Veritas Software is to announce a variety of updates to its data management product lines, including new management software and an updated version of NetBackup with an option for backing up laptops and personal computers automatically.

NetBackup 5.0 will have a variety of new features aimed at speeding up the backup and data recovery process, including a feature called synthetic backup, according to Glenn Groshans, a director of product marketing with Veritas.

Synthetic backup takes information from smaller, incremental backups and cobbles them together to generate a new, complete system backup without using the resources that a full backup typically requires, Groshans said. "It's as if you did a full backup, but you didn't bother the host at all to do it," he said.

Laptops and personal computers will now be able to automatically back up files using the NetBackup Desktop and Laptop Option, he said. "Every time you change a file and save it, it pushes the file to a shared folder on a server," he said.

Veritas is also to unveil new management software called CommandCentral Service 3.5. CommandCentral, which is a new product despite its 3.5 version number, will let users define and measure service levels with Veritas' NetBackup and Backup Exec software.

"They've created a portal that is integrated with their other products," said Bill North, director of storage software research with IDC. "It really gives you the ability to do things like map and report usage of storage. It gives you control over the workflow of allocating new storage from one place," he said.

Veritas will also announce new software designed to help businesses meet regulatory requirements for file and email archiving. Called Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0, the software lets users set company-wide policies for retaining data, according to Groshans.