Feature

Backup apps' reporting tools become more versatile

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backup software is evolving. Technologies like dedupe that have been managed separately from backup are now becoming functions of some backup software products. Other vendors are integrating management of their own non-backup products and, in many cases, from other companies.

Of the latter, one area gaining steam is integrated backup reporting, and heterogeneity is key. "Traditionally, the advantage of using a third-party reporting tool like Bocada or Aptare is that you can use their tool against multiple backup tools," says Eric Burgener, senior analyst and consultant at Hopkinton, MA-based Taneja Group. Backup software vendors have recognized the advantage of offering more versatile reporting tools.

EMC had been OEMing WysDM Software's tool as Backup Advisor and acquired WysDM in April. "It's a pretty diverse world in terms of data protection software, and an environment-by-environment approach wasn't really cutting it," says Dan Cobb, CTO at EMC's Software Group. "Rather than going from console to console, the ability to do all that together was compelling."

Symantec has a similar approach with its Veritas products. "[Veritas] Backup Reporter supports Symantec as well as third-party products," says Erica Antony, senior product manager for Veritas NetBackup. "We're

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seeing a huge demand for a central way to bridge both backup and archiving for reporting."

EMC and Symantec claim their tools have predictive analytic capabilities, allowing users to be proactive rather than reactive about capacity planning, according to Cobb.

Ron Riffe, manager of software product management at IBM, says Tivoli Storage Manager doesn't yet have integrated backup reporting, but "that's one of the major features of our 6.1 release."

--Andrew Burton

This was first published in September 2008

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