While the future of Symantec’s storage business is still in doubt, the company is moving ahead with an update to Symantec Backup Exec, adding support for integration with the Amazon Web Services Storage Gateway VTL cloud service and the latest version of VMware vSphere.
AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid storage service that connects on-premise storage systems to storage resources in the Amazon cloud. AWS promises a seamless security environment across on-prem and cloud assets.
Part of the business unit is either set to be spun out as Veritas later this year or possibly acquired by potential rivals, but staying current on VMware is critical for Symantec. A whole host of backup and recovery software rivals were able to usurp Symantec’s dominance of the backup and recovery category by focusing exclusively on virtual servers.
Symantec was initially slow to respond, which enabled a bevy of startup companies to gain share by selling backup and recovery software to virtual server administrators rather than traditional storage adminis.
Now that virtual servers dominate the data center, Symantec is trying to make a case for using Backup Exec to protect both physical and virtual data centers while at the same time extending the reach of its data protection software into the cloud.
Erica Antony, senior director of product management for backup and recovery at Symantec, says ultimately Backup Exec will be able to protect data on virtual and physical servers wherever they happen to be located.
She also notes that Backup Exec 15 is probably the last major upgrade that IT organizations will see of the data protection software. From here on Symantec will deliver updates more frequently.
“We’ll be moving to a more continuous delivery model,” Antony says. “That’s what customers have now come to expect.”
In addition, Symantec is simplifying pricing. A new Backup Exec Capacity Edition Lite provides protection specifically for VMware, Hyper-V, Microsoft Applications, and Microsoft Windows Servers using a simpler per-TB licensing model. The full Backup Exec Capacity Edition, also licensed per TB, provides all of the features and functionalities of Backup Exec including data deduplication.
Whether Symantec in the form of Veritas can recapture its former storage luster remains to be seen. The Veritas file system has already been eclipsed, leaving data protection as the company’s primary source of revenue in a market segment that is notoriously fierce.
On the plus side, the installed base of customers using Symantec backup and recovery software is substantial. The challenge is that most IT organizations have at least two or more backup and recovery tools from different vendors in use. As they begin to consolidate those it will take more than simply being the most incumbent vendor to make the inevitable cut.