Veritas upgrades flagship backup suite

Storage software giant Veritas Software Corp. on March 11 announced an upgrade to one of its flagship storage software products, NetBackup 4.5.

Version 4.5 delivers improvements to NetBackup that span advanced disaster recovery preparation, simplified backup and recovery for Oracle’s software platform, and more finely tuned monitoring and reporting technology, according to Mike Adams, a product marketing manager for Veritas, in Mountain View, Calif.

The upgrade introduces a new tool in the NetBackup arsenal called Bare Metal Recovery (BMR), technology recently acquired by Veritas with its purchase last January of The Kernel Group, in Austin, Tex.

Eagerly awaited by the enterprise since January, BMR can recovery data and help get networks back up and running even after the most extreme network calamities, said Adams.

“BMR is a way to bring back either a Unix or a Windows-based machine very quickly. If you were to lose the server in a fire, or if someone just cut the cables behind the server, or even if you were to kick it over, what you’d be able to do (with BMR) is re-load information very quickly back on to it, or another machine, and get it back up and running,” explained Adams.

BMR works in combination with NetBackup 4.5 to re-load corrupted or crashed operating systems, load backup applications that were running, and “bring the data back across the infrastructure,” said Adams.

Archiving data to tape also becomes easier with NetBackup 4.5 with a tool called NetBackup Vault, said Adams. Vault not only saves time by allowing administrators to make up to two additional copies of backup tapes while the primary backup is taking place, but it also offers a system which tags the appropriate tapes for delivery off-site, reducing possible confusion.

“If you use a company like Iron Mountain, who store your tapes for you off-site, you can have this product tell you which tapes to send to that company,” said Adams.

Wizard-led backup and recovery for Oracle databases is another new feature of NetBackup 4.5. A blend of automated tasks and the instructional “wizard” eliminates much of the training previously required to perform and Oracle backup via NetBackup.

Improved data snapshot technology in 4.5 allows for a constant backup routine while minimizing the strain of server resources.

NetBackup Storage Migrator technology within 4.5 assists Unix customers in migrating infrequently accesses data to less expensive storage devices.

With storage management a daunting task for many companies, Dan Tanner, a senior analyst with the Aberdeen Group in Boston, believes the evolution of storage software such as that from Veritas is a good thing for IT.

“When the cost of storage is not in the storage [hardware] or the network but in the cost of managing the files in that storage and the network and resources…the more hassle-free you can make management, the better the value proposition,” said Tanner.

Available in April 2002, NetBackup 4.5 runs on a wide range of operating environments, according to Veritas.