Veritas Technologies is polishing its storage product portfolio, including its flagship NetBackup application, as it prepares to separate from security giant Symantec.
Veritas today launched NetBackup 7.7, introduced new products and re-branded Storage Foundation ahead of its January spinoff.
The main focus on NetBackup 7.7 is support for using the hybrid cloud for backup and recovery. Veritas added a cloud connector based on Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) that also works with Google, Verizon, Cloudian and Hitachi Data Systems public clouds. The connector enables multi-streaming capabilities that allow NetBackup to take full advantage of network bandwidth.
Customers and service provider partners can also build their own connectors using the generic S3 version.
NetBackup 7.7 also allows customers to use its Auto Image Replication (AIR) feature to replicate backup data and catalogs into public clouds. Previously, AIR worked only between two NetBackup repositories.
Veritas has also added NetBackup replication support for NetApp clustered Data OnTap, backup support for VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) and extended its auto-detect capabilities to Microsoft SQL Server and Hyper-V. NetBackup 7.7 will automatically notice a new instance of SQL or a Hyper-V virtual machine that needs protecting. It previously could auto detect only Oracle databases.
Cloud-to-cloud backup on roadmap?
NetBackup can now run inside a public cloud as a media server. The S3 connector and the ability to run inside the cloud are steps toward enabling cloud-to-cloud backup to protect cloud applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps and Salesforce.com.
"With the S3 connector, we can back up data that sits on the cloud and move it to S3," said Simon Jelley, Veritas vice president of product management for backup and recovery. "We don't have native application integration for things like Office 365, but it's something we're looking at."
Jelley said Veritas is also planning a new version of the NetBackup 5330 appliance that will scale to 460TB -- twice the current maximum capacity. He said that appliance is expected around October.
These new cloud capabilities will also be built into NetBackup appliances.
"Customers can still have centralized management on premise, but put the media server on the cloud to leverage a public/private cloud model to manage protection of workloads that sit in the cloud," Jelley said.
Future-proofing cloud backup
One thing typically missing from any enterprise cloud backup strategy is widespread customer support. Industry analysts say cloud backup is mainly still done at the SMB level, although they credit Veritas for adding cloud features that could have future value. The vendor will also use the cloud integration for disaster recovery with AIR and in products such as the new Veritas Resiliency Platform.
Dave Simpson, senior storage analyst at 451 Research, said the cloud plays a bigger role in disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) than backups for large organizations.
"This is still very much an SMB thing," Simpson said of backup to the cloud. "But I think DRaaS will drive adoption among midsize and large enterprises."
Gartner distinguished analyst Dave Russell said Veritas is "future-proofing" its backup and recovery products with its cloud enhancements.
"It's not like the public is embracing public cloud backup," Russell said. "Veritas has future-proofed this. So if you're not doing it today but in the future; [if] you're looking to exploit the cloud for backup or want a lower-cost copy in the cloud or off-site for DR, Veritas has to have a story for that. Veritas isn't behind, but it isn't first in the market."
Russell said the S3 connector gives NetBackup much improved cloud integration. "One use case is getting Auto Image Replication to move data to the cloud and to be able to point to the cloud if there is an issue," he said.
Besides adding cloud features, Simpson said support for clustered Data OnTap is a significant addition to NetBackup. "It's difficult to [protect] clustered Data OnTap because data moves around a lot in clustered environments," he said.
Information Map uses NetBackup catalog
Veritas is also incorporating NetBackup technology in a new cloud application called Information Map. Information Map will take metadata from the NetBackup catalog, store it in its cloud and use it to help customers analyze data. While built on NetBackup's catalog, Information Map is not a backup product. It is designed to optimize the value of stored data.
"It's like Google Maps on your data. It gives you the ability to have policies and capabilities to see the data you have and take actions to delete, reduce or move data around," said Ana Pinczuk, Veritas senior vice president and general manager for backup and recovery.
"Information Map could be viewed as part of the general trend toward transforming backup data from just an insurance policy to more of a business asset," Simpson said. "I think it will be used for information governance, legal/compliance, security and copy data management. Call it data analytics, but Information Map will come into full fruition when it works not only with NetBackup but also [other Veritas applications]."
Veritas has also re-branded its Storage Foundation storage management portfolio as Veritas InfoScale. As part of the re-branding, it will streamline the platform from 19 products to four.
The new Veritas Resiliency Platform (VRP) provides visibility into key on-premise and cloud IT assets through dashboards. It is designed to help companies meet recovery point objectives, recovery time objectives and service level agreements. It also enables single-click site failover and failback operations for DR, or rehearsals for DR testing.
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