By Dave Simpson
This month, BakBone Software boldly entered a market dominated by Computer Associates, Legato Systems, and Veritas Software by launching its flagship NetVault software in the North American market. Together, storage software giants CA, Legato, and Veritas have almost a 70% share of the storage management software market. BakBone hopes to gain a 1% to 2% share of the backup/restore portion of that market over the next year, according to Tony Cerqueira, BakBone's CEO.
NetVault originated at AT&T's Bell Labs in the 1980s, and until this month was sold primarily in Europe and Japan. BakBone, which is based in San Diego, acquired the rights to NetVault earlier this year.
NetVault Version 6 was released last year, although the North American version will be referred to just as NetVault. The 6.0 release was a complete rewrite, with a focus on architecture modularity.
According to Cerqueira, BakBone plans to differentiate NetVault from its larger rivals' software primarily in the areas of:
- Built-in support for storage area networks (SANs), including LAN-free and server-less backup via BakBone's DirecSAN, Client Transfer Node, and Dynamically Shared Drives technologies. This is in contrast to the SAN add-on option approach taken by some other backup software vendors.
- Application plug-in modules (APMs) for integration with specific applications, such as Oracle, Informix, Sybase, and SAP.
- Ease of use.
Ease of use was the primary reason NCO Group, an accounts receivable collection company, decided to standardize on NetVault for most of its backup/restore operations, according to Jon Bodarky, manager of systems and network administration at NCO. The Philadelphia-based company also evaluated backup/restore software from CA, Legato, and Veritas.
NCO has a mix of Unix and Windows NT servers, backed up nightly to Overland Data DLT and Exabyte Mammoth tape libraries. The company uses NetVault to back up 80% of the NT servers and all Unix servers (except Hewlett-Packard systems, which are backed up with HP's OmniBack).
NCO previously used Veritas' BackupExec, and Unix-based 'tar' and 'cpio' for most of its Unix server backups.
According to Bodarky, the primary reasons NCO selected NetVault were ease of use ("it's idiot-proof"), cross-platform support, and speed. In one backup scenario, NCO is averaging 220GB per hour using NetVault to back up six Unix servers and nine NT servers to Overland DLT 7000 libraries.
BakBone plans to rely primarily on the reseller channel for distribution, and expects to have 35 channel partners signed up over the next year.
Pricing for NetVault starts at $4,000. For more information: www.bakbone.com.