Symantec and Microsoft team for disaster-recovery service

Symantec and Microsoft build a 'disaster-recovery as a service'

Symantec today announced a partnership with Microsoft to use Symantec storage and disaster-recovery products in tandem with Microsoft's Azure to allow continuous computing if a customer's main data site is severely disrupted.

Symantec said the "disaster-recovery as a service" (DRaaS) in combination with Windows Azure is the first of its kind the security firm has undertaken. Basically, it would require the business customer to use Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows and Veritas Volume replicator products on their main data-processing site in a way that ties into Microsoft's cloud-based Azure, so that if a disaster-recovery situation should unfold, there would be no disruption in computing.

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"We automate the entire process," said Saveen Pakala, director of product management, who adds this type of DRaaS will likely hold the most appeal to small to midsize businesses. "You replicate your data to Azure." The idea is to establish continuous asynchronous replication so that if a disaster occurs impacting the primary data center, a second supporting site for disaster-recovery purposes can immediately be put into action.

Some details still need to be nailed down about it all, Pakala says. But the Symantec-Microsoft DRaaS will focus on Microsoft-based servers and applications, such as SQL, Exchange and SharePoint. The two partners are also sorting out exactly how to market the service, perhaps through channel partners, he adds. He said the goal is to have "data replicated in the cloud" on behalf of customers. Exactly what the pricing will be has not been determined, he said, but it will likely be a subscription-based model.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.

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