Symantec Unveils NetBackup Deduplication Appliance

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Symantec has taken a new tack towards data deduplication by offering its NetBackup PureDisk deduplication software on a pre-configured, pre-packaged hardware device called the NetBackup 5000 Appliance.

Brian Dye, vice president of product management for Symantec’s (NASDAQ: SYMC) Information Management Group, said the NetBackup 5000 is capable of reducing the size of backups by as much as 50X with a deduplication engine that can be deployed for storage reduction, using integration with NetBackup, or for bandwidth reduction using PureDisk clients.

A single NetBackup 5000 node boasts a logical storage capacity of 16TB. Multiple nodes can be clustered for a maximum logical capacity pool of about 96TB with six nodes.

Working with one NetBackup Media Server, a NetBackup 5000 node features backup throughput performance of 1.9TB per hour. With four Media Servers, performance for a single NetBackup 5000 node jumps to 4.3TB per hour.

Each NetBackup 5000 node is packed into a 4U-high chassis with a pair of Intel CPUs, 24GB of DDR2 memory, two dozen 1TB hard disk drives (HDD), a RAID 6 configuration, LSI disk management, four Ethernet ports, redundant power and fan modules, and hot-pluggable disks.

Symantec is positioning the NetBackup 5000 as the answer for several backup deployment scenarios, including remote office, virtual machine (VM), and data center backups. The company claims the appliance’s built-in source side deduplication allows for bandwidth efficient centralized backups of remote offices while reducing dependence on tape and unskilled IT personnel. In virtual environments, NetBackup 5000 offers options including guest or image level backup for both VMware and Hyper-V with the option of recovering single files or entire VMDK images. Lastly, the NetBackup 5000 can be used both as a source and target-side deduplication tool for data center backups allowing for bandwidth and storage efficient backup of core data center servers.

However, Symantec’s not trying to take on the storage hardware vendors. We do not intend to become a hardware company. Our partners and customers really like the appliance form factor because it can take the entire setup and configuration time and compress it wildly down,” said Dye.

The NetBackup 5000 was born of a need to differentiate its dedupe strategy from competitors such as Quantum and Data Domain, according to Lauren Whitehouse, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group.

“Symantec’s positioning for both NetBackup and Backup Exec is that deduplication closest to the data source delivers greater efficiencies [in network bandwidth, time and capacity savings]. But if source-side dedupe is too burdensome on source systems, the media server can handle the processing,” said Whitehouse. “By delivering NetBackup on a purpose-built appliance, they now get to streamline the acquisition, installation and configuration of NetBackup and can be competitive with performance versus target-side vendors. They are also trying to drive value by being competitive on price versus the hardware guys.”

Whitehouse believes the NetBackup 5000 appliance will also help Symantec to be more competitive against EMC Avamar, as the majority of Avamar sales are for EMC’s appliance-packaged solutions rather than software.

Despite the fact that Symantec is integrating its software with hardware, it’s still keeping its pricing separate as the software and hardware are licensed separately for NetBackup 5000. The hardware costs $39,995 for 16TB of usable dedupe capacity. The software is sold on a front end basis at $4,995 per terabyte.

In addition to the debut of the NetBackup 5000 Appliance, Symantec has connected NetBackup to the Nirvanix cloud storage service. Symantec extended its OpenStorage (OST) API to enable integration between Symantec’s NetBackup software and the Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network (SDN) to deliver an automated and policy-based backup and recovery option.

Custom connectors for NetBackup allow administrators to manage cloud storage for backup and recovery as they would on-premise storage with. Customers can also establish the Nirvanix cloud as a new storage tier or as a secondary off-site location for disaster recovery.

Symantec is scheduled to release a custom connector for its Backup Exec software later this year.

Symantec NetBackup 5000 and the NetBackup connector for Nirvanix are now. The Backup Exec connector for Nirvanix is scheduled to be available late 2010.

Enterprise Vault and Ediscovery

Symantec also upgraded its Enterprise Vault archiving software with new features for compliance and ediscovery searches. Symantec Enterprise Vault 9.0 and its and Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector technology combine emails from Microsoft Hosted Exchange with on-premise archived content sources into a central repository, allowing organizations to centrally manage ediscovery and support internal investigations. Enterprise Vault 9.0 also includes and expanded range of content source support to include Microsoft Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Domino 8.5.1.

Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector helps makes it possible to discover unmanaged information from desktops and laptops, as well as data that has not yet been archived from Microsoft SharePoint and file shares, and produce it for e-discovery requests.

Pricing for Symantec Enterprise Vault 9.0 varies. The Storage Management Advanced Edition has a starting price of $51.91 per user, but the overall cost comes down as the number of users goes up. Enterprise Vault 9.0 for 500 seats costs $18,170 or $36.34 per user, while a 1,000 user deployment costs $33,220 or $33.22 per user.

The E-Discovery Standard Edition, which includes Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator 9.0, has a suggested starting price of $47.71 per user or $16,700 for a 500 user deployment.

Enterprise Vault Discovery Collector is priced at $13,783.04 per terabyte of indexed data and is an add-on to Enterprise Vault and Discovery Accelerator.

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Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

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