Symantec has refreshed its Backup Exec 2010 data protection software with new capabilities the company said makes it a more channel friendly storage product.
Among the changes are features to make it easier for solution providers to get renewals business, install the software, and upsell new modules, said Monica Girolami, senior manager for SMB product marketing at Symantec.
Backup Exec 2010, which was first unveiled in late January, had as its primary new feature the ability to dedupe data either at the client or source, at the media server, or via a third-party appliance.
It also lets customers set policies to handle the archiving of data across multiple storage tiers, as well as granular virtualization capabilities when used with VMware and Microsoft's Hyper-V.
New to Backup Exec 2010 R2 is a renewal assistant tool which Girolami said addresses partner complaints about lack of information about when renewals are coming up.
"Now it automatically alerts partners about the renewal, including for agents and the media server," she said. "And as customers click on the renewals button, they will automatically be taken to their solution provider for the purchase. So not only do partners have the opportunity to sell the renewals, Symantec also provides an alert to customers to contact the partner."
Backup Exec R2 also includes technology that alerts customers via their backup logs when backing up data for which application-specific agents could increase recovery performance, Girolami said. Such applications include Microsoft Exchange and SQL.
"This helps grow the partner's deal size," she said. "Customers will be alerted about the specific agents, and will get help in connecting to the partner. About 70 percent of Backup Exec add-ons are agents."
Also new is an RSS feed which provides partners up-to-date information about updates to the software, Girolami said.
Symantec also increased platform support in Backup Exchange 2010 R2 with the addition of support for SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010 SP1, SQL 2008 R2, Symantec Enterprise Vault 9, Mac OS 10.6 "Snow Leopard," and VMware vSphere 4.1, as well as extended support for NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol) with NetApp's ONTAP 8.0 and EMC's DART 6.0 operating systems.
"So there are a lot of opportunities for partners," she said. "This makes it easy to use Backup Exec in a mixed storage environment."