Symantec Adds Protection for Data and Systems to Virtual Environments, Windows Server 2008

Backup Exec family of products updated

Symantec Corp. has released an update of its Backup Exec family of software, adding “data and system recovery of virtual and physical systems” as well as support for Windows Server 2008. The update includes new systems management tools and improves flexibility for storage in heterogeneous environments, to better support data growth.

Virtualization introduces new data protection challenges, according to Symantec, including “backing up virtual machines, meeting strict recovery time objectives, and managing these complex environments.” To meet that challenge, Backup Exec 12.5 lets organizations easily protect data and systems in both physical and virtual environments through a single solution. It uses technology found in the company’s Veritas NetBackup to protect data in “VMware Infrastructure, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and conventional physical systems from a single console, thereby reducing cost and improving management of multiple virtual and physical systems,” the company said in a release. Useres can back up to disk or tape any number of guest machines within VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V using a single agent. The product’s Granular Recovery Technology lets users restore individual files or a complete virtual-machine image created in a single-pass backup, reducing recovery time and the size of the backup footprint.

Backup Exec is tightly integrated with VMware as well as Microsoft’s virtual management framework so administrators can view all of their virtual environment from within Symantec’s interface. In addition, “users will also benefit from automated configuration and setup of VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) without the need to create manual scripts,” according to the company. System recovery of a guest virtual system lets users rename a virtual machine or change the LAN’s configuration. Users have the option of powering up guest machines after the restore is complete.

Complementing the backup features is Symantec’s Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5, which is also being updated to support virtual environments. Backup Exec System Recovery reduces system downtime “by enabling organizations to immediately restore complete Windows systems in minutes, even to dissimilar hardware or virtual environments, in the event of a disaster or system failure,” the company said.

Users can manage planned downtime with Backup Exec System Recovery by scheduling physical-to-virtual migrations. The recovery tool supports VMware ESX 3.5, Citrix XenServer 4.1, and Microsoft Hyper-V. Symantec is planning to integrate it with the Altiris management platform so administrators will have a centralized backup and server/desktop recovery interface from within Altiris’ console.

Finally, the company is releasing Backup Exec Infrastructure Manager 12.5, which simplifies upgrading and patching Backup Exec. It also offers discovery of license ownership from a central location, which helps administrators manage inventory and monitor disk capacity. The product’s Web interface includes a graphical display of an enterprise’s Backup Exec installation.

The Backup Exec family supports the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 family of products, including Windows Small Business Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Windows Essential Business Server 2008. This new support adds flexibility and simplified management for users who are planning to upgrade to any of the new Windows Server offerings. Symantec’s patent-pending Granular Recovery Technology has been extended to provide rapid recovery of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server documents, sites and list items.

Availability and Pricing

Backup Exec 12.5 pricing varies by the number of servers, agents, and workstations used. Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5’s suggested price is $1,095 per server, plus $69 per workstation. Backup Exec Infrastructure Manager’s suggested price is $1,995. Both Backup Exec 12.5 and Backup Exec System Recovery will be released in early October. The release of Symantec Backup Exec Infrastructure Manager 12.5 is set for “late Fall” 2008.scheduled to be available late Fall 2008

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