EMC on Tuesday unveiled EMC NetWorker 8.0, the first major upgrade to its flagship data protection software in years and the first to include multi-tenancy, a key feature for use in cloud and managed services environments.
EMC NetWorker 8.0 also includes significant increases in performance and scalability, improved integration with other EMC technologies including the vendor's Data Domain deduplication appliances, and enhanced support for Microsoft applications.
However, it is the multi-tenancy feature that solution providers said is the most critical for helping customers take advantage of cloud and managed services offerings.
EMC got NetWorker with its 2003 acquisition of Legato.
Multi-tenancy gives service providers and large enterprises the ability to create logical zones, provide isolated data capabilities and separate customers, said Rob Emsley, senior director of product marketing for EMC's backup and recovery systems division.
"In the past, for large enterprises to do this, they would need multiple nodes and backup devices," Emsley said. "Now they can share resources but have separate services environments."
The addition of multi-tenancy to EMC NetWorker 8.0 provides EMC a new growth opportunity in the part of the data protection market where brand name is not so important, said Keith Norbie, vice president of Nexus, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based office of Stratos Management Services, an Atlanta-based solution provider and EMC partner.
EMC's NetWorker, which since EMC's acquisition of Legato has been seen as an old-school legacy product, has done well in legacy NetWorker environments, but it has had a difficult time attracting new customers, Norbie said.
"The biggest caveat in data protection software is not the killer feature but the killer take-out," he said. "Solution providers offering technology with the ability to attract new customers can do well. That's why multi-tenancy and managed services are important."
Moving customers to new backup technologies is hard unless a managed service is involved, Norbie said.
"Migrating customers to a new backup product is one of the hardest things a solution provider can do," he said. "Manufacturers sometimes even offer the products for free, but customers may not take it."
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