Symantec Brings SAAS to Storage with Hosted Backup

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

New Symantec Protection Network aims to transform fat backup clients into thin-client, Web-based, e-vault hosted storage solutions.

When most people hear the acronym SAAS they automatically think of software as a service, but Symantec wants people to think storage as a service instead, at least in the case of Symantec Protection Network.

SPN is Symantec’s first venture into the hosted backup and hosted storage market, and the company is hoping that the service will attract businesses looking for e-vault capabilities. Based upon a thin client model, SPN is offered as a standalone service, as well as a backup media option for the latest version of Backup Exec, the company’s premier backup software package.

While some may think of the pairing of a SAAS product with a traditional backup application as odd, the simple fact is that SPN can extend Backup Exec’s capabilities into the offsite backup and disaster recovery market.

Of course, Symantec is not the first to delve into e-vault technology, and the company is faced by a long list of competitors who have established themselves in the market. Big names, such as Iron-Mountain,  EMC and Amazon’s S3 have pretty much defined the market and have paved the way for the technology to be readily accepted.

To be successful in that saturated market, Symantec is going to have to bring something new to the table. The company is placing its hopes on a simple-to-use interface, integration with Backup Exec, strong name recognition and channel partners to foster success. Competitive pricing is another area that Symantec hopes will bring customers. SPN has been broken down into two major service options: Symantec Online Backup, which costs  $9.99 per month for 10GB for the basic plan and $35 per month for 10 GB for the premium plan; and Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec at $9.99 per month for 10 GB, or $110 annually.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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