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AT&T back-up software builds strong Bakbone

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SAN DIEGO - "Homemade software developed and used by AT&T Bell Labs" might best explain Bakbone Software's NetVault data recovery and back-up product, to be introduced this summer.

Bakbone's software for Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX and Windows NT servers isn't typical start-up fare. It was built at AT&T labs and used by AT&T to back up the company's high-speed worldwide telecom network and its AT&T Berkeley Unix servers. When AT&T restructured in 1997, it spun off NCR, Lucent, Commvault and NetVault. The back-up software AT&T had been using for many years went to NetVault.

The NetVault software was re-architected into several storage management modules. In February 1998, Tony Cerqueira and Patrick Barcus took over NetVault and sold the software in Japan and in Asia. This March they renamed the company Bakbone. A long list of Japan's leading companies use NetVault, such as Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Toshiba. With $25 million in funding from Canadian institutions, Bakbone brought the software back to the U. S. in March.

Dubbed NetVault 6, the software performs LAN-free backup and can back up databases when they are active. The software can back up only changed data and can schedule backups to certain times of the day. NetVault 6 will support Oracle, Informix, Sybase, SAP, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Adabas and Teradata databases.

NetVault will work with Windows 2000 and NetWare servers in an upcoming release. It backs up most tape drives and can back up nets in hierarchical fashion in which one server backs up the others.

NetVault 6 also works in shared SCSI and Fibre Channel storage-area networks and can handle the storage partitioning in these environments. The package uses a shared-memory technology to buffer and quickly send frames between the host server and the back-up device. Management and scheduling of back-up and recovery operations is from an NT, Linux or Unix workstation.

Analyst firm Dataquest, of Stamford, Conn., estimated the back-up and restore storage management software market at $1.8 billion in 1999, and will increase to more than $14.7 billion in revenues by 2004.

NetVault 6 is licensed by the number of servers and client workstations. Although the product will ship in the third quarter, pricing has not been determined.



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