Veritas reinvents itself, adding intelligence to data protection

Veritas dates back to the early 1980s but disappeared for 10 years to become part of Symantec, with its NetBackup and Backup Exec leading the way in the data protection market.

But, in 2014 Veritas was burped out by Symantec into an environment where its leadership in backup could no longer be taken for granted.

The virtualisation revolution had transformed the likes of Veeam into mainstream contenders while newcomers and also-changed rivals such as Rubrik, Cohesity and ArcServe started snapping at heels.

And while the virtualisation transformation had largely done its work, other long waves started to break.

These were: The drive towards big data and analytics, which is also being driven by the upsurge of machine/remote data; a greater need for compliance, driven in particular by regulations such as Europe’s GDPR, and; the emergence of mobile and the cloud as platforms operating in concert/hybrid with in-house/datacentre IT environments.

Such changes appear to have driven Veritas to focus on “broad enterprise data management capabilities”, according to EMEA head of technology, Peter Grimmond.

According to Grimmond, Veritas’s thinking centres on four aims, namely: Data protection, ie backup and archiving; data access and availability, ie ensuring the workload can get to the data; gaining insight from the organisation’s data, and; monetising that data if possible.

Its product set fits with those general aims, with data protection and availability products (NetBackup, Backup Exec, plus hardware backup appliances); software-defined storage products (file and object storage),and; tools to help with information governance (data mapping and e-discovery tools, for example).

Compliance and the kind of data classification tasks that arise from it are strong drivers for Veritas right now.

“We are particularly focussed on unstructured data and how that can pile up around the organisation,” said Grimmond. “And whether that is a risk or of value to the organisation.”

That’s of particular use in, for example, any kind of e-discovery process, and as part of regulatory requirements such as for Europe’s GDPR. This gives the customer the “right to be forgotten” following a transaction, which for organisations can mean it needs to locate personal data and do what is necessary with it.

Veritas has also built in intelligence to its storage products. Its object storage software product – announced recently at its Vision event – for example, incorporates its data classification engine so that data is logged, classified and indexed as it is written.

This functionality has in mind, for example, Internet of Things and point-of-sale scenarios, said Grimmond.