Symantec Files Backup Report

Finally offers reporting tools that have long been MIA from its backup apps

January 31, 2007

3 Min Read
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Symantec is adding reporting capabilities for Veritas backup applications in hopes of filling a void in its products that created a niche market for a bunch of smaller vendors. (See Symantec Adds Reporting.)

Veritas Backup Reporter is designed to track backup jobs to ensure they meet service level agreements, monitor resource utilization, and add chargeback capabilities. It is mainly aimed at enhancing Symantec's NetBackup and Backup Exec applications, although it does support other vendors' applications.

These types of reports were long absent from backup applications, denying customers important information about their backups. (See Veritas Pummeled by Panel.) Third-party applications from vendors such as Aptare, Bocada, Illuminator, Tek-Tools, Servergraph, and WysDM popped up to address the failing. These smaller vendors labeled their products data protection management (DPM). (See Startups Strive to Save Backup.)

"It's high time we saw something like this from Veritas," says analyst Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group. "Smaller vendors created data protection management products because there was a gap from the major players."

Other backup vendors have added reporting capabilities in recent years. CommVault and Hewlett-Packard offer reporting in their backup applications, and EMC sells WysDM software as EMC Backup Advisor under an OEM deal. (See CommVault Ratchets Up Reporting and EMC Makes Legato 'Wyser'.)As Symantec's first shot at reporting, Veritas Backup Reporter is no more sophisticated than the third-party tools. Still, Symantec has the one basic part of the equation the others lack -- a huge installed customer base. Symantec NetBackup product manager Erica Antony argues the reporting tools work best when incorporated into the core backup application.

"The No. 1 differentiator is, we're Symantec," Antony says. "We have a history with data protection that no other vendor has. We can introduce features and integrate reporting into Net Backup and Backup Exec."

Veritas Backup Reporter supports CommVault Galaxy, EMC Legato NetWorker, and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager backup software. But those options involve extra licenses, and Veritas reports go deeper when used with Net Backup and Backup Exec.

While Symantec's entry into backup reporting can't be good news for the smaller competitors, some of them have broadened their capabilities to include various degrees of analytics. For example, they can predict if bandwidth problems will affect backups, or if there is not enough capacity on the backup medium to complete a backup.

"This levels the playing field on the reporting side, but not on the analytics side yet," Taneja says of Symantec's product. "The easiest thing to do is the reporting. That's what all the DPM products started with. It's the next step beyond reporting where you have to do a serious amount of data gathering and apply analytical engines to extract intelligent information."Backup Reporter pricing ranges from $135 to $600 per backup server and client. Typical packages include $15,000 for 25 devices and $135,000 for 1,000 devices. Licenses for CommVault, EMC, and IBM applications cost $20,000.

Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Aptare Inc.

  • Bocada Inc.

  • CommVault Systems Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Illuminator Inc.

  • ServerGraph Inc.

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Taneja Group

  • Tek-Tools Inc.

  • WysDM Software Inc.

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