Symantec integrates dedupe into backup products

The new versions of Symantec's backup and archiving software include data deduplication technology meant to simplify archiving
Written by Manek Dubash, Contributor

Symantec has added deduplication technology to its backup and archiving software, with the release of its Backup Exec 2010 and NetBackup 7 product updates.

In Backup Exec 2010, aimed at medium-sized companies that need backup for their desktop PCs, data deduplication is an option. In NetBackup 7, which is targeted at larger enterprises, it is built in.

The updates, introduced on Monday, carry through on Symantec's 'Deduplication Everywhere' strategy announced in July, when it said it would offer client-side deduplication and deduplication for the backup media server in NetBackup.

"By integrating deduplication closer to the data source at the client, NetBackup increases the speed and efficiency of backups in remote offices, datacentres and virtual environments and reduces network traffic by up to 90 percent," Symantec said in a statement.

Deduplication reduces the size of backup sets by removing duplicated data at either block or file levels, and so saves disk space and network bandwidth, according to analysts. For example, a full backup of a group of Windows PCs will produce a near-identical backup copy of Windows for each PC. Deduplication means only one copy of Windows needs to be stored.

Deduplication is an option rather than a built-in feature in Backup Exec 2010 because it has a target market reaching from very small businesses to large enterprises, and the option allows customers to take only what they need and leave the rest, Symantec said.

Other new features in Backup Exec 2010 include hierarchical storage, in the form of new archive options. These provide archiving for Windows and Exchange servers by archiving data from the backup copy, which Symantec said helps to offload backup processing from live production systems.

According to the company, this will boost the capabilities of the company's Enterprise Vault agent, which now includes the ability to migrate Enterprise Vault information to tape.

Backup Exec 2010 also includes more granular restore from virtual machines, so that administrators can restore or redirect an entire application, or recover individual emails, mailboxes or files and folders.

New features in NetBackup 7, beyond the built-in deduplication, include a replication technology that allows organisations to transfer up to 95 percent less data between locations. It also adds more granular restore, and backup catalogue replication as a standard feature within the main console.

In addition, NetBackup 7 has a new reporting and management console, called OpsCenter. This provides a standard way of monitoring and reporting backup and archive information for Symantec's products, including NetBackup, NetBackup PureDisk, Backup Exec and Enterprise Vault. It also includes analytical features and can report on third-party backup products.

Symantec has bought in deduplication technology from ExaGrid Systems for its lineup. According to ExaGrid, Symantec is using a module that integrates into Backup Exec and allows communication between products. The plug-in arose out of Symantec's OpenStorage Technology programme, which provides APIs for external vendors to add functionality to Symantec's products. Other vendors in the programme include Quantum and FalconStor.

Both updates are scheduled to be available worldwide on 1 February. Backup Exec 2010 with deduplication and archiving starts at $2,708 (£1,673). NetBackup 7's suggested price is $7,995 for an enterprise server and five client licences.

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