CHICAGO—Veritas Software Corp. is putting Web-based file recovery and retrieval directly into the hands of users with the public beta of its new "Panther" data protection software, built using re-architected Backup Exec technology.
Panther will 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."
The company unveiled Panther, which will be available for download beginning June 2, at the Storage Decisions conference here on Wednesday. Veritas did not offer details about the products pricing or timeframe for general availability.
Panther offers users a "Google-like" restore capability through a Web interface on their desktops or laptops, allowing keyword self-discovery and restoration of previous file versions without the intervention of system administrators, said Pat Hanavan, senior product management for Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas.
For now, Panther will only feature browser support for Microsoft Explorer versions 6.0 and higher. Veritas officials said there are no immediate plans to extend the softwares capability to other browsers such as the Mozilla Foundations Firefox.
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.
Panther is designed to offer block-level protection and map any granular changes as files are altered and backed up onto disk via VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) snapshots on the Veritas Backup Exec server. No additional software installation or agents are required to run Panther. Integration with Veritas Backup Exec SmartLink technology provides file status and location information.
"[Panther] will look and feel like [users] doing a traditional download from the Internet. Its going to feel like theyre connected to a regular Web server, find a file, open it directly from there, or do a download function if they want to queue up multiples," Hanavan said.
A Panther restore will only show files that exist on a disk at the time of restore. If a user doesnt find it there, then the operation will go through Backup Exec to find the file on tape. The new product will keep snapshots according to policy, moving to the BackupExec system once they disappear off the near-term backup Panther system.
Customers do not need to have Backup Exec installed to run the Panther beta.