The enterprise backup industry's top companies—Commvault, EMC, IBM, Veeam, and Veritas—are all having a busy winter and starting to discuss their plans for 2017. It won't surprise anyone that buzzwords such as cloud, integration, and virtualization are what these companies are promising from Storage Claus.
Their current products are Commvault Data Protection 11, with service pack 6 due this month; EMC NetWorker 9.1 scheduled for general availability this month; IBM Spectrum Protect upgrading from 7.17 to 8.1 tomorrow; Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 launched in November; and Veritas NetBackup 8.0, which debuted last week and is available today.
SEE: Data Backup Policy (Tech Pro Research)
Commvault's near-term plans are for indexing and collecting data while it's being backed up. Later, there will be data services built atop that feature, along with new tools for business analytics and process automation, officials said.
New pricing models are also in the works, and the company is considering a moderated app-store approach for new functions made by customers and other developers, they explained. Service packs 7, 8, and 9 are scheduled for March 15, 2017, June 15, 2017, and September 15, 2017.
EMC officials said a revamped virtualization engine and expanded cloud support will shine brightest in NetWorker 9.1. Plans for 2017 include expanding the operating system support in its CloudBoost deduplication software, which is currently only available for Linux. The merger with Dell is bringing opportunities to expand EMC's leaner Avamar backup product for smaller customers, but there won't be any official NetWorker Light, they said.
IBM said it's moving to quarterly updates. Coming up are support for VMware 6.5, which will allow customers to manage their backup from directly inside the VMware systems. Similar features are being planned for Microsoft's Hyper-V console.
Petabyte-scale deduplication for object storage, along with applying multiple retention policies to a single piece of data, are on Big Blue's 2017 roadmap.
SEE: Storage ebook: SAN, NAS, tape, and all-flash arrays (Tech Pro Research)
Veeam, still a virtual rookie among backup leaders after eight years doing it, recently added support for Microsoft's 2016 applications and servers. Veeam also added support for Nimble Storage. Version 10 next year will get IBM storage support and integration with Veeam's other products—look for a heavy focus on cloud backups, they said. There will be two new products, including one for backing up data from cloud-first sources and another that adds a management layer.vv
As for their name: Veeam is a play on the VM shorthand for virtual machine, but people started pronouncing it "Veem" and, officials said, that stuck.
Veritas said its latest release, corresponding with a product they call 360 Data Management, now lets administrators see their data visually. That includes a map of dependencies between your applications and storage tiers, which should make life easier during disaster recovery.
Looking forward, there will be integration with Veritas Velocity in order to virtualize backups for other tasks. Officials also elaborated on the previously promised web services integration, which they now are pegging for the middle of next year along with VMware and Microsoft SQL Server integration.
Other backup products
These companies' products are not for everyone; there are dozens of other backup products available, including some that are open source or simply part of the major operating systems. Gartner last summer noted this and also observed that appliance-first and cloud-first alternatives are increasing in enterprise popularity.
Traditional storage administrators are gradually giving way to data managed by application leaders, IBM's storage product marketing manager Devon Helms observed. But in a large enterprise, regardless of who's tasked with supervising the bits, there will be plenty to fill their digital stocking.
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Evan became a technology reporter during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. He published a book, "Abacus to smartphone: The evolution of mobile and portable computers" in 2015 and is executive director of Vintage Computer Federation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. His vices include running and Springsteen.