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Appliances carry Symantec backup revenue

Symantec’s transformation towards an integrated backup appliance model accelerated last quarter, as revenue of its NetBackup appliances increased 35 percent over last year.

Symantec’s backup business results last quarter followed a familiar pattern. NetBackup sales increased, mainly on the strength of its appliances, while Backup Exec revenue dropped. The vendor did not break out its total backup revenue, although the Information Management category that backup is part of was flat from last year at $650 million.

The appliance business has grown rapidly since Symantec began selling its backup software on integrated hardware instead of relying on third-party disk targets. CFO Thomas Seifert pointed out that Symantec has gone from none of the backup appliance market to 38 percent in less than years, according to IDC’s research. Symantec is second behind EMC in backup appliance revenue.

But because Symantec does not give the total revenue for NetBackup, it’s impossible to say if it is adding new customers or switching over those who were already using its enterprise backup software.

Brown said Backup Exec sales were hurt by a pause in sales by channel partners ahead of the recently released Backup Exec 2014 for SMBs. However, Backup Exec sales have been in downfall since the poorly received Backup Exec 2012 came out two years ago. Symantec execs hope the new version will satisfy unhappy customers who refused to upgrade to BE 2012.

He said Symantec’s next step in backup will be towards the cloud. “We’ll be moving our products to the cloud to complement the strength we already have in our cloud-based archiving business,” Brown said.

It’s not clear if he was talking about both NetBackup and BE. Symantec discontinued its service in January.

Brown said Symantec’s CEO search committee has narrowed its list to finalists and its goal is to reveal its choice by the end of September. He said the ideal candidate has experience in technology that is closely related to Symantec’s, has global operations background, a collaborative leadership style and has been CEO of a public company.

Brown has been interim CEO since the Symantec board fired Steve Bennett in March.

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