Veritas Pummeled by Panel

Users praise BakBone, CommVault, and Avamar for backup -- and pound the market leader

September 21, 2004

3 Min Read
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CHICAGO -- Backup software market leader Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) is losing ground to smaller competitors in the areas of simplicity and reporting tools, according to a panel of users at the Storage Decisions conference here.

Three of five panel members convening yesterday use Veritas NetBackup, but panelists gave rivals BakBone Software Inc. (Toronto: BKB),

CommVault Systems Inc., and startup Avamar Inc. high marks, and another said EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) Legatos recent improvement prompted him to switch from Veritas.

The users gave the impression that backup software isn’t a two-horse race between Veritas and Legato any more. Ease of use, comprehensive reports, and disk backup performance won praise for some of the smaller players.

Dennis Moore, director of enterprise architecture at Retail Ventures Services, said he chose BakBone over Veritas and Legato (see BakBone Gets Its Back Up). He cited BakBone’s ease of use as the main reason, although he said it almost appeared too simple at first.

“It’s one of the easiest backup solutions to deploy,” Moore said of BakBone. “It has the most streamlined interface. You look at its four icons and say, ‘This can’t do much.’ But right click on the icons, and every option you could have is right there. It also has the best operating system support across the board.”Michael Salins, senior system engineer for marketing firm Interpublic, praised CommVault for its “slick interface” and likes its reporting tools (see CommVault Announces Galaxy 5.0).

“CommVault’s reporting tools were by far the best we saw in the industry,” Salins said. “CommVault generates reports and sends them every day regarding the success of your backup.

Robert Stevenson, technology strategist at Nielsen Media, said he was unhappy with Veritas NetBackup’s reporting tools. “They’re not providing enough granularity,” he said.

Frank Brick, CEO of storage services provider Arsenal Digital Solutions Worldwide Inc., agreed about the importance of reporting tools. He said it’s crucial to learn of any backup failures immediately.

“Silence is not golden when it comes to data protection,” Brick said. “If you’re not hearing bad news, you’re at risk.”Brick, whose company backs up data for 800 customers across 30 data centers worldwide, said Arsenal uses Veritas NetBackup but turns to Avamar, which claims to slash the time required for backup (see Avamar Advances).

“We’ve got complicated data centers,” Brick said. “We’re getting a lot of push from customers who want to sweep multiple locations. Avamar is the most network efficient solution we found.”

Manny Punzo, senior associate of SAN operations at Discover Financial Services, said he uses Veritas for backup, but that’s changing. Punzo said he’s switching to Legato, which impressed him despite some negative industry buzz about its level of sales and customer support help.

“Two years ago, that was the case, but in the last year and a half, they’ve done a complete 180,” Punzo said. “Their support greatly improved. On the other hand, Veritas wasn’t so hot.”

Veritas itself may be willing to take all this on the chin at the moment, particularly since backup is no longer its raison d'etre. The company has just revamped its internal product development organization to reflect its broader charter of utility computing (more on that later).— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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