Symantec is repositioning its storage management software as a hardware-agnostic tool to manage any class of storage device, across all media, in the process adding disk-to-disk and data de-duplication muscle to its NetBackup software.
"We are trying to unite the various aspects of storage management," said Matt Kixmoeller, the company's Senior Director of Product Management, in an exclusive pre-release briefing with searchstorage.com.au.
That ambition will be expressed though NetBackup 6.5, which Kixmoeller says "is not just for tape any more."
Instead, NetBackup has added extensive disk-to-disk backup facilities including the ability to interact with VMWare to backup virtualised disk.
Data de-duplication is another addition. "We now let users very flexibly share disk and de-duplicate as part of the backup process, for any hardware," Kixmoeller said.
For storage administrators, the hope is that the new software lets them manage the many types of disk-based storage and backup from one piece of software, without needing to manage the many tools provided by hardware vendors.
"Customers have lots of different hardware vendors and it is in their interests to do so," Kixmoeller said. "We think we can help them standardise the software that runs the hardware."
The new product is accompanied by a new licensing scheme.
"We used to charge for every client and agent," Kixmoeller said. "That is hard for clients." The new products will therefore offer simpler purchasing terms, with 30 licenses reduced to three and a per-terabyte model also on offer.
The new software and licenses will be marketed under the banner 'Storage United' although Kixmoeller admitted there is not a great deal that is new to the strategy.
"This is very much a continuation of Veritas' strategy," he conceded.