Veritas Software unveiled the latest version of its Backup Exec software this month. A variety of new features have been added to the product designed to store copies of data used by Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.
With Backup Exec 9.0, Veritas has made the installation process for the software quicker and reduced the amount of time it takes to restore lost information from either tape or disk drives.
Vice-president of product marketing for Veritas worldwide, Brenda Zawatski, said the new version installed in 10 minutes from insertion of the CD to first backup. This made it 13 minutes faster (88 per cent) than its predecessor (Backup Exec 8.6) and 10 minutes faster than its closest competitor, Computer Associates’ (CA) BrightStor ARCserve Backup version 9 (a claimed 20-minute install).
Veritas’ latest version has several features that tie into Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Server 2003 operating system —tabled for release in March/April — that should make administration easier.
“Veritas wrote four pieces of the software for the Windows Server 2003,” Zawatski said. “That’s what enables us to integrate so tightly. Our software is not sitting on top like CA is. A Backup Exec 9.0 icon appears in the toolbar of the 2003 server.”
She said Veritas was working on ways to make the product easier to use. It was also price conscious. This made it more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses and channel friendly.
“Ninety-five per cent of this product is sold through the channel in Australia,” Zawatski said.
Customers currently using Backup Exec 8.6 under a valid maintenance contract will be entitled to a free upgrade.
Veritas’ senior director of product marketing worldwide, Robert Maness, said the release of the product several months prior to Windows Server 2003 gave customers time to investigate its merits and spark serious discussions about upgrades.
“Disruptions to the environment while upgrading will be minimal compared to the feature sets it offers,” Maness said. “We’re not talking about incremental changes here.”
Backup Exec is one of Veritas’ key data management products and a long-time moneymaker for the company. The software makes copies of data being used by Windows-based servers and then helps administrators restore that information in the event of a failure. Computer Associates, IBM and Legato Systems all make similar products, but 2001 Gartner figures showed Veritas had 55 per cent of the market.
The new version of Backup Exec has a look and feel more closer to that of recent versions of Windows. This should make installation and management easier for administrators, Zawatski said.
Veritas has also reduced the time it takes to restore data by improving the underlying code of Backup Exec and adding a snapshot feature to the software. The snapshot module ($1,570 per server [exc. GST] on top of the base license) allows customers to restore their data from a disk. In the past, customers typically have restored information from tape — usually a more time-consuming process.
In addition to improved backup speeds, a new tool in the product makes it possible to store an image of an email attachment instead of keeping copies of the same attachment for every single user within a company.
Backup Exec 9.0 for Windows Server supports all Windows server operating systems. A base license costs $1395 (exc. GST) with hundreds of additional modules available for Exchange, Oracle, Lotus Notes, MS SQL, etc. Veritas will continue to develop its Net Backup product for Unix and mixed platform environments.