Many of the companies are using third party backup software for SQL server in order to help to reduce their backup size. Especially in the older days in 2000-2008, where SQL 2008 required enterprise edition to use backup compression, but moving to SQL 2008 R2, standard edition can utilize this great feature as well.
Due to historical reasons, many of the backup scripts might be made using the third party backup software and there are people believes third party is better. In recent days, the only thing that native backup cannot do is to perform object-based restore (eg restore a given table), if that is not your main concerns, you might like to take another look in SQL native backup.
One of the third party software I used was Redgate, it was a good tool and it works well with ola scripts. One of the major benefit I like is the it has different level of compression (not using the SQL compression), which allow the backup size to reduce even more, with the trade-off of CPU and duration.
I did a test on one of the DB with size 122 Gb (98Gb data with 99% used) on a SQL 2008 R2 standard server. Here are the result:
|SQL Native||10.2||8 mins 6 sec|
|Redgate Compression = 1||10.8||8 mins 11 sec|
|Redgate Compression = 2||9.83||10 mins 41 sec|
|Redgate Compression = 3||8.56||14 mins 23 sec|
|Redgate Compression = 4||4.73||39 mins 15 sec|
With the default compression setting of 1 in Redgate, you can see that the using SQL native backup got a smaller size with roughly the same duration. But if space is really a concern and you have longer backup window, you can set the compression level to 4 which will give you ~54% saving on disk compares to native backup. However you will need to take into account that duration of the backup is much longer (near 5 times) and it use more CPU along the way.
As peoples always say "there is no free lunch", if you are really short on space but got space CPU and long backup window, it a pretty good option. If not, utilizing native backup might not be a bad choice either, since its totally FREE !