Netbackup 9 adds flexibility with hyper-converged backup options

Veritas’s enterprise backup flagship is available in hyper-converged infrastructure and has embraced containerisation, for better hardware and application scalability

Veritas has updated its market heavyweight enterprise backup product, NetBackup, to version 9 with added support for storage scaling on demand.

That elasticity – dubbed Flex Scale – comes with installation of NetBackup on hyper-converged infrastructure and not on a server, as was previously the case.

Here, Veritas has partnered with HPE to allow enterprises to buy NetBackup software and the required server hardware to run it on. NetBackup Flex Scale appliances start at four nodes of 112TB usable storage each, going up to a maximum of 16 nodes.

Veritas still sells NetBackup for use in traditional, scale-up appliances and as Kubernetes-based appliances (called NetBackup Flex).

“Traditionally, enterprises bought backup appliances knowing their limit from the get-go,” said Jean-Pierre Boushira, sales VP at Veritas in Europe.

“And if the capacity ran out, they had to replace the hardware. Now, by applying hyper-converged infrastructure to backup, the problem disappears because storage can be expanded by simply adding nodes. This possibility reduces hugely the costs and the risks.”

To implement this kind of elasticity, Veritas has made some changes to its software. NetBackup is now a containerised application, which means it is designed to scale when activity increases and is designed for cloud use.

“Veritas can trace its lineage from traditional datacentre technology to a total separation of software and hardware,” said Christophe Bertrand, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

“Firstly, that was in the form of a virtual machine in previous versions, which allowed it to replicate backups in the cloud, and now in containers which will allow it to extend on-site storage easily.”

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According to Boushira, containerisation should allow for the simplification of backup management in organisations with multiple sites, even if that is just to restore locally what was backed up to the main datacentre.

NetBackup 9 also adds functionality that automates some functionality. This includes allowing customers to define the rules that trigger the activation of new containers, so that backup windows are reduced during the night, for example, or to parallelise restores when several servers have been taken down during a cyber attack.

This functionality also allows automatic discovery of servers on the network, which means the admin only needs to click on them to include them in the backup.

Currently, NetBackup 9 will recognise and automatically manage more than 800 types of application server. The software is also compatible with OpenStack, the open source system used by several public cloud providers and large organisations to build private clouds.

Earlier this month, Veritas bought Hubstor, which brought cloud backup software-as-a-service, with support for Azure file and Blob storage, Box, Google Drive and VMware vSphere.

“For now, Hubstor will remain a separate product to NetBackup,” said Boushira. “However, the two will work together through our APIs. NetBackup could already back up to the cloud by interfacing with third-party products. Replacing those with Hubstor will allow us to offer a solution that is global and sovereign.”

Here Boushira has in mind organisations for which data sovereignty is a regulatory obligation.

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