AvePoint’s container-based backup management allows dynamic resource inclusion, fitting for backup scenarios of medium-sized enterprises.

AvePoint Cloud Backup for Microsoft 365 offers a comprehensive backup solution tailored for Microsoft's suite. It extends beyond the core services of Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, covering additional applications like Microsoft Project, Yammer, Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Dynamics 365. This extensive coverage positions AvePoint as a versatile solution for organizations looking to safeguard a wide array of Microsoft 365 components.

Service Breadth of Coverage: Both AvePoint and Veeam offer thorough backup capabilities for core Microsoft 365 services. However, AvePoint distinguishes itself by also supporting a broader range of applications, enhancing its appeal for organizations utilizing the full spectrum of Microsoft 365 services.

Automated Service and Resource Discovery: AvePoint simplifies the backup setup with a basic level of automated service and resource discovery, ensuring a smoother integration process. This streamlined approach contrasts with Veeam's detailed, albeit more complex, discovery and configuration process, requiring more hands-on management.

Automatic Resource Protection: AvePoint's container-based system uniquely supports dynamic protection based on group membership, providing flexibility in managing backups for fluctuating user groups. This contrasts with Veeam's approach, which, while comprehensive, may require manual adjustments and a more traditional backup job configuration in certain scenarios.

Backup Operation Flexibility: AvePoint employs "containers" to allow detailed control over backup objects and frequency, offering a customizable experience for managing backups. This system supports the dynamic addition or subtraction of users based on specific criteria, offering an adaptable backup strategy. This adaptability provides an edge over Veeam, where backup operations, though comprehensive, may not offer the same level of flexibility for dynamic environments.

Ongoing Management: Both Veeam and AvePoint require dedicated attention for optimal performance. Veeam's substantial management needs stem from its software-based nature, demanding constant monitoring of backups, restores, and system capacity. AvePoint, while offering a SaaS application, can necessitate more management than expected, especially if custom storage solutions are used.

Ransomware Scanning and Malware Detection: AvePoint's ability to detect backup data anomalies and potentially identify ransomware attacks contrasts with Veeam's lack of documented ransomware detection features within its Microsoft 365 backup solutions. For malware detection and elimination, AvePoint does not explicitly mention these capabilities, suggesting a gap in this area, while Veeam emphasizes immutability as a defense mechanism but also incorporates additional measures for malware protection.

Incident Response: AvePoint has recently focused on enhancing its incident investigation and response mechanisms, indicating a growing capacity for handling complex security incidents. In contrast, Veeam's approach lacks specific features for automated incident response, highlighting a significant area for improvement in its security posture.

Veeam and AvePoint both present attractive options for Microsoft 365 backup requirements. Veeam distinguishes itself through its extensive backup solutions and sophisticated restoration features, ideally suited for intricate setups and major enterprises. On the other hand, AvePoint shines with its comprehensive service offerings and focus on user-friendliness, making it a favorite for companies utilizing a diverse array of Microsoft 365 tools. For companies deeply embedded in Microsoft's ecosystem that also need adaptable backup strategies may find AvePoint to be a more suitable solution, while those focused on detailed discovery and comprehensive backup jobs might lean towards Veeam's strengths.

Rubrik Microsoft 365 Backup

Rubrik Microsoft 365 Backup - screenshot

From our Microsoft 365 Backup solutions snapshot article: Rubrik's combination of automated resource discovery and user-friendly interface, complemented by competitive pricing, makes it a strong contender in the backup solution market, especially for businesses seeking both efficiency and security.

Rubrik's Microsoft 365 Backup solution stands as a robust platform designed to secure core Microsoft 365 services, including Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams. Unique to Rubrik is its capability to backup and recover Entra (formerly Azure AD), positioning it as a solution with a keen focus on security and identity protection within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

Service Coverage: Rubrik and Veeam are well-matched in backing up essential Microsoft 365 services. Rubrik distinguishes itself by including Entra (formerly Azure AD) in its backup capabilities, a move that underscores its commitment to securing identity data alongside traditional service data.

Backup Capabilities: While Veeam is known for its advanced restore options and support for complex environments, Rubrik simplifies the backup process by focusing on core services plus Entra, aiming for streamlined, efficient backups without compromising on security.

Automated Discovery and Security: Rubrik excels in the automation of resource discovery and protection, ensuring new resources are seamlessly identified and secured. This automation is crucial for maintaining comprehensive data security as organizations evolve, offering a contrast to Veeam's more manual approach to configuring and managing backups.

Ongoing Management: Rubrik minimizes ongoing management efforts, especially in hosted solutions, offering a stark contrast to Veeam's intensive management requirements. This difference underscores Rubrik's emphasis on streamlined operations versus Veeam's comprehensive yet resource-intensive approach.

Ransomware Scanning and Malware Detection: Rubrik's capabilities in detecting unusual patterns indicative of ransomware and its comprehensive malware scanning offer robust security features. Veeam, on the other hand, lacks documented ransomware detection for Microsoft 365 and focuses on immutability for malware defense, presenting a mixed approach to these critical security aspects.

Incident Response: Rubrik's specialized tracking and NLP tools for managing ransomware impacts and crisis communication demonstrate a sophisticated approach to incident response. Veeam's absence of automated incident response features mark a notable difference, suggesting a gap in its ability to manage security incidents effectively.

Limitations and Flexibility: Rubrik's approach, while efficient, does not announce support for backing up additional Microsoft 365-related services beyond those listed. This focus on core services and Entra may suit organizations prioritizing simplicity and security in their backup strategy. In contrast, Veeam offers a broader range of backup options but requires a non-reversible change to the Veeam server for Team Chats and faces limitations with OneNote notebooks and Team Chats due to API constraints.

When comparing Veeam vs Rubrik, the contrast in their approaches to backup management, security, and incident response becomes clear. Veeam’s extensive backup functionalities serve well for organizations with specific, complex backup requirements. Rubrik, on the other hand, emphasizes ease of use, automated management, and strong security features, including effective ransomware scanning and incident response capabilities. This makes Rubrik an attractive option for businesses prioritizing streamlined operations and comprehensive security measures.  

Corso Open-Source Microsoft 365 Backup

Corso Open-Source Microsoft 365 Backup - screenshot

Under the Apache v2 license, Corso began as a small project and has developed into a remarkable community-driven solution. In that regard, Alcion has two separate efforts in the Microsoft 365 backup ecosystem, Alcion and Corso, fit for different use cases and a contender for an open source Veeam alternative.

Our goal in developing an open-source solution for Microsoft 365 protection was to offer backup and restore processes that shorten backup times, accelerate recovery times, and minimize administrative burden. We also have a custom high-speed Microsoft 365 Graph API data mover and a high-performance data engine (powered by Kopia) for best-in-class performance.

Open-source software, by its nature, offers unparalleled transparency and customization potential, making Corso an intriguing option for organizations that value understanding and controlling their backup processes.

Community-Driven Open Source: With its roots in community collaboration, Corso benefits from the collective wisdom of a diverse group of developers and users. This vibrant ecosystem ensures continuous improvement and rapid adaptation to new challenges and needs.

Command-Line Interface: Designed for those comfortable with PowerShell or terminal commands, Corso caters to users with technical proficiency, allowing for flexible and powerful backup operations.

Ransomware Defense: Leveraging encryption and immutable object storage, Corso offers protection against ransomware, ensuring your data remains secure and recoverable even in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Built on Corso's robust foundation, Alcion’s commercial Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution for backing up Microsoft 365 data, tackles some of the additional challenges our customers have asked us to take on.

Discover the Ideal Veeam Alternative for Your Organization

If the intricacies of Veeam's backup solutions have you navigating through complex setups and pondering over storage management challenges, it may be the right moment to consider a shift.  

Our comprehensive rundown of the leading Veeam alternatives aims to guide you toward a backup solution that resonates more closely with your organization's specific requirements.

In an industry where innovation is key, it is noteworthy to mention our unique position, being a beneficiary of Veeam's support through their lead investment in Alcion. This investment underscores the collaborative spirit within the competitive landscape, driving forward advancements in backup technologies.

If you are evaluating your options and seeking guidance, consider Alcion's Backup as a Service for Microsoft 365. Alcion, bolstered by Veeam's backing, stands out for its AI-driven intelligence, user-friendly interface, and robust ransomware protection. This combination of innovative technology and industry support positions Alcion as a distinguished choice for organizations looking to enhance their backup and recovery capabilities.

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.

Georgi Matev
Georgi Matev
Head of Product

Georgi Matev is the Head of Product at Alcion. Georgi has spent his entire career in Product Management for enterprise B2B and B2B2C companies in a number of verticals including storage and data protection, AI infrastructure, healthcare, and travel tech. Most recently, he held product leadership positions at Domino Data Lab and Kasten. Georgi holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Harvard University.