With an eye on the cloud computing market, the company is introducing multitenancy in the new version. This feature allows backups by different enterprise departments to be located in the same storage device but segregated from one another, and for service providers to back up the data of many different customers in one place, according to Emsley. Data belonging to each customer or department is secured through role-based access rules.
NetWorker 8 is also more tightly integrated with EMC's Data Domain backup appliances and the Data Domain Boost software they use to increase performance. The Data Domain systems are known for data deduplication, yet another backup acceleration technology, which also reduces capacity demands.
EMC has been further integrating the two products since it acquired NetWorker. Last year, the company made Boost work with its application modules, which are add-ons to the NetWorker client software for backing up application data. Now Boost can work with the standard NetWorker client software, so it can be used in backing up all kinds of data. With deduplication in the client software, enterprises with Data Domain appliances can get the combined performance benefit of the Client Direct feature and Boost, Emsley said.
The latest version also improves users' ability to back up and restore data in Microsoft applications. It adds support for SQL Server 2012, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010, as well as granular restoration for those products and earlier versions of them. Granular restoration allows users to restore just one or a few lost files rather than all the data associated with an application. That's the most common type of restoration that users want to do, Emsley said.
Both the rapid growth in the amount of data that enterprises have to back up, and the compliance requirements for doing it right, are making backup and recovery a harder job, IDC analyst Robert Amatruda said. Having to handle data stored on clients that workers take with them, including both company-issued laptops and consumer devices, complicates the problem.
"It's getting so unwieldy," Amatruda said. All this has led to higher costs, especially for qualified staff, he said.
EMC has improved NetWorker in many ways since the 7.0 version came out, but the combination of updates in this release merit its significant version number, Amatruda said. Despite fears by some users that the company would neglect NetWorker, EMC has continued to bring the technology up-to-date compared with rival products such as Symantec's NetBackup and IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager, he said. EMC's data protection software business, including offerings from the Mozy division and other products in addition to NetWorker, holds about 13.6 percent of the market, according to IDC. Symantec leads the market with 28.7 percent, though it has been losing share, Amatruda said.
The new, more distributed architecture of NetWorker should make it more efficient and improve scaling, Amatruda said. "My suspicion is that that's a very big improvement," he said.
The addition of multitenancy helps move NetWorker up the next avenue of growth for backup and recovery, with managed service providers, Amatruda said. Both small and large IT shops are turning to managed service providers for backup and recovery, he said.
NetWorker 8.0 is available immediately, starting below US$2,000 for an entry-level configuration.