Backup: Veritas will make NetBackup fully autonomous

Autonomous backup. Veritas is developing a future version of its NetBackup software, temporarily called Autonomous Data Managementwhich will search all the storage spaces of a company, including those in the cloud, for the data to be backed up.

It will deduce the best place to store their copies, from a third storage not far from the production for information likely to be used soon, to an inexpensive warehouse for those to be archived permanently. Its artificial intelligence, which will understand the importance of each data by dint of watching how they are accessed, will disinfect the files and will automatically launch, in an appropriate place, the restoration of the files that should not be lost.

“The problem for CIOs is that they are already overwhelmed by all the applications deployed in their company and this phenomenon will become even worse with the proliferation of data on a multitude of cloud services. If you don’t understand the data you are managing, you are unable to define rules to protect it. Our ambition is to eliminate the effort of managing data,” said Doug Matthews, product manager at Veritas.

The interview he gave to MagIT was carried out during an IT Press Tour event which consists of presenting to the press the next innovations in terms of computer storage.

While NetBackup 10 has just been released and it still needs to undergo many changes, in particular on the automation of its functions, this next standalone version would only be fully functional by 2024.

“In automation, you define rules and they apply themselves. In autonomous mode, the rules are deduced on their own according to metrics from your production and which are constantly updated,” adds our interlocutor. “You will only have to label the resources you have in the interface and the software will do all the rest. »

Convince regulated companies to let the machine work

Veritas now only has its transparencies and small-scale prototypes to show. But, according to him, the stakes are so high for his clients that it is better to prepare them early enough to switch to a new era.

In this case, the publisher, one of the oldest on the backup market, has a clientele represented in particular by very large accounts. There are all the biggest banks in the world, the main telecom operators, or even the most important pharmaceutical research laboratories. These are overly regulated sectors, where leaving the machine to fend for itself is not spontaneously good practice.

“The reality of cloud deployments becoming more complex means companies are increasingly putting themselves at risk if they continue to manage their backups by hand. Tomorrow, only artificial intelligence will guarantee you that you are not going to restore corrupted data. In two years, none of our customers has lost data due to a cyberattack, thanks to NetBackup. We are moving to autonomy to maintain this reputation,” argues Doug Matthews.

The publisher wants to believe that it will convince its customers to go beyond the regulatory barriers. Besides waving the ransomware bogeyman, his argument includes eco-responsibility. He cites an American study which calculated that storing a petabyte of data in the cloud for a year would emit 3.5 tonnes of CO2. Then he affirms that his algorithms will be able to reduce the size of this data as best as possible. They would reduce the carbon footprint of a company beyond what a technical team could do, through excessively complex manipulations.

Obviously, Autonomous Data Management must also allow savings, both in terms of the ability to buy in smaller quantities, and in the autonomous choice of the best cloud tariffs.

A platform that does not yet exist

According to Doug Matthews, AI is the key for data protection to adapt in real time to the circumstances and instantly provide the right answer.

Still, in theory, an artificial intelligence is effective only if it is sufficiently trained. Veritas explains that it will set up a data lake filled with metadata about how its customers protect their IT. It will serve as a learning curve for its engine. Our interlocutor hastens to add that no data will leave the sites of its customers to feed this data lake.

“We have been working on this engine for two years and, to our knowledge, we are the only ones to have taken the direction of an autonomous system so far. This means that we will be the only ones to offer such a solution to companies”, concludes Doug Matthews by predicting that the turnover of Veritas should increase by 8 to 10% each year as soon as Autonomous Data Management is commercialized. Probably under the name of NetBackup 11.

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Backup: Veritas will make NetBackup fully autonomous


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