By Kevin Komiega
Symantec is beefing up its digital archiving software with a new level of automated data classification, broader support for upcoming Microsoft applications, and support for a variety of enterprise content management (ECM) platforms. Enterprise Vault 7.0 automatically manages, stores, and discovers e-mail and collaborative content according to retention and compliance requirements.
“Archives need to become more aware of the content that they are holding. Our automated dataclassification feature allows users to set rules and policies and enables them to search and find information intelligently,” says Art Gilliland, senior director of product marketing at Symantec.
What makes Enterprise Vault 7.0 smarter than the average archiving solution, according to Gilliland, is its Automated Classification Engine, which theoretically reduces archive size and search times by categorizing and retaining e-mail based on 50 pre-defined rules.
End users can also configure their own rules and policies based on business or regulatory requirements using the software’s User Classification Engine. This tool can classify all e-mail as each message is created or read by the user directly in Microsoft Office Outlook.
With Enterprise Vault 7.0, Symantec is also widening its breadth of support for applications and content. “Market demand is driving us toward extending our archiving capabilities to other file types and content beyond just e-mail archiving,” says Gilliland.
The software will now be able to handle data from several popular ECM platforms. Enterprise Vault 7.0 can perform retention management for ECM platforms while storing, searching, and securing the content. The software initially supports EMC Documentum, IBM DB2 Content Manager, Open Text LegalKEY and LiveLink, Oracle Stellent Universal Records Manager, and CA MDY FileSurf, on top of existing support for Microsoft SharePoint and CA MDY.
Vivian Tero, a senior research analyst at International Data Corp. (IDC), says automated classification is the next wave in content archiving, but it still needs some work.
“Automated classification is not new, but it is a good feature. A lot of e-mail archiving vendors are moving in this direction. But there are natural language limitations to the technology,” says Tero.
Today’s automatic classification technology only captures about 60% of its target content because of these limitations. That’s where customization helps offset the technology’s shortcomings, according to Tero. “Having the combined capabilities of automatic classification and user-defined customization is good, especially in next-generation archiving solutions,” she says.
Support for ECM is also key. “A lot of these developments are being driven by customer needs. One of the major concerns of the large enterprises is a lack of tight integration between content management and archiving systems,” says Tero.
Part of Symantec’s success has historically been tight integration with Microsoft software. To that end, Enterprise Vault 7.0 supports archiving for all of Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released applications, including Exchange Server 2007, Windows Desktop Search (WDS), Windows Rights Management Services (RMS), and native capture for Live Communication Server, which will facilitate archiving of all corporate IM traffic without routing through Exchange to reduce server load.
A number of new administrative features have also been built into Enterprise Vault to streamline the management process. For example, the software uses secure, roles-based administration to delegate common tasks to first-line administrators while controlling what each administrator can do within the infrastructure. Granular provisioning capabilities enforce different archiving shortcutting and retention policies for users with varying requirements, and reporting and monitoring features provide automated, Web-based, customizable diagnostics and dashboards for tracking the health and usage of the archive.
Enterprise Vault 7.0 pricing for Mailbox Archiving for up to 25 users with one year of support starts at approximately $40 per user.
In a related announcement, Symantec is bundling several of its products into a single software suite called Symantec Information Foundation 2007.
The Information Foundation bundle includes Enterprise Vault, Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator, Enterprise Vault Compliance Accelerator, Symantec Mail Security 8300 Series, IM Manager, Information Foundation Mail Security for Exchange, Mail Security for Domino, and Web Security for Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA).
“The integration and delivery of this bundle of technologies under the Information Foundation 2007 umbrella provide a single product SKU and a single price point per user, per year, for solutions focused on mitigating risks,” says Symantec’s Gilliland.
Information Foundation is available as a single enterprise license and is priced on a subscription basis, at a starting price of $95 per user, per year, with volume and multi-year discounts available.
Symantec debuts backup reporting tool
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.