CA beefs up BrightStor Backup

Computer Associates International Inc.’s latest version of its BrightStor Enterprise Backup software, 10.5, includes policy-based management enhancements, cross-product integration additions and CA’s BrightStor Portal technology.

The portal technology could be particularly appealing to enterprise users, said David Hill, vice-president of storage research for the Boston-based Aberdeen Group.

“It’s a real advantage to have a tool like the portal,” he noted.

BrightStor Portal gives users a dashboard view into a variety of storage systems, such as a departmental CA ARCserve environments, or even offerings from CA competitors such as Veritas Software Corp. and Legato Systems Inc.

“With the portal you can manage those environments as if you were sitting there in front of the local machine,” said Ed Cooper, CA’s product manager for BrightStor.

Greg Petras, a systems analyst with NYFIX, a developer of electronic trading systems based in Stamford, Conn., has been running BrightStor Backup version 10.5 for six weeks in a production environment and is pleased with the results.

“What we were looking for from this release were the NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol) enhancements,” he explained. “But there were a lot of other things we were happy to see there as well. There was a speed improvement and we liked the BrightStar Portal software.”

NDMP is a standard for controlling backup, recovery and other data transfers between storage devices.

Users running Enterprise Backup 10.5 can now use the software to do centralized administration of entire backup operations involving both CA and non-CA tools.

For example, Cooper said, 10.5 uses the same agent technology as CA’s departmental BrightStor ARCserve Backup software, as well as the same storage tape formats.

“This means customers who might have data residing in the departmental environment can now be migrated to the data center where BrightStor Enterpirse Backup would be installed and that migration would be relatively straightforward,” he said.

Backup 10.5 also features tighter integration with a number of other CA and third-party products and services, including BrightStor Storage Resource Manager, eTrust Antivirus, Unicenter and off-site vaulting vendors.

The tighter ties to the storage resource manager let users take real time and historical data on storage efficiency and build templates around that information.

“For example,” Cooper said, “you could build a template to make sure you were meeting regulations imposed by a state or federal government.”

With the eTrust integration, companies can now make sure they don’t back up viruses onto their storage systems. The software will work to prevent viruses getting backed up and if they do get backed up, the anti-virus software can later quarantine them.

The Unicenter enhancements allow network managers to push down storage software upgrades or updates centrally throughout the network.

On the third-party front, Backup 10.5 includes ties to a number of applications and services, including offsite vaulting options from companies such as Iron Mountain Inc.

CA has also built performance improvements into the new release. Cooper said version 10.0 could recover a 2.6 terabyte SQL database in 11 minutes, while the database was still running, and that version 10.5 has shown a 30% to 50% improvement on that time, based on customer feedback.

BrightStor Enterprise Backup 10.5 is available immediately. The software is available as an upgrade to existing CA customers at no charge.

For new installations, 10.5 will cost between US$4,000 and US$25,000. The agents that tie 10.5 to third-party applications range from US$300 to US$10,000.