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Symantec halts Backup Exec appliance, vultures circle

At least one Symantec backup product will no longer be in the lineup by time the vendor splits apart its security and backup businesses in a little more than a year from now.

While many in the storage world were discussing the new information management company that would come from the Symantec split, Symantec last week disclosed plans to stop selling Backup Exec on an integrated appliance.

As of Jan. 5, Symantec will discontinue the Backup Exec 3600. It will sell Backup Exec the old-fashioned way – it will provide the software and let other vendors provide the hardware.

While integrated appliances for Symantec’s enterprise NetBackup software have been successful– it recently expanded the NetBackup appliance line – that has not been the case with the SMB-focused Backup Exec.

In a blog on the Symantec website announcing the move, senior director of global product marketing Drew Meyer wrote:

”Providing our partners with Backup Exec software that they can bundle with hardware and services best meets the needs of our small and mid-sized business customers looking for a combined offering.”

Meyer cited Fujitsu, which sells an Eternus BE50 appliance with Backup Exec in Japan and Europe. He also wrote the recent release of Backup Exec 2014 shows that Symantec is committed to the software, which ran into problems when the 2012 version came out.

Symantec’s new information management company will offer maintenance renewals for the Backup Exec 3600 through January of 2018 and support will continue until January of 2020.

Competitors are more than happy to relieve Backup Exec customers of their appliances. and Unitrends this week came forward with programs to tempt Backup Exec customers to switch.

Zetta said Backup Exec customers can sign up for Zetta’s cloud backup and DR service free for six months, and it will give up to 20 percent discounts on annual contracts. This is similar to a migration program Zetta ran for customers after Symantec shut down that service earlier this year.

Unitrends said Backup Exec 3600 customers can trade their appliances for one if its integrated appliances for only the cost of support. The Unitrends Recovery-713, Recovery-813 and Recovery-822 are the available models. Backup Exec customers must sign three-year or five-year support contracts for their free appliances.

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