Veritas' New Backup Exec 9.0 Ready For Windows Server 2003

Gary Bloom, chairman, president, and CEO of Veritas, told an audience at the product launch here that the new version is not an enhancement, but is instead a real step forward.

The product is one of the first to leverage technology from Windows Server 2003, formerly known as Windows .Net, said Mark Bregman, Veritas executive vice president of product operations.

Another key feature in the new software is improvements in the way it backs up Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers, Bregman said. In the past each attachment to an Exchange e-mail was backed up with the e-mail, resulting in multiple copies of identical files. The new Backup Exec backs up only one copy, and links it to the necessary e-mails, he said. The application can also be set up back up incremental changes, rather than the entire e-mail server, and allows individual folders to be restored, he said.

The new version also allows backups to be done with a minimal impact to a small business' operations, said Bregman. For instance, it takes advantage of snapshot technology in Windows Server 2003 to rebuild a Microsoft SQL server in a single step, compared to multiple steps in the past, he said.

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Wizards included in the application allow solution providers to get the application up-and-running within 10 minutes, said Bregman.

Bregman added that Veritas currently offers its higher-end Net Backup application for use in Linux environments, but is considering whether it makes sense to aim Backup Exec at Linux.

Moving forward, Veritas expects to increase the level of integration between Backup Exec and Net Backup, said Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer of the company.

Veritas already has the capability to add new features to both applications simultaneously, said Burton. "That way, if other guys like CommVault or Tivoli come after us, we can be ready," he said.

By next year, the two backup applications are expected to be able to share metadata and read each other's archives, Burton said. "But it's not a high priority for us," he said. "There are not many users who move from Backup Exec to Net Backup. The typical customer continues to grow his or her data within the same application."

Backup Exec 9.0 for Windows Servers is now available with a list price of $795.

The channel continues to be a big part of Backup Exec's sales, with solution providers globally accounting for 99.5 percent of the company's revenue for this product, said Michael Sotnick, vice president of partner sales, who took over the channel leadership after the surprise departure of his predecessor Don Foster.

Veritas has about 8,000 solution providers selling Backup Exec to small and midsize businesses, Sotnick said.

The backup of e-mail is critical, said Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based solution provider who works with both Veritas and its number one competitor, Computer Associates.

In the small and midsize business space, e-mails can take up to 200 Gbytes to 400 Gbytes of space, said Knieriemen. "Many times the CxO-level employee has a great deal of appreciation of the need to back up e-mails," he said. "VARs cater solutions around the pain points of who you are working with. The CxOs may not have an appreciation of pain on the corporate level. But they feel the pain from e-mails on an individual level every day."

Bloom said Veritas is happy to have both direct and channel sales of its products. "We're one of those extremely unique companies with a balance between the two," he said. "Because this products is Windows-focused, it's clearly of interest to our channel partners. They're ready to roll it out."