Symantec seeks control of virtual tape libraries

Symantec Corp. Tuesday announced that it has released a native application programming interface (API) for the next version of NetBackup -- its enterprise-class backup software -- that will allow it to manage leading virtual tape libraries (VTL) and other secondary storage devices, giving users a single view of their tiered backup environment.

At its most basic, Symantec's new OpenStorage API allows VTLs to integrate natively with NetBackup, which replaces management utilities offered by secondary storage disk-array vendors.

"The real goal is to have everything managed through NetBackup," said Matt Kixmoeller, senior director of product management for NetBackup.

While storage vendors are beginning their development work now with the API, it will be included in Version 6.5 of NetBackup, due out in the second quarter of 2007. Vendors that have so far signed up to integrate their secondary disk storage systems with NetBackup's new API include EMC Corp., Network Appliance Inc., Copan Systems Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., FalconStor Software Inc., Data Domain Inc., Sepaton Inc. and Diligent Technologies Corp.

Participating vendors pay a fee to use the OpenStorage API, but Symantec said it will be up to those vendors as to whether users will absorb any additional cost for VTLs and other storage devices using the API. Symantec said it will not charge users for the added feature in NetBackup 6.5.

Kixmoeller said NetBackup 6.5 will now offer advanced features for participating VTLs and other secondary storage arrays, such as Copan's massive array of idle disks, or MAID. Those features include setting storage life-cycle policies, media server capacity management, load balancing, shared disk between multiple media servers, duplication or replication, and data de-duplication.