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Data backup and security specialist Symantec Corp.) announced  a new management plug-in for VMware vCenter Server available to Backup Exec 2010 customers, which is designed to allow small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) to reduce the complexity of managing backups in VMware-virtualized environments.  cheduled to be available by early next year, the new plug-in for vCenter Server provides a view of virtual machines and  exposes granular details of virtual machine backups  – all from within the vCenter Server console or the VMware vSphere Client.

The Backup Exec Management Plug-in for VMware vCenter Server works with the core Backup Exec virtualization features to provide a consolidated protection status view of all virtual machines within the VMware vCenter Server or VMware vSphere Client. Customers can view the last run of backup and next scheduled backup, the type of backup (full, incremental, differential) and backup policy, specific information on the backup job logs and potential risky policies such as unprotected virtual machines.

“While the move to virtual environments promises cost savings and infrastructure flexibility, it requires new ways of approaching data protection,” said Amit Walia, vice president of product management for Backup Exec at Symantec. “Backup Exec protects more than 40,000 VMware hosts and an estimated one million VMware guests, and the new Backup Exec Management Plug-in for VMware vCenter Server further extends this leadership by helping customers save time and reduce the risk of unprotected data in virtual environments.”

A VMware Ready solution, Backup Exec 2010 provides a single tool that helps companies to protect physical and virtual servers, manage disk and tape targets, backup full machines and individual files, plus execute hot backups and restores of applications and databases in virtual environments. The company’s Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) helps customers restore individual files, folders and application data from a single image-level backup.

“IT organizations need full visibility into their virtual environment so they can identify unprotected virtual servers and areas of potential risk. Symantec Backup Exec Management Plug-in for VMware vCenter Server is a simple new feature that provides real value to customers through costs savings and easier management, and, importantly, reducing the chances of unprotected workloads newly introduced into the virtual environment,” said Lauren Whitehouse, senior analyst at IT research firm Enterprise Strategy Group.

Parag Patel, vice president of global strategic alliances at VMware, said the strong technology partnership between VMware and Symantec enables their joint customers to reap the comprehensive benefits of our solutions to deliver faster VMware backups, easier recovery, and effective management while reducing overall cost and complexity. “Customers are increasingly moving production workloads into VMware environments, and Symantec Backup Exec provides a simplified way to help them protect and manage these environments,” Patel said.