Storage software company Veritas Software is conducting a beta trial of a web browser-based data recovery tool designed to help users recover lost files themselves from backup copies.
This job is usually done by help desk technicians, so the tool, dubbed Panther, also promises to reduce IT specialists' workload. It can be combined with other Veritas tools, too, and used to track and organize emails, as well as to police acceptable-use polices in organizations, says Veritas' strategic technical architect, Simon Elisha.
The company already has an email archiving product, Enterprise Vault. And its recent takeover by Symantec has provided it with antivirus and antispam products. These could also, potentially, be tied to a common interface.
"We are certainly doing a lot of work to have a common logon to our products," says Elisha. "We aim to make them operable through the same interface ... [so] it makes sense to have them operate through the same engine where possible." A significant driver for mail archiving and searching in the United States is the need to comply with financial auditing legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Panther performs its continuous backup of files by recording changes to files every time they are saved. On recovery, these changes can be reapplied to reproduce the state of the file at arbitrary points in time. This technology is already used extensively in Veritas' existing backup software but the web interface is new.
Panther can back up and restore through a local office network or even a WAN. This allows backup versions of files to be saved to head office or to a disaster recovery site. However, Elisha does not see this being workable using the internet to send data to an independently-run data center.
Panther is chiefly aimed chiefly at small-to-medium sized enterprises which usually do not have a lot of specialist IT resources - if any.
There is no firm date for a full release of Panther yet, says Elisha. "That will be driven by user experience."