Veritas backs up in shadow of Symantec merger

In the shadow of its impending merger with Symantec Corp., Veritas Software Corp. today announced the release of the latest version of its data backup and management product. Backup Exec 10.0 promises more reliable and constant replication of critical corporate data, particularly for remote offices and small and mid-sized businesses with 1,000 or fewer employees.

Designed for Microsoft Windows operating system environments, the offering, along with new releases of the company’s Replication Exec and Storage Exec products, aims to add more intelligence to the daunting challenge of backing up and storing data on a corporate network.

Veritas executives demonstrated how, for instance, new management enhancements can allow administrators to prevent employees from saving certain types of data to the system, such as non-core music and video files. The intelligent management system also allows IT departments to reduce the amount of repetitive data replication that often occurs in business environments. A file that may only be altered once a month, for example, need not be replicated every 24 hours. The Veritas offerings can allow such differences to be accounted for within the morass of ever-expanding data volumes, the company said.

“If we can get that under control, that’s really going to benefit IT,” said Jeremy Burton, executive vice-president of Veritas’s Data Management Group.

The product releases come just one month after Veritas and Symantec announced their intended merger, which Veritas executives today said should be completed sometime in the second quarter of this year. Although reluctant to discuss too many details of the move, President and CEO Gary Bloom stressed that the headcount reductions that are characterizing the PeopleSoft-Oracle merger would not be seen in the Veritas-Symantec wedding.

“The merger is not about cuts. It’s hard to get that message through in the shadow of Oracle-PeopleSoft. There were 5,000 cuts on Friday (with that merger). We’re not going to have 5,000 cuts.”

Nevertheless, one user attending the product launch said he worries that unwelcome changes could become a reality as a result of the move.

“You always have to be concerned with a merger,” said Mike Menard, systems administrator with Aurora, Col.-based airplane component manufacturer Stanley Aviation. “You worry that people are going to be replaced…(after) you’ve built relationships with sales reps.”

Menard added, however, that his firm is ramping up a data centre to handle the increasing volume of information that needs to be stored, and that the Veritas offerings are going to help in accomplishing their goals in this area. And the enhancements, he added, are coming just in time. The window of allowed downtime in his storage infrastructures is constantly shrinking.

“Our critical downtime is 10 minutes,” he said.