Veritas retools Windows backup software

Veritas Software unveiled the latest version of its Backup Exec software on Wednesday, adding a variety of new features to the product, which is designed to store copies of data used by Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

With Backup Exec 9.0, Veritas has made the installation process for the software quicker and reduced the amount of time it takes to restore lost information from either tape or disk drives, said Gary Bloom, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Veritas, during a news conference. The latest version of the product also has several features that tie into Microsoft's upcoming Windows Server 2003 operating system, which should make administration easier.

"This is a product that isn't an incremental enhancement of past versions but rather a huge step forward," Bloom said.

Backup Exec is one of Veritas' key data management products and a longtime money-maker for the company. The software makes copies of data being used by Windows-based servers and then helps administrators restore that information in the event of a failure. Computer Associates International, IBM, and Legato Systems all make similar products.

The new version of Backup Exec has a look and feel more similar to that found with recent versions of Windows, which should make installation and management easier for administrators, said Mark Bregman, executive vice president of product operations at Veritas, during an interview.

"The user interface is more in tune with the way Windows has evolved," Bregman said. "That is both good and bad, because it's different than the old look and new to users, but we think customers will like it."

Veritas has also reduced the time it takes to restore data by improving the underlying code of Backup Exec and adding a snapshot feature to the software, Bregman said. The snapshot tool allows customers to restore their data from a disk. In the past, customers typically have restored information from tape, which usually is a more time-consuming process.

In addition to improved backup speeds, Veritas has added features to Backup Exec that can cut down on the amount of space needed to store files. A new tool in the product makes it possible to store one image of an e-mail attachment, for example, instead of keeping copies of the same attachment for every single user within a company.

Overall, Veritas officials said the company is working to make the product easier to use and thus more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses. The Backup Exec product can be used to manage data on networks ranging in size from a couple of servers up to thousands of servers.

Backup Exec 9.0 for Windows Server supports all Windows server operating systems and is available worldwide. The product starts at US$795, Veritas said.

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