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Veritas takes stock of data management play

Software supplier Veritas says it has delivered on its promises but there is still work to do in realising its data management vision

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A year after Veritas talked up its vision of helping businesses manage data in a multi-cloud, hybrid IT environment, the technology supplier known for its backup and recovery software has said it is close to fulfilling its promises.

Over the past 12 months, Veritas has unveiled a slew of offerings, from copy data management and cloud-based disaster recovery, to its Information Map, which provides visibility into unstructured data as part of its 360 data management portfolio.

“When we talk to customers about 360 data management, we can confidently say we’re the only enterprise IT provider that offers data management on a single platform, whether it’s streaming backup, copy and snapshot management, or workload migration to Amazon Web Services [AWS] and Microsoft Azure,” said Mike Palmer, chief product officer at Veritas.

“I think we have delivered on our promises and closed the books on who is the most robust provider in the market that operates on the greatest scale,” Palmer told Computer Weekly on the sidelines of Veritas Vision in Las Vegas.

More in the pipeline

Noting that there is still more work to be done, particularly in enabling enterprises to manage growing volumes of data from internet of things (IoT) devices, Palmer said the company planned to build on the capabilities of Veritas Access, a software-defined scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) offering that manages a large number of small files.

“In another month or so, we’ll release an object store, and this is critical because developers prefer to write to disk-neutral object storage rather than file and block-based storage that requires them to know the underpinning infrastructure,” he said.

Palmer added that the game-changer would be an index catalogue that stores objects outside an object store, enabling developers to look at the content of an object without going into the object store itself.

“We’re helping customers break free from the archival mentality around objects and know what their content is,” he said.

With more enterprises turning to cloud services for their storage needs, Veritas is also introducing deduplication technology called NetBackup Cloud Catalyst that will remove duplicate copies of data and shrink the size of that data by up to three times. This helps to reduce cloud storage bills and speed up backup processes.

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Further on the cloud front, Veritas has also expanded its data management capabilities for enterprises using Microsoft Azure. This includes the ability to monitor and move applications between Azure and on-premise infrastructure, and improve visibility on unstructured data through an Information Map connector for Azure.

The Azure connector is one of 23 Veritas has added to enable enterprises to gain greater visibility over their data across a slew of databases and storage services such as Oracle Database and Box, as well as applications like Microsoft Exchange.

Veritas’s expanded partnership with Microsoft comes on the heels of earlier deals with Google and IBM to bring data management capabilities to public cloud services.

Carla Arend, senior programme director at IDC European datacentre and cloud research, said these alliances would enable Veritas to “provide holistic information management and data protection capabilities in the context of the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]”.

According to the Veritas 2017 GDPR Report, almost one-third of respondents said their enterprise already conformed to the legislation’s key requirements.

However, when those same respondents were asked about specific GDPR provisions, most provided answers that showed they were unlikely to be in compliance. In fact, on closer inspection, only 2% actually appeared to be in compliance, revealing a distinct misunderstanding over regulation readiness.

Agile development

To roll out new products quickly over the past year, Palmer said Veritas had made changes to its development processes.

“Large enterprise customers want reliability and don’t want to take risks with data, so we’re very cognizant of the best aspects of waterfall development techniques when it comes to full regression testing and long-term soak tests,” he said.

That said, Veritas has switched to agile development for its main continuous integration and deployment (CICD) pipeline that delivers new features.

“Our DevOps process, however, is more traditional when it comes to full testing, because we have to support customers that deploy software on-premise, and that means we have to test the software against existing dependencies,” he said.

Palmer revealed that Veritas had also developed separate code for new features that will integrate with NetBackup without the need to upgrade the data management platform.

“For the first time, we’re giving our customers the ability to buy software and use it without going through a full refresh cycle,” he said.

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