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Symantec adds data backup appliances for NetBackup, Backup Exec

Symantec extends its data backup appliance strategy with its first Backup Exec appliance, and its fourth Backup Exec appliance.

LAS VEGAS -- Symantec Corp. is going full speed ahead with its data backup appliance model, today adding its fourth NetBackup appliance for enterprises and its first Backup Exec appliance for small- to medium-sized business (SMB) backup. Symantec also said at VMworld that it is focusing on integrating its backup software with VMware to do a better job of virtual machine backup.

Symantec added the NetBackup 5220 data appliance that protects virtual and physical systems, removes the need for a separate master or media server and does source and target deduplication. It also launched a Backup Exec 3600 appliance based on Backup Exec 2010 software.

Symantec began selling its software on data backup appliances last September when it launched the NetBackup 5000 appliance for deduplication. It added a larger dedupe appliance, the 5020, in January along with the NetBackup 5200 with NetBackup software and the media server integrated. While the NetBackup 5200 has 32 TB of dedupe capacity and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) support, the new 5220 scales from 4 TB to 36 TB of usable capacity and includes Fibre Channel support.

Pricing begins at $23,795 for a NetBackup 5200 base unit.

The Symantec Backup Exec 3600 holds 6 TB and includes Symantec’s Critical System Protection security software as well as Backup Exec 2010. It costs $25,495 with one year of service and $32,995 for three years of service.

Symantec said Backup Exec 2010 supports VMware vSphere 5 that became available last week, and the next version of NetBackup will support vSphere 5.

Symantec added V-Ray technology—its label for technology that provides visibility into virtual infrastructures—to Backup Exec. New features include a vAppRestore feature that works with ApplicationHA to predict and trigger an applicaton restore, and a virtual machine validator feature to allow administrators to validate recovery of VMware backups through integration with the VMware vCenter Server console.

Despite its recent spate of appliances—Symantec also has a FileStor appliance—the vendor plans to continue to sell its backup products as standalone software as well.

“In no way are we moving away from software,” Backup Exec senior product marketing manager Monica Girolami said. “We think for those customers expanding or upgrading data centers, it’s the optimal choice to go with an all-in-one solution.”

Symantec’s senior manager of marketing for the information management group Peter Elliman added: “A lot of customers are modernizing their backup infrastructures and an appliance lowers some of the risk when deciding on their servers, CPUs and network connectivity. It allows them to have predictable performance.”

Elliman said Symantec appliances make it easier for customers to add dedupe to their backup because they don’t have to install a separate dedupe appliance.

Robert Amatruda, IDC’s research director for data protection and recovery, said appliances are the wave of the future for backup. IDC put the purpose-built data backup appliance market at nearly $1.7 billion in 2010, and forecasts that to grow 17% per year over the next five years. IDC defines purpose-built backup appliances as disk-based systems with server engines used as backup targets and backup applications, or gateways that store backups on general purpose storage. They could be virtual tape libraries with Fibre Channel interface or NAS systems with Ethernet connectivity.

EMC Corp. has been the dominant market player in that category, mainly with its Data Domain systems but also with Avamar appliances.

“Appliances are here to stay; we expect robust growth,” Amatruda said. “EMC really proved there is a market there.”

Amatruda said Symantec got into the data backup appliance game late but is trying to make up for it with a strong commitment. “I think Symantec will be extremely aggressive with appliances going forward,” he said. “Symantec was known as a pure-play software company, but I see value in a market strategy where you have NetBackup coupled with a scalable disk-based appliance.”

CommVault, another traditional pure-play software backup vendor, isn’t selling its own appliances but is coming out with reference architectures to use its Simpana software on partners’ hardware. CommVault launched its first reference architecture Monday for Dell servers and EqualLogic storage.

Other storage vendor and product news at VMworld include:

EMC VMware View support

EMC added support for the VMware View 5 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) application to EMC VNX unified storage arrays. EMC claims VNX can boot 500 VMware View desktops on vSphere 5 over NFS to steady state in five minutes using FAST tiering software.

Syncsort Data Protection 4.0

Syncsort upgraded the Syncsort Data Protection software that is used in its NetApp Integrated Backup (NSB) product. Syncsort Data Protection 4.0 supports agentless VMware backups, and uses NetApp Snapshot copy technology to quickly restore virtual machines and VMDK files and access VMDK-based data through physical servers. Syncsort claims NSB can bring any remote site backup image online as a virtual machine within minutes.

Fusion-io ioCache

Fusion-io announced an ioCache bundle that uses its ioMemory device with its ioTurbine virtualization caching software. The bundle is designed to improve I/O performance and increase the number of virtual machines that can be deployed per physical server. When used with VMware, ioTurbine dynamically provisions ioMemory capacity and I/O performance across virtual machines using Fusion-io’s VSL OS Subsystem. Fusion-io acquired ioTurbine earlier this month.

CommVault survey

A CommVault survey of 338 of its customers found that 34% said their server environments were 75% to 100% virtualized, with 85% using VMware hypervisors. Ninety-three percent said they have virtualized applications servers; 84% have virtualized Web servers; 72% have virtualized databases; and 53% have virtualized messaging applications. The amount of customers running between 250 and 500 virtual machines increased from 9% last year to 15%. Only 35% said they were backing up all of their virtual servers and 16% said they have no disaster recovery plan for their virtual environment.

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