Veritas Strengthens Disaster Recovery

Upgraded NetBackup suite addresses tape rotation and system reinstalls.

Focusing on disaster recovery, data management leader Veritas Software Corp. is upgrading its NetBackup suite. The Mountain View, Calif., company unveiled the new features in NetBackup Version 4.5 last week at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany.

The new features are Vault, for automating off-site tape rotation, and Bare Metal Restore, a function obtained by Veritas in January when it bought The Kernel Group Inc., of Austin, Texas. Bare Metal Restore automates operating system reinstalls, Veritas officials said.

With the software—announced on the six-month anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks—Veritas said it hopes to help its customers at least retrieve their data if more disaster comes.

"Youre going to see significant technology ... with regard to eliminating the backup window" entirely, although rudimentary technology exists today, said Jerry Hoetger, product line manager for data protection at Veritas.

Veritas existing Global Data Manager will get new reporting consolidation, more automation for its Oracle Corp. database support and new data snapshot abilities. The company also announced updates to its Storage Migrator for Unix HSM (hierarchal storage management) plug-in, which gets usage and bottlenecking reports, wizard-based configurations, and Oracle Archive Redo Log support.

Veritas high-end NetBackup DataCenter 4.5, which is slated to be available early next month, starts at $5,000 for Windows and $10,000 for Unix platforms. The BusinesServer 4.5 edition, for remote offices, starts at $1,995 for Windows and $3,995 for Unix. Storage Migrator begins at $15,000 plus $1,000 per client agent. Such products face stiff competition. NetBackup 4.5 competes directly with offerings from other software leaders, such as BMC Software Inc., Computer Associates International Inc. and IBMs Tivoli division. It also indirectly vies with proprietary tools from storage hardware makers and the numerous products from startups and boutique data management specialists. "This keeps them in the game, [but] theres nothing here that distances them from the competition," said Mike Karp, an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates Inc., in Westboro, Mass.

"As you look across most of the major players, certainly in backup and recovery, theyre all focusing on the same things," Karp said. "Theres less and less in terms of features and functionality that distance the various companies. What distances them now is the quality of how well theyre able to implement." Looking forward, "what we need to see is a lot more work done in terms of improving user interfaces," and Veritas has done well in that area so far, as its Windows and Unix systems become more alike, he said.