Veritas Activates Backup Exec 8.5

WithMicrosoft Corp.'s release of Datacenter Server and Exchange 2000, Windows 2000is now a full platform, and one storage management vendor is ready to addressthe needs of the platform.

VeritasSoftware Corp. ( 8.5release of Backup Exec adds functionality that supports some of the advance andcore features of the Windows 2000 platform. Active Directory, which isnecessary for Exchange 2000 use, tops the list of supported features.

Certifiedfor Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Backup Exec 8.5 isnot yet certified for Datacenter Server. Like most backup software, Backup Execis a “kernel-touching” application -- an application that requires a directconnection with the operating system kernel. Kernel-touching applications, suchas backup and restore as well as anti-virus software and hardware drivers, canpose major threats to the stability of an operating system. The applicationmust undergo rigorous testing before it can be certified. Veritas expectsBackup Exec 8.5 to be certified for Datacenter Server. In fact, Backup Execsupports four-node cluster failover, a feature found only on the DatacenterServer iteration of Windows 2000.

Previous tothis upgrade, Backup Exec 8.0 could backup and restore Active Directory, butthe product did not integrate with the service to complement the functionality.Version 8.5 publishes itself into Active Directory and integrates with otheroperating systems features, such as the Windows Management Interface (WMI).

Users candrill down through WMI to manage the backup of servers across the network.Backup Exec acts as a WMI snap in, working with network management frameworks,allowing administrators to include Veritas in a holistic view of the network.Backup Exec is also available through the Windows Explorer browser.

Inaddition, Backup Exec 8.5 can create kernel-level restore disks or tapes. Whena system fails to the degree that the machine has to be wiped clean andcompletely rebuilt, a CD or tape created with Backup Exec will contain aWindows 2000 kernel and sufficient data to restore the hard drive to its stateat the time of the last backup. Having a kernel on the restore disk allows amachine to be booted with the restore disk, which manages installation of theoperating system and applications, rather than needing to install Windows 2000first.

Mike Garcia,product manager at Veritas, says Veritas worked closely with Microsoft ( to enable kernel-levelrestore in Backup Exec 8.5. He believes that Veritas is the first storagemanagement vendor to offer the functionality for Windows 2000.

Veritasalso nurtured tight integration with Microsoft's Exchange 2000 and SQL Server2000 since the packages are believed to be critical applications for Windows2000. “We see those [products] as the enablers or drivers moving users toWindows 2000,” Garcia says.

Backup Exec8.5 also supports SQL Server 6.5 and 7.0, allowing administrators to use theproduct to protect both new and old databases that might be running on thenetwork. “It’s important for administrators to have one solution to protect allof their assets,” Garcia says.

In additionto incorporating features specific to Windows 2000, Veritas leveraged itsexperience in Unix environments to add functionality appropriate for the datacenter.

Muchfunctionality is geared toward database use in high-end environments. Forexample, Veritas can treat multiple instances of the same database on the samemachine as different databases, crucial for protecting partitioned data centerboxes and multipurposed machines with more than one database.

Not onlydoes Backup Exec support Microsoft’s four-node cluster failover features, butVeritas also incorporates its own flavor of cluster failover into the 8.5release. If the machine used for performing backups fails, Backup Exec can pushitself to another machine, protecting data if the usual machine is not running.

Duringbackups, Backup Exec manages the backup process, queuing jobs from differentmachines to ensure that the system is not overloaded and adjusting for maximumefficiency. “We expedite the protection of the data itself,” Garcia says.