Veritas Hones Panther

File retrieval application to gain convergence capabilities.

Veritas Software Corp. is tuning its new Web-based "Panther" file retrieval software to enable the convergence of data and e-mail discovery and filtering, security, and data management—all woven together at the storage and policy level.

According to Veritas officials, another version of Panther, due next year, will allow users to index and search data and e-mails by keyword. Eventually, the technology could be integrated with Symantec Corp.s Brightmail anti-spam filtering capability and Veritas Enterprise Vault e-mail archiving technology to detect fraudulent activity in a companys stored data for compliance review, according to Jeremy Burton, executive vice president of the Data Protection Group at Veritas, in Mountain View, Calif.

"There is so much IT exposure on peoples desktops and laptops that [organizations] are going to be forced to control those PCs, not because they want to recover peoples data but because theyre going to be forced to delete and retain data," said Burton. "You need to start looking for fraudulent activity, not when the subpoena is on your doorstep but as the information comes in."

Unveiled as a public beta version at the Storage Decisions show here last week, Panther—built with Backup Exec technology—offers users a self-service restore capability via the Web on their desktops or laptops by using a Google-like keyword search to recover files at the block level.

Available for download starting this week, the first version of Panther will be offered in the second half of this year. The software currently supports only Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer versions 6.0 and higher.

Jerry Craft, manager of network services for Farmers & Merchants Bank, in Long Beach, Calif., said Panther has paid dividends, allowing him to free administrative staff to run systems.

"They used to spend 20 minutes on the phone, and the user doesnt know what [the file] is called or where its located. Panther allows us to search for it, find it and its done," said Craft. "I estimate within three to six months, most of our bank will be using the Web tool."

Microsoft officials said the companys file retrieval DPM (Data Protection Manager) offering, currently in public beta, is being downloaded 1,000 times a day.

Microsoft officials say that within 18 months, DPM, due to be released later this year, will allow customers to back up and recover files from a number of applications, including Exchange and SQL Server.

Dan Warren, network specialist for Des Moines Public Schools, in Iowa, is running DPM on 39 servers and serving about 2,000 people.

Warren said users familiarity with VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) snapshots was crucial for a seamless transition to file self-retrieval.

"An end user can do his own recovery because he already understands how the process works. If he doesnt, [the help desk] can teach that user to recover his own files, and at that point its a done deal," Warren said.