4:00 PM -- It took them far too long, but backup software vendors are catching on to the importance of reporting tools.
Years after third-party applications from vendors such as Aptare, Bocada, Illuminator, Tek-Tools, Servergraph, and WysDM popped up to address the lack of reporting in backup tools, the backup software vendors are still trying to catch up. (See Startups Strive to Save Backup.) Two weeks ago, market-leader Symantec finally got around to adding a backup reporting and monitoring tool to its NetBackup and Backup Exec applications. (See Symantec Files Backup Report.)
Today, BakBone is addressing reporting with NetVault Report Manager for Exchange. (See BakBone Reports on Exchange.). The product is an add-on to BakBone's Report Manager that gives status reports of NetVault backups and helps administrators anticipate when they will have to add capacity to complete their backups. While the core Report Manager is of some use, it doesn't go as deep as third-party tools and doesn't support other vendors' products for shops running more than one backup application.
Report Manager for Exchange helps NetVault customers manage Exchange, a common headache for administrators. It forecasts Exchange growth rates, reports on sent and received mail, identifies duplicate data in mailboxes, and tracks delivery time to make sure service level agreements are met.
These are useful features, but we have to wonder why they weren't part of BakBone's backup product long ago.