Symantec to expand deduplication

Posted on August 01, 2009

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By Kevin Komiega

Symantec plans to build native data deduplication into its NetBackup and Backup Exec software by early 2010, as the company attempts to wrest mindshare from appliance-based deduplication vendors by bringing the technology closer to information sources.

In the meantime, Symantec is shipping enhanced versions of NetBackup and Veritas Backup Reporter as the company prepares for more significant platform launches in the coming months.

Symantec is taking a multi-phased approach toward integrating deduplication into its products. Deduplication is already available for NetBackup and Enterprise Vault via the company's PureDisk product, which offers deduplicated archiving, backups and global deduplication of remote office backups. NetBackup also manages third-party deduplicated storage from vendors such as Data Domain, EMC, FalconStor and Quantum through the OpenStorage API.

Later this year, Symantec will release NetBackup PureDisk 6.6 with enhanced deduplication for backup of virtual server images and the ability to deduplicate up to 160TB of data with one PureDisk server.

The company will truly deliver on its integrated deduplication technology later this year and early next year. Backup Exec 2010, which is slated for availability later in 2009, will feature integrated deduplication into both backup clients and Backup Exec media servers. Backup Exec will also add the OpenStorage API to manage third-party deduplication appliances.

NetBackup 7, scheduled to be available in 2010, will also tout integrated deduplication in the backup client and NetBackup media server.

Matt Kixmoeller, vice president of product management for Symantec's Information Management Group, says data deduplication is a primary focus for Symantec.

"The majority of deduplication today is happening in devices at the end of the process. It's a good approach, but doesn't do a lot to help the rest of the [infrastructure]," he contends. "The debate seems to be one-sided. We want to broaden the discussion because data deduplication is much more efficient if you can do it right at the source."

Kixmoeller says the integration of PureDisk into NetBackup and Backup Exec agents and media servers solves many of the problems inherent to appliance-based deduplication systems. He claims that, using NetBackup or Backup Exec 2010, end users can deduplicate backups immediately, at the client, and centrally manage deduplication in the data center and globally across remote offices.

"Building dedupe into the products natively means we're much closer to the data and can better understand it. It's also a cost-effective approach and allows us to massively parallelize the process," Kixmoeller argues. "Building deduplication technology is not rocket science anymore. The rocket science is doing dedupe at scale."

In related news, Symantec is now shipping NetBackup 6.5.4 with expanded support for virtual servers. The latest version features enhancements for single-file restore for virtual machines (VMs) for both Hyper-V and VMware, including vSphere, by allowing users to restore VM information directly from disk or tape without using additional storage.

NetBackup 6.5.4 also features support for Windows Server 2008 with Granular Recovery Technology for SharePoint and Active Directory to allow object-level recovery from a single-pass backup.

NetBackup 6.5.4 pricing starts $5,000 per server.

In addition, Veritas Backup Reporter 6.6 is now available with new reporting features that work with Symantec Enterprise Vault to serve up a single view of both backup and archiving activities. Veritas Backup Reporter 6.6 starts at $178 per client for backup data and $5.19 per Exchange mailbox for Enterprise Vault reporting.

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