New Web-based solutions from Symantec aim to make it easy for small and midsize businesses to back up data and be prepared for disaster. Symantec Online Backup and Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec join recent enterprise offerings from EMC and CommVault that use software as a service (SaaS) to simplify backup.
With SaaS solutions, consumers pay to use, not own, software that can be accessed across the Web. With a backup solution built on SaaS, businesses don't have to rely on putting data on disks or tapes, which can be administrative nightmares.
Symantec Online Backup offers browser-based backup and restoration. Data is stored on redundant servers and encrypted both before it's transmitted and while it resides in Symantec's data centers. Symantec says it has no access to the stored data.
Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec is an add-on to the company's existing offering, Backup Exec. Previous versions of the product allow data to be backed up to tape or disk. Now an online- option is also available.
Longhorn-Certified and Integrated
Chris Schin, director of product management for the Symantec Protection Network, said the new offerings were engineered to work with 's next edition of Windows Server, known as Longhorn. "Each of them is the first solution in its market to be logo-certified for Windows Server 2008," he told us. That's important because the way in which Longhorn is backed up has changed from Server 2003, he said.
Schin said the new products would be integrated with other Symantec solutions as customers have demanded. "We started to deliver on the promise of integration across Symantec's many -product lines. For example, this version of Backup Exec 12 now integrates with Enterprise Vault, so if you have an Enterprise Vault e-mail archive, you can back it up using Backup Exec," Schin said.
Backup Exec also integrates with the company's Global ThreatCon, a global cybersecurity threat level that can be ratcheted up or down depending on the likelihood of a serious virus outbreak. "The integration here enables an administrator to kick off an ad-hoc backup of everything if the ThreatCon level goes to a certain level, which is a way to protect your data when an attack is imminent."
The Future Is In SaaS
"SaaS is definitely the wave of the future," Chris Swenson of The NPD Group told NewsFactor. "There are obstacles to overcome, but with the advances in technology we're seeing it become more a reality."
The obstacles Swenson sees include concerns about privacy and data breaches. "Sometimes there's hesitation to move in this direction because companies want to keep their critical files within the firewall," he said.
Symantec's move to integrate its online backup solutions across product lines is likely to set it apart from competitors, Swenson said. "It is a market where it's going to be very difficult to differentiate one's offerings," he noted. But "it's definitely a market that they should be in and I think they'll end up doing very well."