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Microsoft, Symantec Partner on Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service

Microsoft and Symantec have inked a co-development agreement to build a so-called Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), the companies announced at this week's Tech-Ed conference in Orlando, Fla.

Under the terms of the pact, which appears to be in the early stages, Symantec will extend its Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows and Veritas Volume replicator disaster recovery (DR) software to Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud service. While the resulting deliverable will be a continuously available data protection service, Symantec officials said the new data replication software will use Windows Azure as a storage target sometime in 2013.

It is not likely that beta releases will be available before the first half of next year, said Jennifer Ellard, a senior manager of Symantec's storage and availability management group. This is Symantec's first entry into the Azure ecosystem, Ellard said.

Asked if Symantec intends to link its Backup Exec software to Windows Azure, Ellard said there are no such plans at this time. Symantec previously announced plans to offer Backup Exec, targeted at small and medium businesses, with its own cloud-based option. Backup Exec customers can now use the cloud services of Nirvanix. And the company in February announced plans to offer a DR option to Backup Exec with Doyenz. Furthermore, Symantec's NetBackup works with cloud services from Nirvanix, AT&T, Rackspace and Amazon Web Services.

Symantec is not the first vendor to tie its data protection software to Windows Azure. CA Technologies last year announced plans to offer Windows Azure as a backup target for its ARCserve backup and recovery software, and CommVault recently added Windows Azure as a target for its Simpana 9 Express backup and archiving software.

But Symantec officials explained that unlike traditional backup and recovery software, the replication solution is aimed at providing better recovery times and recovery points. The Storage Foundation software provides online storage management, multipathing, volume snapshot service (VSS)-integrated snapshots and volume replication.

The Cluster Server software provides high availability over LANs, metro and campus environments and wide-area networks. "It monitors apps for faults and failures, provides automated failover and drills down below the applications and its dependencies," Ellard said.

As far as cloud services go, Ellard said Symantec only plans to offer this solution with Windows Azure. "There's an actual affinity for us running on Windows, to align with Azure on the development side," she said. "We are very familiar with it programmatically and the implementation is easier. We have a lot of confidence in Microsoft and we see Azure growing and becoming more extensible."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on June 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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