Symantec Revives 'Veritas' For New Unified Storage

Symantec is reintroducing the Veritas brand with a new release of its NetBackup application, which for the first time unifies Symantec and third-party functions in one platform.

Veritas NetBackup 6.5, unveiled Tuesday at the Symantec Vision conference in Las Vegas, combines tape and disk backup, virtual tape libraries (VTLs), data de-duplication, continuous data protection (CDP), data snapshots and replication under a single licensing and pricing system, with an aim toward enabling storage to be delivered as a service.

Symantec is currently referring to some of its products as "Veritas NetBackup" and "Veritas PureDisk," said Marty Ward, director of product marketing for NetBackup. "The Veritas name still has a lot of recognition," he said. "You'll be seeing it a lot more."

Under Symantec's Storage United strategy, the company over the next 18 months plans to bring its data protection, storage management and data archiving technology under a unified platform, starting this week with data protection, Ward said.

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The typical business customer uses an array of applications, and each has different data protection requirements, with data recovery objectives ranging from those that must be back up in seconds after a failure to those that can get buy without immediate recovery, Ward said. However, the typical business has data replication or snapshots for high-speed recovery and tape backup for archiving, with new technologies like virtual tape libraries, data de-duplication and continuous data protection filling the gap between the two, he said.

Veritas NetBackup 6.5 brings replication, de-dupe and CDP together and integrates with any vendor's VTL or tape backup device, as well as with a wide range of third-party applications, Ward said.

It's a brilliant move for Symantec to bring many of those capabilities together, said Mark Teter, CTO of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based solution provider.

"Symantec has a lot of neat stuff," Teter said. "Bare metal restore, de-dupe, encryption. Now there's nothing they can't do. Point solutions from other vendors have been chinking Symantec's armor. But by integrating all these different technologies, it's creating a very powerful enterprise package."

The integration comes after Symantec made a spate of acquisitions to bring in new technology, such as bare metal restore, according to Teter.

"NetBackup is one of their crown jewels," he said. "Now they're doing so much with it."

The first big addition to the application is an Enterprise Client for heterogeneous snapshot management and CDP, which Ward said greatly enhances NetBackup's legacy disk-based and tape-based backup capabilities.

Though NetBackup previously had a snapshot client, the new Enterprise Client works with Symantec and third-party snapshot tools, Ward said. It also includes a new SAN Client, which is a thin, lightweight client that allows all backups and recoveries to be done over the storage network rather than over a LAN. In the next couple of months, Symantec also plans to integrate a new version of its CDP software, which allows recovery points to be created at any time.

Next: More on the new NetBackup

The second major change to NetBackup is deep integration and management of backup appliances, Ward said. That includes a VTL tape option for devising policies to automatically create an additional archive copy of data as it's backed up to a VTL, as well as an open storage disk option that lets data be backed up to disk in its original format instead of being streamed as if it's going to tape.

The open storage disk option will be done via partnerships with companies such as Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems, Sepaton, Copam and others, Ward said.

"This will let customers streamline the backup direct to disk without thinking of it as tape," he said. "This takes out a lot of overhead. We can also turn on and control certain features of the disk arrays related to creating replicas of the data."

The third addition to NetBackup is native disk backup and SAN sharing, including a new flexible disk option that Ward said enables customers to create storage pools from their current storage devices without having to buy specialized hardware. Symantec is also including SAN sharing so multiple users can access the data, as well as load balancing, he said.

Also included with the new addition is the PureDisk storage option, based on the PureDisk de-dupe software Symantec introduced a little over a year ago. PureDisk can be purchased as an option to NetBackup 6.5, and stand-alone versions of PureDisk can be bought to do data de-dupe in remote offices in conjunction with NetBackup 6.5 installed in a central office, Ward said.

NetBackup 6.5 also now includes the ability to back up virtual machine images created with VMware. That allows customers to put Symantec's PureDisk de-dupe clients on applications support by VMware so the virtual machine images or files created by those virtual machines can be de-duped, Ward said.

It also allows VMware consolidated backup so that virtual machine images and data can be backed up in one pass, with the complete images or individual files able to be recovered.

Symantec, too, has simplified its licensing model, and now offers only three client and agent options, much lower than the 30 previously offered, Ward said.

The NetBackup 6.5 Standard Client includes the NetBackup application, a PureDisk client, bare metal restore and a data encryption client at no charge, Ward said. However, there's a separate license fee to use PureDisk.

The NetBackup 6.5 Enterprise Client, for which there is an additional charge, includes the SAN Media Server, SAN client, snapshot client and VMware consolidated backup client.

Customers can also order the application and databases pack, which allows NetBackup 6.5 to work with all applications, except SAP, without the need to order specific interfaces.

In addition, customers can continue to buy the components separately. "But the new model saves money for most customers," Ward said.

Along with its per-server licensing model, Symantec is offering per-Tbyte licensing, which lets customers pay based on their storage capacity, he added.