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Understanding Next Generation Data Protection

November 25, 2008


Traditional data protection solutions are failing to keep pace with today’s overwhelming data growth and complexity. Learn why now is the right time to move to what Symantec calls next generation data protection.
If technology researcher TheInfoPro is correct, a “backup redesign” is sweeping through IT departments these days. But then, that really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the researcher’s twice-yearly surveys of Fortune 1000 firms have consistently identified the need to improve backup as a primary IT pain point.
Symantec also believes that major changes are reverberating throughout the IT world. In particular, the data protection solutions of old are failing to keep pace with today’s overwhelming data growth and complexity. At the same time, IT departments large and small are under pressure to protect data in the most efficient way to maximize time and resources.
Read on to learn why now is the right time to move to what Symantec calls next generation data protection.

Redefining data protection

Why is it necessary to redefine our approach to data protection? Three reasons:
  • The Current Approach Is Dated and Broken. While backup and recovery have been around for years, most companies approach the protection of their data in a very dated manner. Although companies have started to deploy disk-based data protection in the form of virtual tape libraries (VTLs), much of the thinking in data centers and by vendors is still tape-centric. Also, it is important to stress that “data protection” itself is evolving. In addition to protecting their data, companies require application protection, site protection, virtual machine protection, and disaster recovery.
  • Protection Is Getting Harder. Data centers and remote offices have evolved. Server consolidation through virtualization technologies has changed the way companies need to think about protecting their data. How long is the backup window if there are 10 virtual machines per physical machine? At the same time, service level requirements are constantly being raised for backup windows and recovery time. Data protection solutions today must also address skyrocketing data growth as well as compliance with a slew of new regulations.
  • Technology Is Making Much More Possible. As the world has shifted, so too has technology. Much more is possible now with disk-based data protection: shared disk pools for protection and recovery, deduplication of backup and archive environments, and replication options for remote office data consolidation or recovery of data center applications. Centralized management capabilities have improved to automate global data protection from remote offices to core data centers.
To adequately address these challenges, Symantec is committed to a vision of data protection that is complete, powered by disk, and centered on recovery.
  • Complete Next generation data protection must provide comprehensive management of enterprises’ complex environments. That means a single data protection solution that covers all of their platforms, databases, and applications. It also means supporting the broadest set of disk (SAN, NAS, and DAS), tape, and virtual tape library vendors, and delivering the latest data protection technologies such as deduplication, virtualization, granular recovery, and continuous data protection. And it means protecting all virtual machine types and applications, from mission-critical deployments to commodity servers. At the same time, complete Windows protection is a must.
  • Powered by Disk Symantec believes disk-based data protection is the future of backup and recovery for reasons of performance, reliability, and cost. Next generation data protection therefore means support for basic commodity disk, deduplication, replication, and continuous data protection. (Surveys by TheInfoPro consistently rank deduplication as respondents’ top backup and storage priority.) Disk makes backup and recovery faster, more reliable, and automated. It also eliminates the outmoded hassle of trucking backup tapes to a DR facility.
  • Centered on Recovery In the past, data protection solutions focused on backup, but the focus for businesses large and small is shifting to recovery. That includes system recovery (virtual machines, individual files, documents, users, etc.), disaster recovery, and mission-critical application recovery. Organizations that redesign around disk-based data protection are discovering that they can recover their data quickly and automatically because, in many cases, it is still local and easily accessible.

One size does not fit all

Symantec currently offers two data protection solutions that are optimized for the unique requirements of two distinct market segments: the small to medium size business and the enterprise to large enterprise. The two different solutions reinforce the Symantec belief that “One Data Protection Solution” does not fit all market segments.
Backup Exec is the leader in Windows data protection for small to medium-size businesses, providing granular recovery technology and continuous data protection. It is intended for organizations with a single server to dozens of servers, gigabytes to terabytes of data, and focused on Windows-centric environments.
NetBackup is the market leader for enterprise data protection and includes a more sophisticated architecture and more sophisticated features, allowing customers to tune and scale their environment as needed. Features that aid larger environments, such as integrated deduplication and granular recovery of VMware environments, are crucial here. NetBackup is intended for organizations with thousands of servers, terabytes to petabytes of data, and a heterogeneous OS environment.


Organizations of all sizes are challenged today with managing their disk backup storage growth and improving the speed and ease of recovery of application data, all of which has led to increased complexity for IT administrators. Unfortunately, the data protection solutions of old are failing to keep pace with this overwhelming data growth and complexity.
Addressing the data protection challenges of today and tomorrow requires a move to what Symantec calls next generation data protection. Given that it protects and manages more than half of the world’s business data, Symantec is uniquely positioned to define what this means. By delivering next generation data protection solutions that are complete, powered by disk, and centered on recovery, Symantec can optimize data protection for any business, regardless of size.

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