Symantec launches Backup Exec 2012 in beta for partners

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) has launched a beta version of its Backup Exec 2012 products exclusively for its channel partners as part of an overall channel strategy and move toward best practices.

“Channel partners are critical to getting the product to our customers,” said Arya Barirani, senior director of product marketing, strategy and management with Symantec. “We want to just make sure that we keep these folks updated and in the loop as to new versions.”

In addition to the beta of Backup Exec 2012, the company has also launched a beta Small Business Edition, which will include the backup and disaster recovery technology in a single licence at a lower price. Symantec has also introduced a capacity licensing model for managed service providers, so smaller organizations can purchase and receive maintenance by capacity as opposed to a la carte pricing.

The vendor has conducted partner-only beta testing before, including with its last Backup Exec version, but not on this scale. “It fits in very tightly with our channel strategy,” to offer the product in beta to partners first, Barirani said.

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For Backup Exec 2012, the beta is available to about 45,000 of Symantec’s registered partners globally, as opposed to previous programs where only a select group of partners was chosen. “This time around, we wanted to broaden the scope of who we reached out to.”

Symantec is also moving toward beta testing as a best practice, both at the channel partner and end user levels.

Backup Exec 2012’s most notable update is in its V-ray technology, or the ability to backup virtual and physical environments without the need for specialized point products. It will also provide single file recovery and deduplication for virtualized-VMware or Hyper-V environments-and physical servers.

The 2012 product will also include what Symantec calls “no hardware disaster recovery,” where users can recover a failed system to a physical server or virtual environment. Many of Symantec’s partners also serve customers with Microsoft small business server environments, and the updates to the product are well aligned with that, the vendor argues.

One of the other changes to the product is a simpler and more modern user interface in the form of its redesigned administration console.

“Whenever you do a big user interface update like this one … we want to avoid confusion,” Barirani said, another reason for including channel partners in the beta testing first, since they’re the ones who will resell the technology. The new interface also automatically configures the most common successful policies and settings.

Backup Exec will likely be available by mid-2012. Symantec expects to get most of its feedback from channel partners within the next four months. Pricing for the products has not yet been set.

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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