By Heidi Biggar
When it comes to backing up data, mid-tier users are often put in the position of having to either invest big dollars in enterprise-class products that are too feature-rich for their data-protection needs or settle on low-end products that can fall short of requirements.
Veritas recently took strides to end this dilemma for users by introducing NetBackup 5.0 Server, backup-and-recovery software designed specifically for mid-tier users. The software, which replaces NetBackup Business Server in the Veritas lineup, is priced from $2,000 per server. A free upgrade is available for current users of the NetBackup Business Server.
In terms of positioning, NetBackup 5.0 Server fits above Backup Exec 9.1 and below NetBackup 5.0 in the Veritas backup family.
"Mid-tier users need advanced technology but they don't have the same resources as enterprise-class users," says Glenn Groshans, director of product marketing at Veritas. Mid-tier users may have fewer resources to manage IT operations and have smaller IT budgets, but they still face the daily challenge of trying to protect growing amounts of data both on-site and off-site, explains Groshans.
Over the past six months or so, the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have come into focus, with vendors—big and small—introducing products that address specific user challenges in this category and that are priced accordingly.
For example, Connected and NovaStor recently introduced backup-and-recovery products targeted at the low end of the SMB market. Meanwhile, vendors such as Computer Associates continue to upgrade their low-end to midrange offerings (see "CA rolls out new ArcServe release," left).
"Mid-tier customers are often the most underserved segment of the market," says Nancy Marrone-Hurley, a senior analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group research firm.
"Entry-level solutions don't meet all their needs, while enterprise-class solutions are overkill and too costly."
NetBackup 5.0 Server not only addresses common mid-tier pain points (as they relate to backup), but it also gives users more options in how they grow their backup environment going forward, according to Marrone-Hurley.
"What makes this product unique is that it is integrated with a number of other Veritas solutions and shares a common graphical user interface with Backup Exec 9.1 and NetBackup 5.0," says Marrone-Hurley. "This gives users flexibility in deploying the solution across the enterprise or in migrating from one product to the next as their business grows."
While nearly every feature available with Veritas' high-end software is available as an option to NetBackup 5.0 Server, certain capabilities come standard with the release, including disk staging, synthetic backup, automated disaster recovery, and advanced disaster-recovery features (i.e., catalog replication).
A desktop/laptop option is also available, which protects data outside the data center on mobile laptops and remote desktops.
The disk staging capability enables users to first back up data to disk and then migrate to tape. Doing so significantly reduces the amount of tape that is being handled at any given time and, consequently, lowers overall storage costs, claims Groshans. The ability to make synthetic backups of data, meanwhile, allows users to protect critical data with minimal impact to the actual production environment; a full backup is done initially and then combined with incremental backups to create the synthetic backup.
The new release, through integration with Veritas Volume Replication, also allows users to replicate backup catalogs to secondary sites. Instead of having to rebuild catalogs in the event of a failure, users can simply retrieve the catalogs from the disaster-recovery locations.
NetBackup 5.0 Server integrates with Veritas CommandCentral Service, Data Lifecycle Manager, and Volume Replicator. The software works in Unix, Windows, and Linux environments.