Veritas begins utility computing in earnest

Veritas has completed a round of upgrades to its entire software line and on Monday released the latest version of its Bare Metal Restore product.

Veritas Software Corp. has completed a round of upgrades to its entire software line and on Monday released the latest version of its Bare Metal Restore product. But unlike the latest versions of NetBackup and Backup Exec, announced during the past few months, this upgrade is the first building block in the company's utility computing strategy, announced last week.

The Mountain View, Calif., software maker said that Bare Metal Restore 4.6 was designed to automate the recovery of heterogeneous server environments. Bare Metal Restore cuts recovery time by automating system and software configuration processes.

Version 4.6 includes "dissimilar system restore," which allows a user to recover a Windows system to different target hardware than the source hardware on which it was originally installed, including different network interface adapters, mass storage devices, video adapters, motherboards and CPU quantities. The tool can be used with systems and components from different hardware vendors, said Bob Maness, senior director of product marketing.

"Last week at our Vision conference, we did roll out this whole concept of how we enable utility computing. This is the first drumbeat on the path to [utility computing] since that announcement," Maness said.

He said that automating the server recovery process is a crucial component of managing the overall IT infrastructure. "Automating routine data protection processes helps companies deliver better service levels at lower costs, which provides a foundation for utility computing."

Dianne McAdam, a senior analyst and partner with Data Mobility Group Inc., based in Nashua, N.H., said that Bare Metal Restore's ability to restore to a server with a different configuration is impressive.

"Veritas has removed the boundaries that require the restore to be done to a server of the same configuration," she said. "So IT departments now have the flexibility to restore to another server without having to standardize on one particular configuration, or keep 'spares' in the back room in case one of the servers fails."

The utility computing model, according to Veritas, ties applications directly to the IT infrastructure by providing an abstraction of the physical IT infrastructure and presenting it as a service to the user. Veritas said it is readying products with more automation, diagnostic and problem resolution capabilities across the entire IT infrastructure, not just the storage network.

Bare Metal Restore 4.6 offers a browser-based interface for IBM AIX, HP-UX, Windows and Sun Solaris server recovery. It also includes the ability to restore a server to a point in time before the last backup.

Bare Metal Restore 4.6 is available as a free upgrade to current Bare Metal Restore customers, with support and maintenance contracts beginning in mid-June. Veritas said new customers can buy Bare Metal Restore for $900 per Windows client and $1,000 per Unix client. Bare Metal Restore requires NetBackup to operate.

Veritas' upgrade parade

Veritas has updated each of its backup packages during the past two months. February saw the debut of Veritas NetBackup 4.5 Feature Pack, which included an instant recovery option that allows data recovery directly from disk, better support for backup and recovery at the mailbox level of Microsoft Exchange environments and a feature called Integrated Disaster Recovery, which is a tape management and reporting capability that manages the transport of backup tapes to off-site locations. In January, Veritas released Backup Exec 9.0 for Windows Servers, the latest incarnation of its flagship backup and recovery software for small and medium-sized businesses.

Last March, Veritas released a new version of its Global Data Manager software. The tool manages and monitors backup and recovery processes for both Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec. Veritas said that Global Data Manager gives administrators a dashboard view of multiple data protection processes that may be spread across an enterprise.

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Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer

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