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NetApp involved in data love-in

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Veritas Vision Veritas today provided its most detailed look to date at the upcoming NetBackup 6.0 product and shed light on a new rev - 6.0 - of Enterprise Vault. One of the big themes stretching across both products is simpler, more complete management of a wide range of hardware and information. Both products are set to ship this summer.

The "crown jewel" of NetBackup 6.0 is a tool for searching and cataloging backup copies of data regardless of what software package or operating system originally created them. This means Veritas customers can now search backups done by Network Appliance hardware, EMC Symmetrix systems, Hitachi Lightning systems, Unix OSes, Linux OSes, Windows VSS or Microsoft Exchange and Veritas' own Storage Foundation software.

In addition Veritas has made it possible to use the same management panel for performing basic recovery tasks as well as more complex bare metal restores of all the systems in a storage network. The bare metal restore technology has arrived in NetBackup via The Kernel Group - a company Veritas acquired in 2002. Customers will no longer be able to buy the old Bare Metal Restore software as a separate product.

"We can zap new systems with the identical environment that was in place before," said Mike Speiser, a vice president at Veritas, in an interview here at the Veritas Vision conference. "This is not a trivial process, and we are able to do the restores even with minor differences in hardware."

Veritas is also especially proud of the work it has done with networked storage maker NetApp around the NetBackup 6.0 product. As much as 20 percent of the revamped software stems from a shared development effort between the two vendors.

Customers can now manage NetApp's Snapshot, SnapRestore and SnapVault backups from a NetBackup console. In addition, the two companies have worked to make backups from NetApp systems faster and simpler than those done on other hardware.

The alliance between Veritas and NetApp is an obvious attack against shared rival EMC. Veritas, however, said that similar engineering work could be done with EMC . . . one day.

"Other companies have to want to play," Speiser said. "EMC hasn't come to us and talked about that type of effort yet."

Customers will additionally find a new "Google-like" interface for searching storage repositories. End users will be able to find their own archived files with this Web-based tool. But when Netbackup 6.0 first hits the streets, this technology will only work in conjunction with NetApp systems. By next year, it will work with all hardware and be present in Veritas' entire backup product line, including the lower-end BackupExec software. Administrators will control what types of files users can search and restore.

Along with the new version of NetBackup, Veritas announced Enterprise Vault 6.0, which is the reworked version of the e-mail archiving software acquired last year in its KVS buy.

Veritas is now billing the software as much more than just an e-mail archiving tool, saying the new release will make it possible to archive instant messages, Microsoft SharePoint documents, Windows file systems and NetApp file systems as well. Enterprise Vault now has support for Lotus Domino/Notes too.

Archiving all of this data is meant to help customers meet regulatory guidelines governing information retention.

Veritas' success in the storage software market has long made it a major target for rivals. Of late, EMC has really stepped up its attack against Veritas, launching a SafeSwitch campaign to woo NetBackup and BackupExec customers. In the past nine months, EMC reckons more than 125 customers have switched from Veritas to EMC.

Veritas, however, contends that EMC - via its products acquired from Legato and Dantz - is only a minor player in the backup market. Veritas holds close to 40 percent share of the backup and recovery market and sees IBM as its main threat.

"EMC is a very noisy competitor," Speiser said. "When animals are in a corner, they bite." ®

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Microsoft stirs storage waters with backup beta
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