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2/6/2012
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Symantec Expands Backup Options

New versions of Backup Exec and NetBackup reduce backup windows, enhance replication and snapshots.

12 Enterprise IT Resolutions For 2012
12 Enterprise IT Resolutions For 2012
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Symantec on Monday rolled out new versions of its Backup Exec and NetBackup software. The company also introduced a new product, Backup Exec Small Business Edition, for businesses with 5-99 employees, and a service called BackupExec.cloud, which provides off-site backup and disaster recovery for SMBs.

In addition, the company unveiled a new version of its virtualization backup product called Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition, which is designed to back up only virtual workloads.

Symantec, like many other vendors, claims that backup is broken. Citing a recent study, the company says that 49% of customers can’t meet service level agreements because they have too much data, and that 50% of small and mid-sized businesses don’t have disaster recovery plans. It says that information is being protected in silos, backup windows are being missed, and many businesses don’t have disaster recovery plans because DR is too complex and difficult to implement.

With these new packages and services, Symantec is hoping to "unbreak" the backup problem.

Backup Exec 2012 has a new graphical interface that makes it easier for IT generalists to implement and configure backup systems. Within the Backup Exec family, the company is also offering Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition, for companies with 5-99 employees. The Small Business Edition allows for on-premises backup and recovery of data. Symantec also introduced Backup Exec.cloud, a service that lets small businesses back up un-deduplicated data into the Symantec backup cloud for $70 per gigabyte per year. This service is for customers who want to deploy data protection as a service and do not want to build out a local infrastructure for data protection. Customers who want to implement a hybrid cloud data protection model should purchase a copy of either NetBackup or Backup Exec with the optional Open Storage Technology (OST) Cloud Storage plug-in.

[ Symantec released a fix for PCAnywhere after hacker attack, but vulnerabilities could remain. Read more at Symantec Patches PCAnywhere, But Should You Delete? ]

Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition works with VMware and Hyper-V and is used to protect virtual machines. It includes deduplication to reduce the amount of virtual machine data being backed up and is agentless in order to facilitate granular application recovery. Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition can be used to convert physical to virtual machines or to back up to virtual machines. To convert physical to virtual, the software initiates two concurrent streams of data: one to the media server, the second to the hypervisor. This results in a backup of the full virtual machine, not just the virtual disk. In backup to virtual machine, the software initiates a backup stream to the media server and then runs a conversion job to the hypervisor. This also results in a full VM backup.

With NetBackup 7.5, Symantec has implemented three new capabilities: NetBackup Accelerator, Replication Director, and NetBackup Search.

NetBackup Accelerator was designed to enable businesses to meet their backup windows. It backs up only changed files and uses NFS or CIFS to backup NAS filers. The software reads and dedupes the changed files, sends unique data blocks to the media server, performs full data backups, and sends the metadata for the changes to the backup catalog.

NetBackup Replication Director combines NetBackup with the replication of snapshots and allows file-level recovery from any replicated snapshot. It presently works with NetApp snapshot technology.

Finally, NetBackup Search saves on the cost and manual searching of backup images for eDiscovery purposes. It allows administrators to save, edit, and export search queries, and quickly find relevant files in a backup environment.

NetBackup 7.5 starts at $3,995 for a 5-client starter pack. The complete edition includes V-Ray, Replication Director, NetBackup Search, and all other new components under a single capacity-based price of $12,000 per TB.

Backup Exec starts at $995 per server. Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition starts at $1,695 per hypervisor socket.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

IT's spending as much as ever on disaster recovery, despite advances in virtualization and cloud techniques. It's time to break free. Download our Disaster Recovery Disaster supplement now. (Free registration required.)

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