Symantec unveils IM archiving and backup reporting

Software is aimed at classification and compliance

Symantec this week announced Veritas Backup Reporter 6.0, an enterprise backup reporting tool that provides IT administrators with a single corporate view of backup and recovery operations.

The software company also launched the availability of Symantec Enterprise Vault 7.0, an e-mail, instant message and content archiving application.

Symantec's Backup Reporter allows IT administrators to verify backup service-level compliance, and run backups as a shared IT service for chargeback purposes.

According to Erica Antony, senior product manager for Symantec's Veritas NetBackup, Backup Reporter helps IT managers proactively meet services levels by providing tools such as library capacity reporting.

Steve Frewin, a storage administrator at TD Banknorth, said he currently uses Command Central Service, the previous version of Backup Reporter, across the corporation.

"I can do monitoring today and it will tell me what tape drives are in use, but ... it can only look back two or three days, but a library reporting tool would allow you to do trending of our library a lot easier," he said. "I would be very interested in looking at that."

By affording him trending information, Frewin said Backup Reporter would enable him to perform capacity planning, the biggest challenge at his bank today.

"If I can know my library is at 75 percent now and in six months it will be at 90 percent, I can plan to acquire more capacity," he said.

Backup Reporter offers a single view of a backup environment across both NetBackup and Backup Exec products, in addition to the software reporting across IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager, EMC's Legato NetWorker and CommVault's Galaxy backup software.

Backup Reporter also has several preconfigured reporting spreadsheets, and the reports can be scheduled and distributed via e-mail, Antony said. Reports can be filtered by custom parameters that can be designated to meet a company's needs. For example, backup utilization can be presented in a variety of parameters, such as geography, application, business unit, platform, location and service tier. The software also tracks backup times at the host server level.

"That's one of the features I asked for with Command Central," Frewin said. "I'll be able to see the amount of time it took for the backup rather than just the scheduled time. Then I can compare when the backup actually started and get insight into how busy my backup environments are."

Pricing ranges from US$135 to US$600 per backup device.

Symantec's announcement of Enterprise Vault 7.0 enables IT managers to archive and classify e-mail, instant messaging and other content in three ways:

1) Automated classification that stores data with 50 predetermined polices, such as personal, Sarbanes-Oxley sensitive and business sensitive by looking through message content and file attachments for keywords, association of words and strings of words.

2) User classification that enables end users to classify data upon creating it or receiving it.

3) Integration into deployed technologies for records management with software such as Documentum and IBM's OpenText document archiving software.

According to Art Gilliland, a senior director product marketing at Symantec, Enterprise Vault 7.0 offers IT managers rules-based administration so that large companies running archives for multiple business units can preset access authorizations to stored documents, e-mail and instant messages.

It also allows you to see the health of subroutines and can track and audit the process so that you can see how many messages have gone through," Gilliland said.

The software supports Apple's Mac Entourage e-mail and Safari Web browser, as well as Microsoft Outlook and all major iterations of instant messaging software, both public and corporate.

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