Symantec to Send Backup Exec to the Cloud

Symantec's Backup is aimed at small businesses or remote offices that want to wash their hands of IT infrastructure.

In yet another move of a standard, server-based application to an offsite alternative, Symantec revealed May 3 that its venerable and market-leading BackUp Exec will be adding a cloud-based option later this year.

The company made the announcement--one of several, in fact--at its annual Symantec Vision conference in Las Vegas.

Symantec's Backup, aimed at small businesses or remote offices that want to wash their hands of IT infrastructure, will be a hosted, automated backup service that protects files on Windows desktops and servers with a straightforward user interface for online backup and recovery.

Thus, it will soon compete directly with such marketshare-grabbing services as EMC Mozy, Seagate's i365, CommVault, Acronis, Amazon S3 and others for the SMB cloud storage business.

Home-court Advantage

However, Symantec has a built-in advantage, due to its considerable (nearly 60 percent) share of the installed backup market, so it will be able to get in the door to existing customers first with the new service for potential sales opportunities.

The company also is expanding its menu of SAAS offerings to provide more options for security, email management, and data protection, Symantec Senior Director of Product Management Greg Muscarella told eWEEK.

"This is the end of backup as we know it. Users will be able to basically set it and forget it," Muscarella said. "They will be able to protect their data by streaming it over a SSL connection to Symantec's secure, off-site data centers. Backups can be started by file changes or run according to a set schedule, while modified files are protected as they come in the gateway."

Should disaster strike, the service keeps business data up and running by restoring critical files to any service-enabled machine using only a Web-based connection. Employees may use individual file restore feature for routine file retrieval, Muscarella said.

Muscarella said improvements within Backup Exec 2010 R3, the on-site version, include:

  • Faster virtualization backup performance: This is available worldwide immediately. Backup Exec 2010 R3 adds Symantec's new embedded V-Ray IT to enable users to easily protect and recover their virtual machines with the same software that protects their physical environments. Symantec's Backup Exec Management Plug-in for VMware is now part of the standard agent for VMware providing Backup Exec management through vCenter.
  • New security layer: Backup Exec 2010 now includes SSL support from the agent to the server to provide an extra layer of security for users who transmit backup data across the WAN or to a private cloud.
  • Improved archiving for data management and recovery: Archiving now tied directly into backup. Software helps companies identify what to store, what to delete and when to move older data to secondary systems, while ensuring fast discovery and recovery of older data.

Symantec also announced that some new Backup Exec software-based appliances, also to be launched later this year. These will house Backup Exec R3 in easy-to-use templates, which standardizes the protection of information from a data center, by a channel partner, or from other remote locations.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...