Quest Software has taken the first step to connect its physical and virtual data protection applications by adding a common interface to manage them from one console.
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Quest today introduced its NetVault XA (Extended Architecture) interface that will be generally available later this year for integrated backup management. Administrators can define service levels and manage features such as data deduplication through Quest NetVault XA.
The vendor’s other data protection applications include Recovery Manager for Microsoft Sharepoint, Exchange and Active Directory, as well as SharePlex replication for Oracle databases. The products came to Quest through a series of acquisitions, leaving the vendor with various point products.
When Quest acquired BakBone last November, its executives said they would work to combine features of BakBone’s NetVault platform with its other applications, specifically the vRanger application it picked up from Vizioncore.
Integrating products with different code bases can be a long process, so Quest is combining interfaces and service policies. NetVault XA will eventually provide a common interface for all Quest data protection applications, according to Greg Davoll, Quest’s senior director of product marketing.
Customers can manage dedupe, cloud gateways, a common scheduler, a catalog, a policy manager and a reporting engine across applications through Quest NetVault XA. The unified interface lets backup, database, application and VMware administrators manage data protection from a single console.
“We want this to serve as an integrated platform that allows point products to work in unison,” Davoll said. “A customer can define, say, 12 backup jobs. NetVault will run some, VRanger will run some and we wrap it all up into one user interface. We want to make it transparent to users.
“We borrowed concepts from service management, systems management and security management disciplines. We let customers group all assets together and define SLAs that can be combined en masse to application groups,” he said.
Davoll said other services, such as continuous data protection (CDP), will also be shared eventually through the integrated backup UI.
NetVault XA will be available as a downloadable thin client for current customers, and will be incorporated into Quest NetVault Backup, vRanger and SmartDisk after it goes GA.
Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Jason Buffington said the unified interface and services approach eliminates the need to integrate the actual applications.
“I am more impressed by XA than anything I’ve seen in data protection in quite a while,” he said. “If you can put everything behind a single UI and you get a unified experience, do you care which set of bits is touching components behind the scenes? I don’t think you do. You focus on the experience and whether you’re confident in the ability to protect and recover according to your SLAs.”