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Symantec NetBackup facelift adds VMware support

Symantec NetBackup facelift adds VMware support

Symantec Corp. kicked off the start of its Vision user conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday by unveiling a host of enhancements to its Veritas NetBackup offering, pooling together new data protection, virtual machine recovery and integrated support of third-party backup appliances.

NetBackup 6.5 incorporates native disk-based backup, data de-duplication features, as well as heterogeneous snapshot and continuous data protection (CDP) functionality. The latter feature enables the software to provide centralized management of consolidated snapshots taken from storage arrays of vendors including EMC Corp., IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., and Hitachi Data Systems, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., according to officials of Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec.

Later this year, the product will add block-level CDP capability offering point-in-time snapshots that can be journaled and replayed to NetBackup to speed up data backup operations, officials said. A NetBackup client on the primary storage array will replicate to the CDP server hosting and managing snapshots to enable data to be kept on cheaper storage.

NetBackup 6.5 is equipped with a new storage area network (SAN) client that lets storage administrators perform SAN backup to a disk pool. Further, the upgraded backup tool can be married to Symantec's PureDisk de-duplication technology to minimize unnecessary file duplication and wasted storage space, Symantec officials noted.

Symantec is providing NetBackup with four new enterprise disk options to augment how the company's flagship product manages storage disks, the company said. The Virtual Tape and OpenStorage Disk Options focus on intelligent backup appliances, while the Flexible Disk and PureDisk Storage Options focus on commodity storage disk pools.

By building deeper NetBackup integration with third-party backup appliances, end-users can augment existing virtual tape library deployments by managing third-party devices as disks. A new API has also been added to NetBackup for simplified plug-in, Symantec added.

Kevin Donnellan, assistant CIO for Screen Actors Guild - Producers Pension & Health Plan in Burbank, Calif., said he is looking forward to implementing the upgraded version of the tool to help corral nightly 3TB to 5TB storage backups and 10TB to 12TB backed up on weekends.

In just four years, the company's storage has grown from 1TB to 30TB on two SANs, he noted.

Donnellan said his current configuration of dual backups - one in-house and another at an off-site storage company - could use some more firepower in the form of disk-to-disk capabilities, which he expects to receive from NetBackup v.6.5.

"As many organizations do, we have a finite backup window every night, and even on weekends," he said. "We're looking at disk-to-disk to offload processing quickly onto another set of storage, so if we do run into production window with our backups we don't run into [hampered] response times with our users." Donnellan said the testing of the new NetBackup software registered 10x to 15x performance improvements via disk-to-disk backups over SAN.

"In 6.0," he added, "we have only one backup policy we can put together at one time so all our servers have to live under the same policy. [NetBackup] 6.5 allows multiple backup policies so you can rank the importance of your backups as opposed to a timestamp which is very good for us."

Donnellan's organization serves as the pension and health insurance arm for motion picture television and commercial actors, providing medical benefits, vision, and pension benefits for SAG members who meet the retirement criteria. The insurer runs HP9000 servers running Microsoft Windows 2003, Red Hat Linux and HP-UX. The company uses Symantec tools for managed security services and NetBackup to back up core application data.

NetBackup 6.5 also includes links to EMC Corp.'s VMware Consolidated Backup to offload backups from the primary VMware server onto a secondary backup server. The upgraded product enables single-image level backups to provide either full-image or granular file-level recovery, said Symantec officials. However, for smaller VMware environments, end-users must use Symantec's PureDisk offering in a virtual machine and replace the NetBackup client.

The entire NetBackup platform features capacity-based and per-TB pricing options.


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