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Veritas Backup Exec 16 backs up Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2016

Trying to rebuild the Backup Exec brand, Veritas adds support for Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V Server. The upgrade is part of the new Veritas' cloud focus.

Veritas Technologies LLC has expanded support for its Backup Exec software to include the Microsoft Azure cloud, Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V Server 2016.

Backup Exec 16 allows the cloud to be used as a backup target. It protects data with a one-pass backup and granular file, folder and object recovery with encryption. Backup Exec already supported the Amazon Web Services and Google clouds, as well as third-party clouds that support the Simple Storage Service protocol. The latest version, Backup Exec 16, is expanding support to Azure.

Backup Exec is one of Veritas' two major backup applications, along with its flagship enterprise NetBackup product. Backup Exec is used mainly by SMB and midmarket customers.

Customers moving to the cloud

Andy Spencer, global product marketing lead for Veritas, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., said a 2016 data protection survey commissioned by Veritas of 906 SMB and midmarket IT customers found cloud backup on the rise. Respondents were asked where they planned to store their data in three years.

Customers said 45% of their data is on physical hardware, and they expect that to drop to 33% by 2019. Thirty-seven percent of their data is on virtual devices, and they forecast that to rise to 39%. Data stored in the cloud is predicted to rise from 18% to 27%.

Backup Exec 16 allows the cloud to be used as a backup target.

Most of the respondents (69%) said they prefer a unified backup and recovery product that protects virtual, physical and the cloud.

"That is why we are investing in the cloud," Spencer said. "We will continue to support physical devices during the next three years. Virtual systems have been doing well since VMware released backup APIs. And customers are moving data to the cloud, but not all of it. Customers need backup products that protect all that data."

The cloud figured prominently in the new direction Veritas laid out in September at Veritas Vision. That was the vendor's first user conference after Symantec spun out the Veritas data protection business into an independent company at the start of 2016. Following the split, Veritas is trying to establish itself as a player in the cloud and data management markets, as well as data protection.

Backup Exec sales suffered when Veritas was part of Symantec. Under the security giant, Veritas was slow to support new Windows and VMware platforms on Backup Exec, and it upset customers by abruptly changing the interface and workflow processes in Backup Exec 12.

Backup Exec 16 became generally available this week.

Jason Buffington, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., which is in Milford, Mass., said it would be easy for Veritas to be distracted while going through this separation, but it's continued to build up its product set with Backup Exec 16.

"Now they are past the separation, I would say Veritas is unencumbered," Buffington said. "And folks shouldn't think of Veritas as the NetBackup company. To me, the story is that Veritas is moving forward."

Veritas claims more than 2 million Backup Exec customers.

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