By Kevin Komiega
—Symantec has launched a new backup reporting tool to give end users a better view and more control of day-to-day backup-and-recovery operations.
Despite being labeled version 6, Veritas Backup Reporter 6.0 software is the first version of the software to be released. Symantec has named the product so that its version matches up with current releases of its other backup software, such as Veritas NetBackup.
Backup Reporter can verify backup service-level compliance and help administrators analyze and justify backup expenditures via backup reporting of heterogeneous environments that support Symantec's Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec products, in addition to third-party backup software such as CommVault's QiNetix, EMC Legato's NetWorker, and IBM Tivoli's Storage Manager.
"Customers want to take advantage of day-to-day management with the core NetBackup application and extend that visibility into how much data they are backing up, how well backups are running, and how well they manage capital expenditures," says Christine Mitchell, Symantec's product marketing manager for NetBackup. "Once they have that visibility they can better execute on service-level agreements and make sure they are compliant with internal corporate policies and external governmental regulations."
Backup Reporter tracks backup job success against targets over time to ensure backups occur within SLA parameters, aggregates historical data for trending purposes, monitors resource utilization, and generates customizable report views providing context to backup reports such as line of business, backup domain, or application.
The key, according to Mitchell, is being able to prove backup SLAs are compliant and having the ability to report that information up to the CIO or out to other stakeholders such as database administrators or different business units.
Backup reporting solutions generally gather information in the backup application's database, catalog, and error log through the backup application's API. According to Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse, Veritas Backup Reporter stores all of this information in a Sybase database so it can extract and customize information for reporting purposes.
"Veritas Backup Reporter has agent-less data collection, which means that there is one less thing to install and manage in the backup environment," says Whitehouse. "It supports multiple backup applications, and Symantec is able to federate the reports across the multiple backup applications in an environment."
Whitehouse says Symantec separates itself from the rest of the backup reporting pack with more-comprehensive reporting capabilities. "Most of the backup-and-recovery vendors have their own reporting or dashboard tools, but they only cover their own products. The only backup-and-recovery vendors to branch out with more comprehensive reporting capabilities are Symantec, with its Backup Reporter, and EMC, which OEMs WysDM software and sells it as Backup Advisor," says Whitehouse.
Whitehouse says competing offerings include products such as CommVault's QNet Service Manager, BakBone Software's NetVault Report Manager, EMC's Legato NetWorker Dashboard, CA's BrightStor ARCserve Portal, and IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager.
Pricing for Veritas Backup Reporter ranges from $135 to $600 per backup device and depends on the number of servers and clients the customer needs to report on.