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Back[up] to the future: Veritas brand returns as Veritas Technologies

Symantec paid $13.5 billion for storage software vendor Veritas Software in 2005; now it prepares to spin it out as Veritas Technologies Corp.

A once-familiar storage name will return when Symantec Corp. splits in the coming months.

Symantec this week said it will call its new information management business Veritas Technologies Corp. Veritas Software was the name of the backup and storage management leader before security vendor Symantec acquired it in 2005.

"For those who are old enough to remember, the name Veritas conjures up a highly respected name in data protection," said Dave Simpson, senior analyst for storage at 451 Research. "The acquisition of Veritas by Symantec should probably have never taken place in the first place because the synergies between backup recovery and security didn't pan out. So returning to the old name seems fitting."

Symantec announced last October its decision to split its storage and security into two publicly traded businesses, hoping to complete the break-up by the end of 2015.

The initial goal of the Symantec-Veritas acquisition was to develop products that merged security and storage capabilities, but the two businesses were never integrated. The merger led to a revolving door of CEOs, product delays, quality problems and poor customer support on the storage side.

The security business will remain under the Symantec brand. The information management business will sell backup and recovery, archiving, e-discovery, storage management, and information availability products.

Simpson said the name change will help because IT professionals and end users associated Symantec more with security than data protection. Critics questioned the company's commitment to the storage market despite paying $13.5 billion for Veritas.

"Going back to the Veritas name is a clear signal that the new company is focused solely on storage and data protection management," Simpson said.

Dave Russell, vice president and distinguished analyst for storage technologies and strategies at Gartner, said Symantec spent most of 2014 stabilizing its deteriorating storage business. There were customer support problems across all the products, and the Backup Exec SMB data protection application became a major problem over the past few years.

"Hopefully, they did not spend much time over a cup of coffee on this because there are more important things to address than the name," Russell said.

The two main backup applications have been plagued with problems. The latest version of enterprise product, NetBackup 7.6, was more than a year late to release. Backup Exec 2012 received a frosty reception from long-time customers upon its release due to changes in the backup process and delays in keeping up with the latest Windows versions. Those problems lingered for two years until Symantec fixed them with Backup Exec 2014 released last summer.

Symantec's first big move into cloud backup also fizzled when it discontinued Backup Exec cloud because it lacked support for file sharing and mobile devices. "It was quite disruptive," Russell said. "The good news is they did release Backup Exec in mid-summer 2014 and they addressed those issues [with Backup Exec 2012]."

Russell said the new Veritas needs to make sure the improvements to the data protection products and customer service are not reversed during the spin-off transition.

"I'm actually a fan of the return of the name," he said. "[But] the new Veritas needs to keep delivering in a timely manner. Going forward, they need to make sure that they don't undo what they have fixed, especially with customer support."

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