Symantec has released an updated version of Backup Exec 2010 R3, its popular backup and recovery software, at the company's Vision 2011 conference held in Las Vegas. Symantec says that the client-side Backup Exec software has around 1.5 million customers, which is not a small number by any measure.
As reported by SearchDataBackup, the new revision comes with improved performance when backing up virtual machines, as well as the ability to perform data deduplication without requiring the use of software agents on each guest machine. In addition, Backup Exec 2010 R3 now includes support for SSL with certificates to furnish an extra layer of security between agents and the Backup Exec server - a crucial feature when backing up across a WAN connection.
In a first, Symantec also announced that it will be releasing an appliance and cloud-based versions of the software. The Backup Exec appliance and Backup Exec.cloud service are targeted for remote offices, which for SMBs are likely to consist of few or no IT personnel to monitor data backup tasks, and are expected to be available in the second half of the year, in the early fall time frame.
Monica Girolami, senior product marketing manager for SMBs at Symantec, made it clear that the cloud version is a "simpler version" of the Backup Exec family. Girolami elaborated more on Backup Exec.cloud to eChannelLine:
It complements the Backup.Exec products but is different ... It's really for the very price sensitive market where IT is not a strategic priority, where this is an option versus it not even being a discussion topic ... It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Backup Exec 2010 because it's designed for smaller business - the 25 and under market.
According to InformationWeek, the factors that drove the development of Backup Exec 2010 R3 and the upcoming appliance and cloud versions of the software have to do with: "Explosive data growth, data continuity and fast recovery times, and virtualization." Indeed, Exec currently supports around 40,000 VMware hosts and 1 million VMware guests, greatly bolstering the company's claims that its backup software works well with virtualized environments. In this vein, a management plug-in for VMware has been included in Backup Exec 2010 R3 so that it can be managed through vCenter.
According to the official Backup Exec 2010 R3 FAQ (pdf), customers who are current with maintenance or support contracts can upgrade to the appropriate Backup Exec 2010 R3 licenses at no additional charges, while existing customers who do not have current maintenance or support can purchase version upgrades at up to 35 percent off the listed price. No pricing information has been released for either the application or cloud version at the moment.