By Kevin Komiega
-- Symantec today announced a Managed Backup Service for managing day-to-day backup operations in existing NetBackup environments at a lower cost than in-house management, according to the company.
The Managed Backup Services combine local management (on-site or off-site) with remote monitoring, incident management, restore requests, planning and optimization assistance, and reporting capabilities. The services are based on ITIL processes and run by a local Service Delivery Manager, who supervises daily operations and supplies customers with monthly account reviews.
IT organizations have always looked for cost-effective ways to outsource certain tasks, but, according to Symantec's vice president of managed services, Grant Geyer, there is a new trend toward outsourcing critical IT functions.
"Lately we have been seeing a lot of selective out-tasking. Customers are trying to get the cost benefits of outsourcing in areas where high service levels are important," says Geyer.
He claims offerings like the Managed Backup Service can offload critical IT applications – namely, data protection and recovery – with guaranteed service levels at a lower cost than in-house implementations.
"A lot of organizations are having a tough time with staffing. We can manage their data protection infrastructure on their behalf in a cost-effective way because instead of having a full set of resident [administrators], they benefit from our experts remotely and through a limited on-site component," says Geyer.
Symantec's latest "State of the Data Center" user survey reveals 60% of those polled are having difficulty meeting IT service levels demanded by their organization. Additionally, 43% of the respondents say finding qualified employees is a "big or huge problem."
So how does having Symantec manage your NetBackup implementation translate to dollars saved? Geyer says Symantec has demonstrated cost savings over in-house data protection management of up to 20% – roughly $200,000 per year – in certain beta implementations.
Symantec prices its Managed Backup Services on a monthly fee per NetBackup client. The company factors in the tier of service, number of servers managed, and the complexity of the customer environment to arrive at an approximate starting price of $37/month per server.
Symantec is also building in a service-level insurance policy of sorts. The company offers a 97% backup SLA guarantee. If they do not meet that target, Symantec will pay customers a financial penalty, according to Geyer.