Zetta Blog

Symantec discontinues appliance

Another Box Bites the Dust: Symantec Shuts the Door on Backup Exec

by Laura Knight

Mixed in with news about software updates, Symantec dropped a significant piece of info last week – as of January 5, 2015, they’re discontinuing the Backup Exec appliance line. Partners like Fujitsu may produce new integrated Backup Exec appliances, and Symantec will continue to sell its separate NetBackup appliance, but the first-party Backup Exec appliance line is officially coming to an end.

For some Symantec customers, this will come as déjà vu. A little under a year ago, Symantec announced the discontinuation of Backup Exec.cloud (which, incidentally, will make its quietus the day after Backup Exec appliance sales cease). At that time, users were getting dropped completely – Symantec still doesn’t have another first-party cloud product, and Backup Exec.cloud customers were stuck having to find an alternative.

This time around Symantec is maintaining a much longer support window for appliance customers, and is adamant that it remains committed to the Backup Exec product. Still, the announcement can’t help stirring up a bit of uncertainty about the future of Symantec’s backup line, especially given the recent announcement that their security and storage arms are about to divorce.

Life After Appliances

For some customers, however, the end of the Backup Exec appliance could prove a blessing in disguise. The large capital outlay of buying and integrating an appliance can act as an effective lock-in – it’s hard to walk away from something with that much time and effort in it. For companies heavily invested in the Backup Exec appliance, here’s a golden opportunity to get off the appliance bus.

Backup appliances can offer some benefits, but they come with a set of major drawbacks compared to SaaS-based cloud backups:

  • Recovery restrictions. The thing with using an appliance to back up your data is that you also have to use it to recover your data – the only way in or out is through the appliance (if it were a club, the Fire Marshal would shut it down immediately). If your appliance breaks, or is on fire along with the rest of the office, you can’t back up or restore until you get a new one. Post-disaster, this can delay your recovery by days. 
    Why SaaS instead? Use web-based tools to recover data from anywhere with an Internet connection, and start restoring immediately after a disaster.
  • Increased complexity & cost. Adding a physical box to a system inevitably increases the system’s complexity. And of course, with a more complex system comes more involved maintenance, and with more involved maintenance comes more overhead expense. Speaking of costs, since each site will needs its own appliance, backing up remote offices means a large capital expenditure per site.
    Why SaaS instead? No hardware to deploy, integrate and maintain means less time, energy and money spent on management, and no additional cost for multiple sites.
  • Non-Scalability. As a physical piece of hardware, the appliance has a set, limited capacity. When that’s full, your only real scaling option is to drop a large pile of capital on a bigger appliance. Sure, you could try to plan for the future by getting an appliance much larger than your data – but then you’re paying for capacity that’s gathering dust until it may or may not be needed. 
    Why SaaS instead? Since the cloud doesn’t have a size limit, users can just add capacity when needed with zero disruption.

Door Shuts on Appliance, Window Opens for Cloud

If you’re looking for an alternative to your Backup Exec appliance, we’re here to help. For a limited time, we’re offering new customers switching from the Backup Exec appliance up to 6 months free cloud backup & DR with a signed contract, plus 20% off new annual subscriptions.

Getting dropped by your provider is always unpleasant, but here’s one situation that might work out for the best. Try Zetta for free, and move on with life after appliances.

Laura Knight
Laura Knight

As Content Marketing Manager, Laura writes, edits, designs and is always on the lookout for new ways to tell the Zetta story.