EMC has released new versions of Legato and Dantz backup products with enhanced disk-to-disk support, upping its pressure on Veritas.

Legato Networker is for data centres and departments. Dantz Retrospect is for branch offices and small businesses. Disk-to-disk backup takes a lot less time than backup to tape and restoration occurs at disk speed as well.

Networker can now run hot backups of Documentum and all files within VMware virtual servers. It is the only backup and recovery product to disk or tape for Documentum, said EMC marketing VP. Victoria Grey. She added: "Networker is the only backup/recovery solution for Exchange, SQL and Oracle protection on virtual servers."

Networker has also extended its snapshot feature to third-party drive arrays to include Symmetrix DMX. HDS array support is coming, according to Grey. Clariion, IBM, Fastt and STK D-Series are already supported.

Networker now also includes support for disk. The Network Data Management Protocol is used by NetApp filers and was invented by NetApp and PDC Software - which became part of Legato, now an EMC division. Veritas' NetBackup already has this feature and can also run snapshots.

Retrospect also does disk-to-disk backup, plus incremental backups of changed data since the previous backup, speeding the whole process. The original and incremental backup files can be merged to create a synthetic backup which can be written to tape for vaulting or sent over a network for disaster recovery.

Veritas' NetBackup already creates synthetic backups from an original backup and incremental backups. Networker can create synthetic full backups but not very well. Nigel Williams, EMC strategy director, told us: "NetWorker does have the capability to create synthetic back-up, but this was put into code a long time ago. Because of its limitations it is not much used by customers. However, those deficiencies are due to be remedied in a future release."

With Retrospect the number of backup versions on disk can be set by policies with automatic copying of older files to tape, or to 8GB double-layer DVDs. This helps prevent the disks used for disk-to-disk backup becoming full. Retrospect can produce a bare metal restore CD using data it automatically saves.

Retrospect pricing starts from £162 for a Disk-to-Disk edition. No pricing information was given for Networker.