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Symantec is using its annual Vision conference this week to back up its plans to improve the protection of customers' data regardless of how it is stored with additions and enhancements to its storage hardware and software solutions.
Dave Elliott, senior product marketing manager for Symantec's Backup Exec data protection line, said that Symantec is using Vision to introduce five areas where data protection needs to be improved before complete data protection is possible.
Those five are the elimination of backup windows by improving the performance of the backup process, adding search capabilities to backups, taking chance out of the recovery process with the addition of e-discovery capabilities, improving the visibility of backups in virtualized environments, and simplifying the integration of hardware, software, and cloud storage as part of a complete data recovery system, Elliott said.
"It's the end of backups as we know them," Elliott said.
Symantec plans over the course of 2011 to address how it will eliminate backup windows and add search and e-discovery capabilities to data protection, Elliott said. However, it is using its Vision conference to introduce improvements to its products that address backups in virtualized environments and the integration of various backup technologies, he said.
In order to improve the transparency of backups in virtualized environments, Symantec on Tuesday introduced "V-Ray" technology to its NetBackup and its Backup Exec data protection software applications.
V-Ray offers a single solution for understanding and protecting the data of both physical and virtual machines at the same level, letting those applications back up the data of both in a single pass, Elliott said.
That capability also improves the dedupe performance for both while helping avoid the backing up of garbage data, Elliott said. "In virtual machines, there's a lot of garbage data," he said.
Symantec is also adding a VMware vCenter plug-in to its Backup Exec 2010 R3, a capability which will enable users of vCenter to directly see the status of their Backup Express backup jobs, he said.
Symantec is reducing the complexity of backups with the introduction of new hardware appliances and cloud backup capabilities based on its Backup Exec 2010 R3.
The goal is to meet customers' data protection requirements regardless of their storage environments, Elliott said.
"Customer scenarios vary," he said. "Some require software to handle larger data sets, or because it's what they are used to. Others want appliances that can work in managed services environments and which can be remotely managed. And others want cloud data protection where they don't need an infrastructure of their own."
New to Backup Exec 2010 R3 is increased performance of virtual machine backups via a 30 percent to 50 percent improvement in the dedupe ration, Elliott said. Symantec has also increased the security of Backup Exec, and integrated it with the company's Enterprise Vault archiving software.
Prior to Tuesday, Symantec already offered a backup appliance based on its NetBackup software.
The company also worked with Dell to develop an OEM backup appliance based on its Backup Exec software, Elliott said.
New at Vision is a Symantec-branded backup appliance based on Backup Exec 2010 R3. "This is the first time Backup Exec has been offered as an appliance for all customers, especially midsized businesses and those with ROBOs (remote offices or branch offices)," Elliott said. "And it's great for channel partners who act as MSPs for their customers."
Backup Exec is also now integrated with Symantec's storage cloud, making it easy for small businesses or remote offices to back up Windows-based desktops and servers over a secure SSL connection to the cloud. Critical files can be restored to any service-enabled machine after a disaster, Elliott said.
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