Symantec tackles branch office backup

By Kevin Komiega

Symantec officially jumped on the branch-office backup-and-recovery bandwagon recently with the debut of Veritas NetBackup 6.0 PureDisk Remote Office Edition. As its name implies, the software brings a disk-based backup platform to enterprises that require backup for their geographically scattered remote offices.

PureDisk uses a global single-instance technology to make better use of expensive resources such as bandwidth and disk capacity. PureDisk identifies unique files and data segments based on content, not file attributes such as directory or modify date. When changes are made to files, PureDisk backs up the changes to avoid storing unnecessary copies of the same data.

PureDisk also encrypts data when it is captured at a remote office, while in transit, and while on disk at both the remote office and central data center. It also includes an integrated key management system.

Symantec says the first release of PureDisk is a dedicated remote office application that can write data to tape by NetBackup or third-party backup software, but the company’s main goal is to persuade customers to standardize on its Veritas NetBackup product line throughout their organization.

“There is more data in branch offices than there is in central data centers, and it is managed in a way virtually no one is happy with,” says Kris Hagerman, senior vice president of Symantec’s Data Center Management Group, in reference to the lack of skilled IT personnel at most branch offices and the risks involved with transporting un-encrypted backup tapes off-site. “The people running remote offices don’t want [the responsibility] and individuals at the corporate data center don’t want them to have it.”

In the next release of NetBackup, slated for early next year, Symantec plans to deliver full two-way data integration with NetBackup. This integration will allow PureDisk to utilize NetBackup’s capabilities for writing data to tape and will enable NetBackup to backup its existing clients directly to PureDisk, treating it as a disk storage unit under NetBackup.

So why isn’t PureDisk fully integrated with NetBackup at release? Symantec’s Mike Adams, group manager for NetBackup product marketing, explains that the company is releasing the software now to meet a significant market need for the technology. “We’ve traditionally had some problems with getting the technology out there to the customer so we want to take advantage of [the market] now and not wait for a larger scale release of NetBackup early next year,” says Adams.

The market for branch office backup consolidation software is, according to Adams, immense. “Around 35% of corporate critical data exists in remote office locations and there are roughly 4.4 million remote office locations in the US alone.”

Pricing for NetBackup PureDisk Remote Office Edition is based upon usage, or the actual amount of data stored.

This article was originally published on May 01, 2006