Veritas releases major software upgrades

The new products will set the stage for utility computing, the company said

Veritas Software Corp. today announced major upgrades to its flagship storage backup products that are designed to set the stage for utility computing, tackle the management of data in an automated, policy-based manner and address regulatory compliance needs.

Chief among the new products are NetBackup 5.0, Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0 and CommandCentral Service 3.5.

According to Glenn Groshans, director of product marketing at Veritas, NetBackup 5.0 allows storage administrators to use incremental backups of business applications on top of a previous full backup to create updated, full restorations of that data. Previously, full backups, which take hours to complete, were required for administrators to restore business applications.

When used with Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0, the software creates a virtual archive and indexes the data for later searches and retrieval, both of which are required by regulatory agencies.

"It lets you maintain an audit trail on all media types," Groshans said. "And you can set policies that define how you want data handled based on characteristics such as file type [and] workgroups ... and push that policy out to servers."

For example, he said, a legal department might want to set a policy that all financial documents be saved for two years on near-line disk arrays and then migrated to tape for an additional five years.

Veritas has also integrated its new CommandCentral software with its flagship NetBackup and Backup Exec applications to create a single management interface. CommandCentral is a new utility computing application for backup and recovery on disk subsystems. The Web-based portal allows an IT manager to define levels of storage service based on user needs and reports back on those systems for chargeback purposes.

Norm Fjeldheim, CIO at San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., currently manages 76TB of capacity on a storage-area network that resides on mostly Hitachi Data Systems Corp. arrays. His storage requirements are growing by 30% per year, he said.

Fjeldheim currently uses NetBackup 4.5 but said he hopes the 5.0 release will help him to better use his disk space by allowing him to migrate data to less expensive media based on automated policies. "Eventually, we would get better utilization out of our disk, and by doing that we won't have to spend more money on additional disk space," he said.

Matt Hewclark, senior staff engineer manager at Qualcomm, said Veritas' new product suite is "huge" in that he'll be able to use the incremental backup feature to create updated versions of his data more often.

Qualcomm currently backs up everything and retains it for a far longer time than any outside regulatory agency requires, Hewclark said. "This is going to be a way for us to meet those storage requirements without having to use a one-size-fits-all policy. That's where we're going to get a huge ROI on this project. How far we'll get with this tool is a hard one to answer. But it will move us in that direction."

Steve Kenniston, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group in Milford, Mass., said Veritas' latest offering still falls short of a true information life-cycle management product, which would automatically manage data storage from creation to deletion. Although the Veritas software does not capture the data at the business application level, Kenniston said the company has addressed a large number of issues facing storage administrators, not the least of which are service-level agreements and chargeback.

"This really talks to the utility-computing side of the storage story. With this integrated [suite], you can do true service-level agreements for backups. That's really key for them just because Veritas owns so much of the [storage management software] market," Kenniston said.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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