CA spiffs up backup software

Simpler to buy and simpler to use are the main goals for Computer Associates International Inc.'s latest release of its BrightStor ARCserve Backup for Microsoft Corp. Windows.

Also, features that tap into several storage trends, such as support for disk-to-disk backups and network-attached storage devices, are among many technical enhancements in the new release.

With Version 9 of the software, available now, Computer Associates is selling one all-purpose license for the product at $695 per backup server, regardless of which release of Windows it runs on or whether it's used on a simple stand-alone server or in a more complex multiserver environment. Before, there were multiple versions of the product with prices that ranged from $695 up, depending on the customer's configuration, according to David Liff, Computer Associates' vice president for the BrightStor brand unit.

Liff said the company devoted considerable resources to revamping the software's user interface, aiming to make it possible for even inexperienced users to set up the software. "In the past, a lot of our product innovations weren't always in the form that customers wanted to see," he said. "We really focused on the customer."

One of Version 9's new features enables storage administrators to write backup data to a disk but store it in a tape format, which means that the data is encrypted and still subject to network access controls for continued security.

Backing up data to disks — if only for temporary online use before eventually moving it off-line to tape — is becoming more popular through a new breed of industrial-strength but affordable disk arrays that use inexpensive PC disk drives.

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