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Veritas Uncages Panther

CHICAGO -- After months of development on the sly, Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) unveiled its continuous data protection (CDP) product codenamed Panther here today at the Storage Decisions conference. The product will be available as a public beta beginning next week (see Veritas Releases New Software).

Panther is part of Veritass Windows-based Backup Exec family, though it will provide disk backup in conjunction with other companies' tape-backup software. Little was known about Panther before today, outside of a brief demo at a Veritas conference last month that provided few details.

This is the first time Veritas has hurried out a product as a public beta. Clearly, the company wants to beat Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to the punch as Microsoft prepares to launch its Data Protection Manager (DPM) later this year (see Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim).

Like DPM, Panther’s first release will be limited to restoring files, with support for Exchange and SQL Server planned in future versions. The ability to search email won't ship until next year.

Jeremy Burton, VP of Veritas’s data management group, says Panther has been in development for at least 15 months -- before Microsoft announced its disk-based product last September. But Microsoft’s announcement no doubt spurred Veritas to accelerate development. Adding to the rush is the pending acquisition of Veritas by Symantec for $13.5 billion (see Symantec & Veritas: It's a Deal). Microsoft will be the primary competition for Symantec’s combined data protection and security portfolio (see Symantec CEO Opens Roadmap). The Symantec-Veritas deal is pending shareholder approval.

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