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Modernize Data Protection with NetBackup Flex Scale

By Christophe Bertrand, Senior Analyst
January 2021


Against a backdrop of increasing IT complexity, cyber-attacks, and stringent SLAs, organization must simplify and modernize their data protection to embrace new digital challenges. That’s where the updated NetBackup portfolio can help with NetBackup Flex Scale, an innovative software-defined appliance solution that meets a wide variety of advanced data protection needs without requiring a PhD in backup and recovery.

Market Landscape

Information technology is becoming more complex. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of ESG survey respondents believe IT is more complex compared to two years ago. The most-cited reasons are higher data volumes, along with an evolving security and privacy landscape.

With more data to manage and protect, it should be no surprise that backup and infrastructure automation technologies are the most often cited data center modernization investment priorities for 2020.

The current health crisis is placing a renewed focus on technologies that support the protection of the IT infrastructure: 26% of organizations surveyed by ESG reported that their organizations will be spending more on data protection going forward. 60% of respondents say that the pandemic will make them and their organizations more reliant on IT, against a backdrop of more frequent cyber-attacks.

At the same time, organizations are reporting ever-stringent SLAs for data protection:


cannot tolerate more than one hour of lost mission-critical data (recovery point objective/RPO<1hr).

report recovery time objective/RTO of 1hr for mission-critical data.

ESG sees these stringent SLAs combined with the deluge of data that is hitting the infrastructure as key factors in the quest for simpler and more automated solutions that enable IT generalists to successfully deliver on KPIs.

This is also confirmed when it comes to cloud backup: ESG research highlights that cost-effectiveness was the most commonly cited key consideration for choosing a cloud backup target solution, and considerations related to flexibility of deployment and management capabilities were also cited.

The ESG research paints an alarming picture. For many security teams, threat detection and response isn’t working well, and problems are increasing. Organizations need to think differently with a new approach to tools and processes for threat detection and response or face a future of increasing cyber-risk and frequent security incidents.


The rules of the game have changed for enterprise data protection in the past few years, as organizations have contended with a deluge of data, rising cyber-crime corrupting key data assets, and the re-platforming of many applications in cloud infrastructure—resulting in a hybrid and often more complex infrastructure. With IT skill sets becoming scarcer to acquire in key disciplines, including data protection, IT leaders must rely on IT generalists to deliver against stringent data protection SLAs. Choosing the right platform is therefore essential to address current and future needs, as organizations continue to evolve and digitally transform.

Based on our research and expertise in the space of backup and recovery, ESG identifies five key capabilities and functional areas to consider when selecting a platform. While far from exhaustive, it is a starting point for evaluating options.

Table 1. The Five Keys to Modern Data Protection
Key Requirement Description
RPO/RTO Capabilities Backup is about recovery. The right solution should provide a granular set of capabilities for meeting RPOs and RTOs, leveraging multiple mechanisms and platform/workload integrations. Providing a coherent set of SLAs across a wide variety of workloads, on-premises or in the cloud, is critical.
Scalability The true test of a modern solution is its ability to ingest the vast amounts of data that must be protected, while still delivering on performance and operational efficiency. Scalability can take multiple forms from a hardware and software standpoint. This also means leveraging technologies such as deduplication and providing hardware flexibility.
Ease of Management Modern solutions must be designed from the onset to be easy to deploy and manage by IT generalists versus specialists. Against a backdrop of skillsets shortages, and to optimize operational efficiency, modern solutions must provide some level of automation to simplify complex workflows and operations.
Cloud/Hybrid Capabilities Modern data protection solutions must meet the requirements of modern, read hybrid, infrastructures. Wide cloud infrastructure and services is a given. Living in a hybrid world also directly affects the architecture and deployment modalities of the solution. Look for software-defined, containerized, and microservice-based solutions.
Completeness Modern enterprises typically run a wide variety of platforms that must be protected in a way that supports SLA coherence. Completeness means breadth and dept of platform coverage: cloud, hypervisors, storage, containers, mission-critical applications, SaaS, etc.

Netbackup Flex Scale

Updated Netbackup Portfolio

Veritas has consistently been adding capabilities and new options to its NetBackup Portfolio as customer needs evolved to provide complete platform coverage and options to “consume” and deploy the solution. It should be noted that recent efforts have focused on harmonizing data protection across the enterprise with a single management construct, regardless of the underlying NetBackup solution or architecture, resulting in more choice and flexibility for end-users and partners that deploy the solution. Today, the updated portfolio consists of NetBackup deployment options that include software-defined NetBackup for public cloud, BYO and Veritas servers, and the NetBackup Flex and NetBackup Flex Scale deployment modes.

NetBackup Flex Scale is based on an API-first approach with automation of provisioning, scaling, and performance and load balancing; and ease of management as a primary design principle, one of the key requirements for success in the market."

Focus On Flex Scale

NetBackup Flex Scale is Veritas’s newest addition to the NetBackup deployment modes and sets itself apart in many ways. First, unlike “traditional” NetBackup deployments, it’s a hyperconverged scale-out solution deployed on Veritas-validated commodity hardware and based on a containerized architecture, which provides the benefits of hardware abstraction but still offers the breadth and depth of NetBackup features. It’s designed for use cases such as private cloud, infrastructure consolidation, and pay-as-you-grow consumption that meets the needs of today’s data center, while providing seamless scalability to accommodate future requirements.

NetBackup Flex Scale is based on an API-first approach with automation of provisioning, scaling, and performance and load balancing; and ease of management as a primary design principle, one of the key requirements for success in the market. As with other NetBackup deployment modes, the software-designed scale-out architecture of NetBackup Flex Scale includes deduplication and a variety of cloud capabilities that make it a good fit for data center modernization and hybrid infrastructures.

With the inclusion of NetBackup Flex Scale, NetBackup’s flexible deployment modes can simplify and harmonize data protection across the enterprise with a single management construct that eliminates data protection silos, reduces risk to ransomware attacks, and helps ensure compliance and governance requirements are met, while maximizing ROI.

Figure 1. Flex Scale Architecture


Customers need options as they consider the challenges brought on by scale, the current business climate, digital transformation, and cloud. They need to consider the five key requirements of RPO/RTO, scalability, ease of use and management, cloud and hybrid support, and platform completeness.

Let’s face it: The complexity in IT brought about by management at scale, fragmentation and data silos, and ever-present budgetary pressures is accelerating the need to adapt the data protection and intelligent data management solutions that support production and business processes.

That’s why organizations looking to modernize their data protection infrastructure should consider Veritas Flex Scale. The platform combines the best of NetBackup with an innovative modern solution: software-defined, containerized, hyperconverged, built on commodity hardware, and still offering all of the goodness of wide and complete platform coverage.

As enterprises keep evolving their infrastructure to further leverage cloud, re-platform applications, and become nimbler and hybrid, Flex Scale gives them the perfect platform to ensure data assets stay protected and SLAS are met.

Data Protection Solutions for the Enterprise

This ESG Showcase was commissioned by Veritas and is distributed under license from ESG.

Source: ESG Master Survey Results, 2020 Technology Spending Intentions Survey, Jan 2020.

ibid. Jan 2020.

Source: ESG Master Survey Results, Technology Impact of COVID-19: IT Decision Maker (ITDM) View, May 2020.

Source: ESG Master Survey Results, Real-world SLAs and Availability Requirements, Aug 2020.

Source: ESG Master Survey Results, Data Protection Cloud Strategies, Jun 2019.

Source: ESG Master Survey Results, 2020 Technology Spending Intentions Survey, Jan 2020.

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