New subscription-based model highlights new version of Veritas Backup Exec

Veritas is hoping that many of its customers will move to its new subscription option, while also emphasizing that the new model’s simplicity will make life easier for partners.

Veritas Technologies has announced a new version of Backup Exec, their data protection solution aimed at the midmarket and SMB. The new release introduces subscription-based pricing for customers, which is identified as an option, but which is clearly Veritas’s preferred choice going forward.

Backup Exec is a mature technology, dating from the 1980s, which has had many owners and been refreshed multiple times. Veritas originally acquired it in 1999 and it was one of the assets Veritas took with it when it spun back out of Symantec last year.

“Its market has been consistent over the years, even as it has expanded beyond Windows to virtualized and cloud environments,” said Kate Behbehani, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, at Veritas. “It has been sold to small businesses, the mid-market and to remote office locations in the enterprise. Today we tend to concentrate it more on the SMB and midmarket, while encouraging enterprises to use NetBack in their remote and branch offices, so that they are using one solution. We are also introducing NetBackup more in the higher end of the midmarket — where we think that it is the most appropriate solution for the customer.”

Behbehani said in addition to focusing on customer experience, and smoothing out things on the operational side, Veritas has been emphasizing building up their brand again, following a decade plus of being part of Symantec.

“We are trying to be loud, to regain our voice in the market,” she said. She noted that while they still see Commvault in the top part of Backup Exec’s market, Veeam is the number one competitor they see day in and day out.

Behbehani also noted that while the percentage of the market focused on virtualization has remained consistent, a large chunk of the on-prem business has shifted to the cloud. Veritas has shifted their emphasis to the cloud for that reason, emphasizing the suitability of Backup Exec for a multi-cloud world.

This version of Backup Exec also genuflects to the cloud with the introduction of a subscription-based  model for customers. It is available in one-, two- or three-year terms, and in three levels — Bronze, Silver or Gold — depending on the customer’s data protection requirements. Bronze provides protection for physical and virtual file servers both on-premises and in the cloud, while Silver adds similar protection for databases and applications on-premises. Gold provides all the above, and adds centralized management for the Backup Exec servers in multi-site environments.

“This is the first time we have made subscription-based licensing generally available,” Behbehani said. “Now a customer truly has a single solution to protect their entire infrastructure with the simplest form of licensing possible. The only criteria now its just how many TB they need covered.”

This simplicity also extends to Veritas’ channel partners.

“We sell exclusively through the channel now, and want to make things as easy as possible for them,” Behbehani said. “The channel now has just the three simple tiers — Gold, Sliver and Bronze — to sell. It will greatly simplify things for them as well.”

Behbehani indicated that Veritas is hoping that customers switch in droves to the subscription model.

“We would like the subscription model to have as many people move to it as possible,” she said. “The cost up front is much lower compared to perpetual licensing. However, we have also maintained the a la carte model, and they can also buy per socket like Veeam, if they are protecting mainly virtual machines, or on a capacity licensing model.”

The other major net-new here is a new integration between Backup Exec and Information Map, which provides customers with global data visibility.

“By integrating these two solutions together, and giving Backup Exec customers a real-time view of their assets, they can make smarter strategic decisions about what to do with their data — retain it where it is, move it to a less expensive platform, or even delete it,” Behbehani said. “With the new GDPR regulations coming in, this will help customers manage those regulations.”

Behbehani also stressed that the new changes build on some other key recent enhancements.

“We released some new functionality over the last few quarters,” she said. “These include deduplication to the cloud, and support for AWS, Google and Azure with certified integrations, including the ability to backup to AWS S3 and Glacier. We have also ramped up our partnership with Microsoft, and we introduced CloudConnect Optimizer, which automatically detects and corrects variations in backup settings.”