Symantec has finally entered the software-as-a-service (SaaS) arena with the unveiling of its long-awaited Symantec Protection Network (SPN), along with several enhancements to the latest iteration of its Backup Exec package for Windows shops.
First announced nearly a year ago, SPN includes two initial service offerings for SMBs: The first is online backup for data; the second is online storage for users of Backup Exec 12, the newest version of the software Symantec acquired with its $13.5 billion
purchase of Veritas in 2005.
SPN is the latest of a slew of SaaS announcements from a range of suppliers, including Amazon, Carbonite, EMC, Google, and Iron Mountain, to name just a few.
SPN is offered to North American customers via two redundantly equipped hosting sites in unidentified locations. Though Symantec refuses to name its suppliers, rumor has it they include BlueArc and NetApp. Online backup rates start at about $25 per month for Web-based backup of up to 5 Gbytes of Windows-compatible data; online storage starts at $38 per month for 10 Gbytes of storage for Backup Exec 12, including disaster recovery features. Rates for both services go down from these base prices, based on volume.
The SPN announcement is part of a larger release of software that Symantec claims is the most important since its purchase of Veritas. There is a new set of Symantec Solutions for Windows, a program that guarantees over 20 Symantec products will work with Microsoft Windows Server 2008, the platform Redmond plans to roll out this month. Windows Server 2008 in turn will serve as a platform for virtualization enhancements, including Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor (aka Longhorn), expected to ship within six months.