Veritas Software has announced major upgrades to its flagship storage backup products that are designed to set the stage for utility computing, tackle the management of data in an automated, policy-based manner and address regulatory compliance needs.
Chief among the new products are NetBackup 5.0, Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0 and CommandCentral Service 3.5.
Director of product marketing at Veritas, Glenn Groshans, said NetBackup 5.0 allowed storage administrators to use incremental backups of business applications on top of a previous full backup to create updated, full restorations of that data. Previously, full backups, which take hours to complete, were required for administrators to restore business applications.
When used with Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0, the software creates a virtual archive and indexes the data for later searches and retrieval, both of which are required by regulatory agencies.
"It lets you maintain an audit trail on all media types," Groshans said. "And you can set policies that define how you want data handled based on characteristics such as file type (and) workgroups ... and push that policy out to servers."
For example, he said, a legal department might want to set a policy that all financial documents be saved for two years on near-line disk arrays and then migrated to tape for an additional five years.
Veritas has also integrated its new CommandCentral software with its flagship NetBackup and Backup Exec applications to create a single management interface. CommandCentral is a new utility computing application for backup and recovery on disk subsystems. The Web-based portal allows an IT manager to define levels of storage service based on user needs and reports back on those systems for chargeback purposes.
Senior staff engineer manager at Qualcomm, Matt Hewclark, said Veritas' new product suite was "huge" in that he would be able to use the incremental backup feature to create updated versions of his data more often.
Qualcomm currently backed up everything and retained it for a far longer time than any outside regulatory agency requires, Hewclark said.
"This is going to be a way for us to meet those storage requirements without having to use a one-size-fits-all policy," he said. "That's where we're going to get a huge ROI on this project. How far we'll get with this tool is a hard one to answer. But it will move us in that direction."
An analyst at Enterprise Storage Group, Steve Kenniston, said Veritas' latest offering still fell short of a true information life-cycle management product, which would automatically manage data storage from creation to deletion.
Although the Veritas software did not capture the data at the business application level, Kenniston said the company had addressed a large number of issues facing storage administrators, not the least of which were service-level agreements and chargeback.
"This really talks to the utility-computing side of the storage story," Kenniston said. "With this integrated [suite], you can do true service-level agreements for backups. That's really key for them just because Veritas owns so much of the [storage management software] market."