I’m still shocked by organisations jumping on the virtualisation bandwagon. Platform proliferation has always been part of the Symantec strategy – something we almost take for granted. Any backup solution should be able to backup anything regardless of whether the data resides in a physical OR virtual environment. No IT manager in their right mind would seek to complicate their management overhead by adding proprietary solutions for every platform. So it seems extraordinary that bespoke backup software companies should shout so loud about their capabilities that are in reality so limited.
Symantec is one of the longest standing technical partners of both VMware and Microsoft and Backup Exec was first to market with virtualisation capabilities. There was a recent announcement from one company that they going to support Hyper-V later this year (Backup Exec has supported Hyper-V for the last 3 years). Hurrah! Bring out the banners, unfurl the flags! In today’s businesses, extremely small, small, medium, large, tremendously large, right across every segment and every industry, across geography and culture you cannot reduce a backup strategy to just VMware (and now Hyper-V).
Very few businesses will achieve total server virtualisation in the near future.Many organizations remain either partially virtualised or in various stages of testing and implementing virtualisation. Symantec Backup Exec and NetBackup support all mixes of physical and virtual environments, using a single product and a single console. Any solution that only supports virtual servers will mean customers still need a separate application for physical server backup. In fact, in some cases, other solutions on the market don’t even run in a VM environment and actually need a physical machine to run on.
But even if you were to completely virtualise your environment why would you not continue to rely on the leader in the market? More than 25,000 Hyper-V servers already rely on Symantec’s innovative Hyper-V support. Backup Exec protects over 85,000 virtual hosts (approx 60,000 VMware and 25,000 Hyper-V) and over 1 million guests, and an estimated 24,000 customers are using NetBackup to protect their virtual environment. With a VM disk based backup solution you require a 3rd party backup product to backup itself – in other words customers are required to have multiple backup vendors to achieve a platform agnostic level of data protection.
This makes the recovery process all the more trying, by backing up the backup a series of staging processes will be required long before you can start looking for the file you’re after – even worse if you are using incremental backups you’ll have fun staging everything and trawling through the backups to find anything – might take weeks!
There are some pretty aggressive and misleading marketing, and in some cases, inaccurate stabs at Backup Exec being touted from various companies. But they are right about a few things“80% of CIOs prefer to manage Virtual Infrastructures with existing enterprise management systems.” A no-brainer given the capabilities of Backup Exec and its long standing relationship with VMware – remember VMware Ready does not include some of these point players, make sure you dig deeper before committing to something that may not give you the best protection.