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EMC integrates backup products

EMC fuses together Legato and Dantz products bridging the gap between its enterprise and SMB portfolio while taking direct aim at Veritas' Backup Exec.

Over the next six to nine months EMC Corp. will integrate its Legato NetWorker and Dantz Retrospect product lines allowing users to launch Retrospect from NetWorker and backup branch offices centrally.

The integration work is the result of the company's acquisitions of Legato Software Inc. for $1.3 billion in July, 2003 and Dantz Development Corp. for $50 million in October, 2004.

"It's a good place to start," according to Arun Taneja, founder and analyst of the Taneja Group, although he said EMC has a long way to go before its integration work is done. "Users want one piece of software to manage it all: backup, replication, mirroring, archiving, business continuance and the rest -- not discrete products for each job," he said.

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The move to tie together NetWorker and Retrospect echoes Veritas Software Inc.'s recent announcement that it has improved the scalability of its Backup Exec software. Veritas was losing customers that had outgrown Backup Exec but were too small for its high-end NetBackup product. Similarly, EMC is hoping to catch these mid-sized companies by closing the gap between its high-end and low-end products.

In addition to integrating its products, EMC is directly attacking Veritas via its Safe Switch program that offers licensing discounts and services to help users migrate from Veritas to EMC backup software. EMC said the program is specifically aimed at migrating enterprise customers from Veritas NetBackup to EMC Legato NetWorker, and smaller companies from Veritas Backup Exec to its EMC Dantz Retrospect.

New versions of NetWorker and Retrospect

In the meantime, the company has introduced NetWorker 7.2 and Retrospect 7.0. The former now offers network data management protocol (NDMP) support enabling backup-to-disk for NAS environments. NDMP streams can now be multiplexed, cloned and staged to and from disk for increased data protection. In the past, backup via NDMP could only be performed to and from tape. Now users can backup NAS devices to disk, freeing them from tape-centric processes.

Other improvements in NetWorker 7.2 include a module for "hot" backups of Documentum to disk and tape for fast recovery; support for Exchange, Oracle and SQL on VMWare virtual servers; PowerSnap support that integrates snapshot functionality with backup and a Windows GUI redesign with wizards to simplify the setup process.

EMC claims Retrospect 7.0 is also easier to use than previous versions, with wizards to guide users through the setup process. Other improvements include a backup-to-disk feature that makes a copy to tape for disaster recovery purposes; the ability to create synthetic full backups from incremental backups; support for Fibre Channel, iSCSI and write one, read many (WORM) tape; support for Red Hat and SUSE Linux and Mac OS X; message-level protection of Exchange files and lastly increased security with 128-bit encryption.

Beyond these enhancements, EMC said the integration work between the two product lines will allow enterprise users that have NetWorker in the data center and Retrospect in departments or branch offices to manage them together; plus smaller companies currently using Retrospect will be able to shift more easily into the higher-end functionality of NetWorker.

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