Veritas to integrate backup, replication

Ships Storage Replicator 3.0

By Heidi Biggar

Taking first steps toward offering users an integrated backup/replication product, Veritas last month shipped version 3.0 of its Storage Replicator software, which has a Windows-based graphical user interface (GUI) that has the same look and feel as the company's Backup Exec GUI.

"We see replication as an extension of backup," says Sheri Atwood, manager of high availability and product marketing at Veritas. "In the past, customers were only interested in protecting their primary data centers, but now they're seeing that remote office data is important, too."

Atwood says Veritas will offer replication as an option to its existing backup software in the future, but for now users have to purchase two separate products. The company did not provide a timetable for the eventual integration of the two products.

"We want to offer a complete solution, not one that just does backup or replication, and we're moving toward integrating replication into our backup software," says Atwood.

The idea is to use backup and replication in concert. Users would replicate data (only the changes after the initial seed) from their remote locations over IP to the primary data center (in real time) and then use traditional backup software to back up the data to tape or disk once it arrives at the primary data center, explains Atwood.

This compares to traditional backup methods, which can be costly and more difficult to manage because of the number of sites that must be individually managed and maintained.

An alternative approach to replication is to implement backup software that has been specifically designed for remote data. Asigra's Televaulting software, for example, can be used to push data from remote locations to the primary data center. As with replication, traditional backup software is used to back up all data on a scheduled basis at the primary data center.

Asigra's Televaulting software is agent-less (only one copy of the software needs to be installed at each participating remote site and on the primary data-center server), relies on compression for efficiency, and only transmits changed file blocks to minimize potential bandwidth issues.

Copeland Corp., a manufacturer of compressors for refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, has installed Veritas' Storage Replicator 3.0 on 10 file servers at six remote locations. Doug Meyer, lead network engineer at Copeland, says: "We previously had tape on-site at each of our remote locations. We were looking at Storage Replicator as a way to take care of our smaller remote sites, where backups weren't getting done."

Meyer also looked at products from EVault and AmeriVault (an EVault reseller) but he says that while those products did what he wanted them to do, they were expensive.

Installing Storage Replicator was reportedly easy and caused no bandwidth/performance-related issues, a common concern when moving data over IP. Meyer replicates 1GB to 1.5GB nightly. Storage Replicator only replicates changed blocks; compression is also available. Copeland uses Veritas' Backup Exec to back up data that has been replicated to its primary data center.

Storage Replicator 3.0 features expanded scalability and better bandwidth utilization. The software is host-based (e.g., a license must be purchased for each participating server), supports Windows Server and Advanced Server, and is priced at $1,495.

This article was originally published on September 01, 2004