Nimble Data Backup, Recovery Tools on Tap

Microsoft, Symantec and IBM are rolling out backup tools designed to help users recover from data losses more quickly while reducing tape management and redundant hardware costs, for Windows and Mac users alike.

Microsoft Corp., Symantec Corp. and IBM are rolling out backup tools designed to help users recover from data losses more quickly while reducing tape management and redundant hardware costs.

Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of its Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager. The disk-based product backs up file servers in Windows-only environments and integrates with DPM-ready applications and devices from vendors including Advanced Micro Devices Inc., CommVault Systems Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Dell Inc. and others.

On tap for next year, the next release of DPM should dispel criticism that it lacks application-level backup with key Microsoft offerings, said Radhesh Balakrishnan, group product manager, Windows Server Division for Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read a review of the beta version of DPM.

The next version of DPM will feature integration across Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint Services and "Longhorn." Customers will also see new bare-metal recovery functionality and centralized management capabilities, Balakrishnan said.

Microsoft also announced the beta version of its Windows Server 2003 R2 product. Targeted for launch at Storage Networking World in April, the product will enable document collaboration through integration with SharePoint Services and feature full index search and Microsoft-developed quota management capabilities.

Symantecs new Backup Exec 10d for Windows Servers, available next week, features a CPS (Continuous Protection Server) to simplify and speed backup for Windows files. The product enables all file changes collected on the CPS to be managed, retrieved and played back at any point to reduce tape reliance and ease tight backup windows, said officials of Symantec, in Cupertino, Calif. Users can use Google-type searches to retrieve and access their files without IT administrator intervention.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Symantec Backup Exec 10d.

"One of the problems I had was getting someone reliable to change the tapes for me [at remote facilities]. Thats something I really struggled with," said Steve Wilson, IT manager for Cincinnati Thermal Spray, in Ohio, who plans to eliminate all tape-based backup for his company. "[Backup Exec 10d] is an opportunity to relieve a lot of pain I have."

To address enterprises non-Windows file recovery needs, IBM is accelerating its plans to enable its IBM Tivoli CDP for Files product to support AIX file servers and Apple Computer Inc.s Mac OS. The move will come in two to three months, officials said.

Steve Tringali, managing partner for Rampion Visual Productions LLC, in Watertown, Mass., tested an early Mac version of CDP for Files and said his industrys needs span far beyond Microsoft operating systems.

"In the creative world, Apple has a very strong hold. So the ability to use that cross-platform functionality is great," said Tringali. "There are these niche markets that are going to be heavily Mac on the video side, graphics side, DVD and music side. Something exclusive to backup for Microsoft will be a problem for a lot of people."

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