A Refresher on Data Backup Software - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

A Refresher on Data Backup Software

It would be sheer understatement to note that data recovery and backup systems for corporate networks have been lodged front and center in IT managers' minds since the terror of Sept. 11, but firms whose success hinges on such sectors know that their storage products can bear some refreshing.

Storage software maker VERITAS Software Corp. , may well recognize this as the Mountain View, Calif. firm Monday unveiled the next generation of its NetBackup software, version 4.5, which marks the outfit's inclusion of the assets of The Kernel Group, which it acquired last January, as well as improvments in reporting capabilities.

VERITAS NetBackup 4.5 automates disaster recovery applications through a piece of software dubbed NetBackup Vault, an off-site tape backup management offering that protects users against site disaster by automating the rotation of tapes offsite. NetBackup 4.5 also curbs downtime with a bare metal restore option, Bare Metal Restore, which accelerates full system recovery by automatically reinstalling the operating system, reconfiguring the system to its previous state and recovering user data across the network.

The software provider, forever doing battle with the likes of Hopkinton, Mass.'s EMC Corp. , also offers its revamped Global Data Manager, an option to NetBackup that consolidates reporting on a real-time basis, which cuts down on the number of IT folks needed to monitor backup and recovery across an enterprise.

And while it is true VERITAS and EMC compete fiercely in other areas, Veritas is widely acknowledged as the market leader data recovery works. Even rival EMC approved.

"EMC has always provided customers with leading-edge information infrastructure solutions," said Don Swatik, vice president of alliances and information sciences at EMC. "Through EMC's open APIs, VERITAS NetBackup 4.5 offers our mutual customers an integrated backup and recovery solution that provides high performance data protection with minimal impact on production IT systems."

In a time when fear of losing buildings (and by extension, IT hardware) to terrorist attacks is a bad seed planted in citizens' minds, data recovery remains a primary concern, albeit not the only one. Ray Paquet, vice president and research director at Gartner Inc., discussed the importance of data backup and recovery with InternetNews.com.

"I'd say in disaster recovery and business recovery, there is a lot more spending than there is talk," Paquet said. "And not just in data recovery and backup, but in remote replication and [data centers]. Unsual circumstance, good and bad, abound. Wall Street was down for 4 days. It' safe to say that concerns have been heightened and despite difficult budgetary and economic times, data recovery and security have remained strong. These are the management products that are always purchased... before desktop tools or anything else. Everybody has them."

As Paquet emphasized, 2001 may have been a lousy year as far as hardware and software sales went for some firms, but storage recovery and management remains a lucrative circle in which the likes of VERITAS, EMC, IBM, Hitachi Data Systems and Compaq Computer Corp. move. Though, Paquet noted, VERITAS remains in a strong position with its $1.5 billion in revenues and $17 to $18 billion market capitalization in the past year.

In a study released Monday, Boston research firm Aberdeen Group claimed storage spending will reach $21.2 billion by 2005.

"Sparked by three IS imperatives - reining in the costs of managing storage, fulfilling IS' fiduciary responsibility for protecting the information assets of the enterprise, and squeezing out more productivity with fewer budget dollars - the storage management software market will experience more rapid growth over the next several years than might have been anticipated even six months ago," says David Hill, Aberdeen Research Director, Storage and Storage Management. "When the going gets rough, IS turns to administrative software to provide the intelligence that helps it manage data more efficiently and effectively -- and nowhere is that more true than in the storage management software market."

As for VERITAS' new data recovery product, NetBackup DataCenter 4.5 will be available in April 2002 and will start at a price of $5,000 for Windows platforms and $10,000 for UNIX platforms.

Interestingly, VERITAS' announcement comes during Disaster Recovery Journal's Spring World 2002, taking place this week in San Diego.

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