EMC has often been criticized for leveraging an outdated code in its storage arrays. The company clearly seems to be a proponent of the “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it” mantra, but the storage leader has finally decided it’s finally time to update its backup and recovery software, NetWorker. EMC has made significant updates to Networker since it released NetWorker 7 almost a decade ago in 2003.
Entire companies are conceived, formed and disbanded within the time it has taken EMC to update NetWorker 7 to Networker 8. Networker 8 features an updated architecture with better performance and scalability. Networker 8 also allows management of backup appliances to be distributed across multiple storage nodes; previous versions of Networker only permitted device management to run on the centralized Networker server. The changes have substantially increased the scalability of the solution.
EMC also added several additional new features. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of a new feature, Client Direct, which allows users to send data from a client to a specific backup target. This reduces the number of machines that must be involved in the backup process, lowers bandwidth requirements and speeds the backup process. EMC also enhanced Networker 8 with multitenancy, this enables businesses to host multiple backups on the same device. The data for each backup is segregated and protected with role-based security.
NetWorker 8 is also better integrated with EMC’s Data Domain backup appliances and Data Domain Boost software, which EMC acquired back in 2009. Combining NetWorker with Data Domain systems allows businesses to take advantage of the data deduplication capabilities in Data Domain appliances. This accelerates backups and technology and reduces backup sizes.
In addition, EMC improved NetWorker’s ability to backup and restore data for Microsoft applications and added support for SQL Server 2012, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010. NetWorker has also been enhanced to support more granular backups. This allows users to restore a few files instead of replacing the data for an application in mass.
EMC’s effort to make major changes in Networker may help the company gain market share from the current leader in backup products, Symantec. According to IDC, EMC leads the purpose built backup appliance market, but only controls 13.6 percent of the backup market. Symantec’s NetBackup accounts for 28.7 percent of the market, but its share is declining. EMC might be the reason. NetWorker 8.0 is available now. The software is available now, and pricing begins at $2,000 .