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Nakivo Backup & Replication 10.6 Review

Data backup is an essential business protection function and there’s no reason why small and medium businesses (SMBs) should be struggling with this as there are plenty of top-quality backup products to choose from. Nakivo’s Backup & Replication (NBR) stands out from the crowd though, as it supports more host platforms than any other solution.

You can run the software on Windows or Linux systems, Nakivo Backup & Replication offers versions that can be virtualized on VMware hosts and Nutanix AVH clusters or you can move it off-premises with a cloud machine image for AWS EC2. NBR adds even more flexibility as it can be deployed to just about any NAS appliance with packages available for Qnap, Synology, Asustor, Netgear, Western Digital, FreeNAS, generic ARM-based models, and even Raspberry Pi.

Client support is extensive as Nakivo Backup & Replication can protect Windows and Linux servers and workstations, VMware vSphere, ESXi and Cloud Director, Hyper-V and Nutanix AVH virtualization hosts, business apps such as Exchange, SQL Server, and Oracle plus Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online – only macOS support is absent. Choices are equally impressive when it comes to deciding where to back up your data as NBR supports local storage, CIFS/NFS network shares, tape, Amazon EC2/S3, and Wasabi cloud repositories plus Dell EMC and HPE deduplication appliances.

Nakivo’s extensive licensing models are based on the features required, protected physical systems and apps, or the number of sockets for virtualization hosts and you can opt for a perpetual license or yearly subscriptions for each type of workload. Licensing for Microsoft 365 is separate, can be combined with any other license, and costs from $0.75 per user per month with a 3-year subscription

Nakivo Backup Synology NAS deployment

Here at Simply.Reviews, we focus primarily on in-depth reviews of NAS appliances so it makes sense for us to test NBR in this type of environment. Deployment couldn’t be easier as we used a Synology DiskStation DS1621+ desktop appliance equipped with four 8TB Synology HAT5300 HDDs and loaded NBR directly from the DSM 7 Package Center.

Nakivo Backup on DS1621+

To test Nakivo, we used Synology’s DS1621+ desktop NAS appliance loaded with DSM7

Nakivo Backup on a Synology NAS

We ran the Nakivo package on a Synology NAS and used its well-designed web console to create a range of data protection jobs

Nakivo Backup & Replication comprises three service components – a Director for central browser-based management, Transporters to handle backup, replication, and recovery operations plus repositories to store backups. These are all automatically deployed on the appliance when you install the package and on first contact with its web console, you create an admin account and add protected systems to its inventory.

Adding our physical Windows servers and workstations was easy as the console pushed the Transporter service to each one after they had been declared. For Hyper-V protection, the service only needs to be installed on the host while for our VMware vSphere host, we just added its credentials after which the console displayed its VMs ready for agentless backup.

Along with the default local backup repository, you can easily add more local, network, or cloud stores and enable features such as data reduction, encryption, and self-healing. Ransomware protection is a high priority as local Nakivo’s repositories can be set as immutable to stop unauthorized deletion of backups and it supports Amazon S3 buckets with Object Lock enabled.

Nakivo Backup features

Nakivo Backup inventory

Protected systems are added to Nakivo’s inventory with backups being stored in repositories

Backup job creation is swift as you select systems from the inventory, choose a repository, create a schedule and select the number of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly recovery points to be retained. When creating jobs for our VMware vSphere and Hyper-V systems, we selected the top-level hosts which meant any new virtual machines (VMs) created on them would be automatically added for protection.

Other general options include enabling application-aware backups, change tracking, and network encryption plus network acceleration for backups running over slow WAN links. For our Amazon S3 repository, we first needed to create an inventory item for our AWS account and then we could set up a repository and choose the bucket we wanted to use.

Nakivo Backup monitoring capabilities

Granular recovery features are extensive and we used them to restore files and also Microsoft 365 Exchange Online emails

Securing our live Microsoft 365 account required a special SaaS repository to be created and we hit a minor glitch as it required more than the 4GB of memory in our test appliance. With this upgraded to 16GB, we had no further problems and after a quick authentication process, we added our MS365 Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business accounts to a scheduled backup job.

Policy-based backups are even more versatile as you can filter backup sources by applying search rules such as characters in a physical machine or VM name, datastore location, power state, and IP addresses. Nakivo Backup & Replication also provides a wealth of VM replication services with options for creating Amazon EC2, VMware, and Hyper-V jobs and using removable media for fast seeding on remote repositories.

Recovery features

File and folder recovery for physical systems is a simple process as you select a backup job, pick a recovery point and choose the data you want to be restored. Usefully, you can restore it to its original location or another place, download it to the system running the web console, or email it to a user.

Application-aware backups ensure hosted apps such as SQL Server and Exchange are automatically included and granular recovery services extend to restoring SQL databases and Exchange objects. For our Windows server hosting SQL Server, we selected our SQL instance, viewed all its databases, and selected ones to recover back to their original location, a custom location on the host, or exported to local or CIFS shared storage.

NBR Monitoring Tab

The monitoring tab provides an overview of VMware host performance and datastore status

Disaster recovery features are excellent and include replication of VMware and Hyper-V VMs as clones with up to 30 recovery points. We tested this with a VMware clone of a Windows Server 2022 VM and the job created a replica on the host ready to be used should the original fail or be damaged.

There’s much more as new VMs can be created from an existing backup while a Flash VM Boot recovery job creates a new VM by running it directly from the backup repository without restoring it first. Using our Windows Server 2022 VM again, we ran a Flash Boot job for it and in only four minutes, had a temporary VM ready for action on our VMware host.

Conclusion

Nakivo’s Backup & Replication is one of the most versatile backup solutions we’ve yet seen and the ability to host it on such a wide range of platforms makes it ideal for businesses large and small. Support for all the key players in the NAS appliance market will appeal to SMBs as they can deploy a centralized data protection and disaster recovery solution at an affordable price.

During testing, we had no problems hosting it on a Synology DS1621+ NAS appliance and were impressed with Nakivo’s slick data backup and recovery services. It’s easy to deploy and use, client support is extensive and the various licensing plans mean you only pay for what you need.

Nakivo’s Backup & Replication is one of the most versatile backup solutions we’ve yet seen and the ability to host it on such a wide range of platforms makes it ideal for businesses large and small.

9.3Expert Score
One of the most versatile backup solutions we’ve seen

Nakivo’s Backup & Replication is one of the most versatile backup solutions we’ve yet seen and the ability to host it on such a wide range of platforms makes it ideal for businesses large and small.

Performance
9
Features
9.5
Usability
9
Value
9
Support
10
PROS
  • Great value
  • Easy to deploy and manage
  • Massive platform support
  • Works very well with NAS appliances
  • Sophisticated backup and recovery features
  • Microsoft 365 protection
CONS
  • SaaS repository requires more than 4GB of NAS memory
  • No macOS support

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