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NetBackup 7 ships
NetBackup 7 has shipped.
If you have you have ever been involved in the release of a non-trivial market leading software application the scale and scope of NetBackup you know we've all been very busy the last few months getting everything ready for you.
I've seen a lot of NetBackup releases but the level of excitement about this release is higher than I've ever seen.
Why are we so excited? It's a combination of the right features and a high level of confidence in our the way that we engineered the latest features.
What's right about the features?  
When it comes to features you have to know the flagship feature of this release is deduplication. As we survey our customers it's apparent that a good percentage of our customers have already moved to using disk backup and more are thinking about doing it everyday. We've been able to write to disk since practically day one so we're not newcomers to the disk world. However, doing traditional backups to disk is usually much expensive than tape based backups. That's where deduplication come in. Not only do you not have to store the same data twice, but you usually don't even have to send it across the network.
With NetBackup 7 there are three easy ways to deduplicate; on the client, on the media server or on an OST device. The cool thing about NetBackup 7 is that you no longer have to manage a separate product to get deduplication. In the past your main software option for deduplication with NetBackup was using both PureDisk and NetBackup together(PDDO) to get deduplication in the data center - it took many steps to deploy and required two distinct user interfaces. Now it's three simple steps; Add a storage server, create a disk pool, target backups to the disk. I've had the privilege of teaching some of our sales engineers and observing their hands-on lab sessions in the last few months. All of them were experts in data protection and the common feedback that I heard back was "That's it? I'm done already?" It's that easy.
I have more to say about deduplication and the other features in NetBackup 7, but understand one thing, deduplication is very easy to setup and run. If you can't wait until the next blog entry check out the "What's New" PDF or the "Top 7 reasons to upgrade to NetBackup 7" PDF. 
Next, we've changed our release engineering practices and the level of confidence we have in this release is unparalleled. In our 6.5 release series we introduced something we call First Availability or FA. This program allows customers to run a new release in a production environment before General Availability or GA. I'll get more into the FA stats at a later date, but the short answer is that it was an overwhelmingly positive experience for our customers.  In addition to large BETA releases and FA we also changed up internal processes to make sure that features were complete before they were eligible for inclusion into the release. I'm not going to get into all the details of source code branches, code modularity and automated test practices in this blog post but the net result is an entirely different focus on quality that we believe will pay big dividends for you in the long term. These processes aren't entirely new for NetBackup 7, but are the evolution of what we have been doing in the 6.5 family of releases as well. So if you liked NetBackup 6.5.4 or 6.5.5, NetBackup 7 will provide you more of the same solid functionality.
Next we'll begin to take a look at some of the other marquee features of NetBackup 7 - in the meanwhile feel free to drop a comment or a tweet to @NetBackup share your experiences with NetBackup 7.