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Veritas Backup Exec’s five upcoming features you must know

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Veritas released the Backup Exec 20.6 update back in December 2019. It was one of the biggest updates in recent times and included massive performance improvements especially for VMware and Hyper-V with enterprise features like the Backup Exec Accelerator, and quality enhancements. The update had agents available to protect Unix clients as well, further broadening the support spectrum so customers can protect their data wherever it resides: Windows, Linux, Unix, Cloud, Virtual, physical, SaaS – we have it covered.

Now, the Backup Exec 21 launch, which is slated for a Q1, 2020, will be a major refresh since the last major release back in January 2018.

We just concluded a successful private beta testing program and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Here are few of the recent quotes:

“It’s outstanding; working as charm.”

“I've been using the new Backup Exec 21 and AM IMPRESSED.”

 “Backup Exec 21 is the Gold Standard for Unified Data Protection.”

The upcoming release is mostly focussed around three key themes: Simple, Unified, and Secure, so most of the key new new features have these themes. There are plenty of new features, but here’s my pick for the top, upcoming 5 features you can expect from Backup Exec 21. By the way, I deliberately placed security-first for my top feature list given the current trends.

1. New! Multi-factor AuthenticationMFA.png

With the ever-increasing necessity for security, you can almost bet 100% that Veritas will have some major security enhancements up their sleeves. With the current trends in cybersecurity, Multi-Factor Authentication is a MUST for all enterprise-grade applications. Backup Exec Remote Administration Console users will be able connect to the Backup Exec 21 Media Server using the logged-on user's credentials as well as Multi Factor Authenticated  smart card users for the authentication. With the multi-authentical feature, users will be able to allow client connections over Kerberos.

2. More Security with Ransomware Resilience 2.0 Screenshot 2020-03-03 at 1.03.45 AM.png

This is my personal favourite in the list of new features as I've seen first-hand what happens when companies who fail to fully implement good security practices. In the last 5 years, security has jumped to the front of the line on the priority list of many companies. Veritas has been doing the same. Backup Exec introduced protection for your backup data from external attacks where unauthorized processes attempt to modify data hosted on the Media Server.

However, the recent trend towards increasingly sophisticated malware behaviour, highlighted by the use of exploits and other attack vectors, required a more advanced protection. Backup Exec 21 has the next-gen security technologies that help defend against these new ransomware attacks.

As part of continued enhancements in the disk storage lockdown feature, Backup Exec 21 will NOT allow other ANY non-Backup Exec processes to modify backup data even via external code execution.

3. Enhanced Backup Exec deduplication engine

Backup Exec 21 users will get an updated deduplication engine that uses stronger hash algorithms while backing up to the Backup Exec deduplication  folder. This particular enhancement builds on the security theme as it uses a more secure SHA512 hash calculation algorithm compared to MD5 used in the previous deduplication engine (v10).

4. New! Per-Instance Licensingpil.png

Another massive step that Veritas is taking in Backup Exec 21 is to further simplify its approach to licensing for businesses. Backup Exec 21 has a new meter around the subscription licenses.

This new meter will be an alternative option to the capacity FETB metering that we have today. The new meter is based on instance count, which creates flexibility for businesses with large volumes of data who still want to take advantage of all BackupExec has to offer.

And, that’s not all. Backup Exec users will also get a much simplified licensing experience. Through an authenticated connection, you will be able to automatically download updated license entitlements. This reduces administrative overhead when synchronizing license keys when they are available.

5. Added flexibility with Instant Recovery (IR) – now compatible with deduplicated storage

With the upcoming release, Instant Recovery for VMware and Hyper-V will be supported from a Deduplication storage. This is an excellent news for businesses as this will significantly lower the disk space required for storing backup data. This means lesser storage and infrastructure costs.

So, if you fan of cost savings and love the instant recovery feature of VMs, this is going to be a pretty good deal!

Talk to me
Small and midsize businesses want to simplify, speed up, and secure their backups in their respective environments be it cloud, virtual, physical, or SaaS. However the techniques required to meet these demands requires the use of backup software that is more sophisticated beneath the surface, easier to use and unified. The enhancements in the upcoming release of Backup Exec 21 strike a good balance in accomplishing those exact objectives.

The new features coupled with some of the latest innovations like Accelerator, GDPR Guard, DRaaS to Azure, and others provide a new data protection experience that today’s businesses need to overcome the core challenges of business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR). Also, Backup Exec’s Ransomware Resiliency 2.0 has allowed us to go beyond core backup and restore capabilities. We now offer means to secure the backup storage and confidently recover from ransomware attacks.

I want to hear from you, in the comments below or you can also message me directly @iVarunVerma, about the new features, and what else you would like to see from us in future releases?

Questions, concerns, or feedback? Put a comment below. You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Forward-looking Statements
Any information regarding pre-release Veritas offerings, future updates or other planned modifications is subject to ongoing evaluation by Veritas and therefore subject to change. This information is provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Customers who purchase Veritas offerings should make their purchase decision based upon features that are currently available.