Symantec Tunes Data Protection Appliances For Cloud, Virtualization

Symantec Tuesday updated its NetBackup and Backup Exec lines with the newest versions of its data protection software applications in addition to improved performance, capacity, and integration with virtualized and cloud environments.

The new appliances were introduced on the opening day of the Symantec Vision 2012 conference, being held this week in Las Vegas.

The enterprise-class NetBackup 5220 and the SMB and midrange Backup Exec 3600 appliances together target a market where customers of all sizes are looking to increase the speed of their data protection technology, improve existing or implement new service level agreements, and increase their ability to survive a disaster, said Peter Elliman, senior manager of product marketing for Symantec.

"So at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the size of the company is," Elliman said. "They all have unique problems with backups."

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[Related: VMworld: Symantec Enhances VMware Integration, Intros Hardware Appliances ]

Symantec's approach to data protection is to offer customers a choice of a software-only solution, including NetBackup for larger enterprises, Backup Exec for SMBs or integrated appliances featuring the two applications.

Elliman said that for many companies, the task of integrating a software-only data protection application to a server and keeping up with updates and patches is a daunting task. "The result is that customers have to deal with support from multiple vendors," he said. "We feel the traditional approach to building a backup infrastructure has to change."

Symantec has updated its data protection appliances to alleviate these issues, Elliman said.

The company's NetBackup 5220, an updated version of the NetBackup 5000 first introduced in late 2010, includes optimized hardware acceleration that does full backups at the same speed as incremental backups, Elliman said.

"It provides for a 100-times-faster backup compared to traditional full backups," he said. "Behind the scenes, the appliance uses fewer resources to do the backup, which can be done without locking the file system. In a demonstration, we moved a 61-GB file from Beijing, China, to Minnesota in less than a minute."

The NetBackup 5220 also includes direct vSphere backup, which allows very large backups in VMware vSphere environments to be done without the need for a proxy server, Elliman said.

The appliances now include a heterogeneous cloud gateway as well. The previous model only allowed cloud backups to be done using the Nirvanix storage cloud, but with the NetBackup 5220 customers can now also choose from among AT&T, Amazon or Rackspace clouds, he said. Also new is built-in WAN acceleration to the cloud, he said.

NEXT: The New Backup Exec 3600 SMB Appliance

The maximum raw capacity of the NetBackup 5220 appliance was doubled to 72 TB, according to Symantec.

The appliance also was enhanced with the addition of Symantec Critical System Protection, a software application protecting the NetBackup 5220 from attacks, Elliman said. "It hardens the appliances by providing intrusion detection and prevention," he said.

Also new from Symantec is an enhanced version of its Backup Exec 3600 appliance, which was first introduced in August 2011.

Aidan Finley, product marketing manager at Symantec, said the Backup Exec 3600 takes advantage of all of the new features of Backup Exec 2012, which was released in March.

This includes the unification of data protection in physical and virtualized environments, as well as a new simplified interface that decreases installation, management and monitoring time, Finley said.

Also new to the Backup Exec 3600 are a number of new recovery features, including the ability to convert physical servers into virtual servers that can be turned on as needed for disaster recovery, as well as the ability to do bare metal recovery, he said.

On the hardware side, the new appliance was enhanced with a new SAS (serial-attached SCSI) card for connecting to optional tape automation devices for those companies that archive to tape, he said.

The enhanced Backup Exec 3600 is currently shipping. It is list-priced starting at $15,995, which includes the hardware, the Backup Exec software, deduplication, Symantec Critical System Protection, and agents for VMware, Hyper-V, Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and applications and databases.

A Total Protection Edition of the Backup Exec 3600, with extra features geared toward smaller enterprises, is also available with a list price of $25,995.

The NetBackup is scheduled to ship on June 4.