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Symantec to shut down Backup Exec.cloud

Cloud-based backup and recovery service, introduced last year, to be killed due to lack of mobile, content sharing capabilities

By Stephen Lawson
November 27, 2013 06:28 AM ET

IDG News Service - Symantec plans to close down its Backup Exec.cloud service, saying it lacks mobile and content-sharing features and wouldn't be the right platform for delivering them.

Backup Exec.cloud is a pure cloud-based offering designed to make it easy for small businesses and remote branch offices to back up their data. It was announced in February 2012.

Symantec disclosed its plans to shut down the service in an email to channel partners that was seen by IDG News Service. An FAQ about the shutdown was on Symantec's site earlier on Tuesday but appears to have been removed. In its email to channel partners, Symantec said it would start informing end users by email in early December. The company will stop selling subscriptions or renewals for Backup Exec.cloud on Jan. 6, 2014.

Cloud-based options for both backing up data and working with files have proliferated in recent years and taken on growing importance as more employees work at home and on the road. Backup Exec.cloud, introduced along with Symantec's Backup Exec 2012 product suite, is a standalone system focused on off-premises data protection for sites with no IT staff.

"Customers want features such as synch & share and mobile access. Backup Exec.cloud was not designed with these features in mind," Symantec's FAQ said. "As a result, Symantec has decided to discontinue Backup Exec.cloud in order to focus on more productive and feature-rich cloud-based applications which include this type of functionality."

Symantec offers a range of other data protection products, including on-premise and hybrid backup and recovery, as well as Norton Zone for file synchronization and sharing. It will continue to invest in backup and recovery products, including its on-premise Backup Exec product and its NetBackup software, and will expand the functionality of Norton Zone, the company said.

Asked for comment on the change, Symantec said it was simplifying its product lineup.

"As we align with our new offering strategy and efforts to streamline our product range to provide fewer, more integrated solutions for our customers, Symantec has made the decision to retire Backup Exec.cloud," the company said in a statement. "We are firmly committed to doing everything we can to help our partners and customers successfully navigate this process."

In January, Symantec announced a reorganization of its software business under President and CEO Steve Bennett, appointed in 2012, that is focused on more integrated products.

Cloud-based backup has both grown in popularity and become more complex over the past several years, said Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra, which supplies software for cloud backup services from companies including Hewlett-Packard and Terremark.

Among other things, enterprises need to back up data from more locations, including virtual machines, mobile devices and cloud-based services such as Salesforce.com, he said. Meanwhile, the per-gigabit price of cloud backup has fallen as the volume of data involved continues to grow. However, there's still room for standalone cloud-based backup, Farajun believes.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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