VERITAS Shifts into Next Utility Computing Gear

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VERITAS Software embarked on the next leg of its utility computing sojourn today with the announcement of its CommandCentral Service 3.5 for enterprises that desire data protection and backup and recovery services on a pay-for-use basis.

Members of the firm’s executive management team were on hand in New York City to announce the news an hour after President and CEO Gary Bloom opened NASDAQ market trading in celebration of the software vendor’s ten-year anniversary. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also unveiled compliance solutions to meet the stringent demands of government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA and unveiled a refresh of its flagship backup software, NetBackup.

VERITAS is one of many vendors that is dipping its ladle in the utility computing well, joining rivals such as IBM, HP Sun Microsystems, Computer
Associates, and EDS. The storage firm made its initial move in the on-demand direction by purchasing server provisioning specialist Jareva Technologies and application performance management vendor Precise Software Solutions earlier this year.

Bob Maness, senior director of product marketing at VERITAS, reports the firm has spent the last several months finding ways to augment its NetBackup and Backup Exec backup and recovery software with products from Jareva and Precise. Tuesday’s news is raw evidence the company has been successful, as VERITAS now has a solution available that delivers backup/recovery and storage as a service.

Maness told CommandCentral will be integrated with NetBackup and Backup Exec to allow administrators to discover backup and recovery jobs as well as policy, error, and media information from VERITAS data protection software across distributed enterprise environments.

CommandCentral Service 3.5, the evolution of a product the company once called Global Operations Manager, provides IT administrators with additional insight into what resources are being consumed, to what degree their being consumed, and at what cost to an organization. The service measures service levels and usage, and allocates costs based upon that usage, all of which are managed through a dashboard portal view of IT services.

“The portal allows you to manage service levels for two parts of infrastructure — one for the backup and recovery utility and the second for storage management utilization,” Maness said. “CommandCentral Service 3.5 allows you to use the portal to request backup services, which may be retrieved
in a high-speed way.”

As it continues to milk Jareva’s Opforce technology for server management and provisioning, VERITAS’ next two phases of utility computing will include the availability of utility services for clustering and utility services for servers and will be available next year, according to Maness. In the second half of next year, VERITAS will more tightly integrate application performance management technology from Precise.

Boarding the ILM Train

CommandCentral Service software will also play a pivotal role in VERITAS’ integrated compliance solution, Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0, because it allows reporting in real time by allowing IT managers to define and measure service levels based on compliance objectives.

Maness said Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0 helps companies solve their problems of data growth, compliance, data security, data organization, and resource
utilization by automating the management of data from cradle to grave according to defined policies. This is analogous to recent information lifecycle management (ILM) offerings from IBM, EMC, and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), in which records retention and rendering data for easy auditing is key.

The product also provides powerful, high-speed search and index technology that reduces the cost and time of electronic records discovery. All of these
characteristics are important in helping corporations meet regulatory requirements, which have been moved front and center in the wake of accounting improprieties. Document shredding at places such as Enron have paved the way for record retention periods stretching out to 20 years or more.

Data Lifecycle Manager is designed to handle e-mail and file archiving in Microsoft Exchange and NTFS (Windows NT file system) formats and employs its existing backup and restore capabilities to retain and retrieve files. According to Maness, this media management layer will save customers money by reducing duplicate copies of data and obviating support issues by not requiring a new storage infrastructure or IT skill set for different products.

The product has its roots in an older VERITAS product, NetBackup Storage Migrator for Windows, which provided a lot of the hierarchical systems management functions, but did not have high-speed search capabilities or the policy-driven look and feel of NetBackup.

“With our new Data Lifecycle Manager software, record retention and retrieval now extends across the entire enterprise, from the desktop to the data center to the vault,” states Gary Bloom, chairman, president and CEO of VERITAS Software. “By integrating all online, near-line, and offline storage with a shared pool of storage management that eliminates the need for proprietary hardware, VERITAS provides a cost-effective way for organizations to manage compliance and get back to business.”

Refreshing the Flagship Warhorse

VERITAS ties the Data Lifecycle Manager and CommandCentral Service with the latest version of its enterprise-level backup and recovery product, NetBackup 5.0. Among many enhancements to the popular product, one of the major additions is a synthetic backup feature that boosts restore times without the need to take a full backup by combining together smaller backups into one.

For example, said Maness, synthetic backup allows an IT manager to make a full copy of data while only making incremental backups Monday through Wednesday without interruption, all the while creating a new, full backup in the background.

In addition to supporting AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, and Windows, NetBackup also now supports a variety of mid-range and high-end disk hardware platforms to enable faster backups and instant recovery from disk.

Other improvements in version 5.0 include:

  • Simplified snapshots – Brings a variety of powerful snapshot techniques to help organizations select the best snapshot backup and recovery method for their business needs. The FlashBackup snapshot feature is now available for the first time on Windows, enabling the rapid backup and recovery of millions of files
  • Desktop and laptop data protection – A major new component of NetBackup 5.0 is the new Desktop and Laptop Option, which enables the protection of corporate data that resides on laptops and desktops outside the data center
  • Disk-to-disk copy and disk staging – Allows a backup to stream copies to as many as three backup targets simultaneously, saving time and costs when copies of data are needed for off-site archiving or processing

CommandCentral Service 3.5 is available now at an entry-level price of $22,000. NetBackup 5.0, including the new Desktop and Laptop Option, will
be generally available in December 2003. NetBackup 5.0 pricing starts at $5,000, and the NetBackup 5.0 Desktop and Laptop Option starts at $2,500. Data Lifecycle Manager is scheduled for general availability during the first quarter of 2004.

Story courtesy of Internet News.

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Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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