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Veritas Software Corp., Mountain View, Calif., is prepared to roll the dice on a new way of managing things. The storage management software maker kicked off its annual Vision user conference in Las Vegas Monday with the debut of a new strategy that is said to take the company's product line past the boundaries of storage and out into the rest of the data center.
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Bob Maness, Veritas' senior director of product marketing, said the theme for this year's conference is "storage redefined." A theme under which Veritas will introduce the idea that it can tie applications directly to the IT infrastructure in its own version of utility computing.
Maness said what it boils down to is that Veritas' software provides abstraction of the physical IT infrastructure and presents it as a service to the user.
Veritas is scheduled to deliver a product roadmap around upcoming software releases, Maness said. The technology acquired from Jareva Technologies Inc. will ship within the month of May. He added that Veritas must clear a few more regulatory hurdles before its acquisition of Precise Software Solutions Ltd. is made official, but that it's just a matter of time.
The prognosis is said to include products with more management automation, diagnosis and resolution of problems across the whole IT infrastructure and higher utilization rates.
Veritas has historically been a one-trick-pony, focusing on nothing but the storage world. However, according to Bill North, IDC's research director for storage software, the company has stealthily moved into other parts of IT management.
"Over the last two years [Veritas] quietly became the market leader in clustering sales and technology," North said. He referred to the Veritas Cluster Server software product, which manages server assets and resources and not simply associated storage resources. "I think that was the first inkling that there may be more to Veritas than met the storage eye."
North said the acquisition of Precise Software, which is in its final stages, and more specifically, the completed buyout of Jareva Technologies indicates that Veritas is headed toward application performance management and provisioning.
"What they mean by 'utility computing' is you can come to us and you can tell us what your needs are and we can take the first steps toward automating the whole management process," North said.
In a surprise move last December, Veritas made its intentions for extending its software reach in the data center known by acquiring Westwood, Mass.-based Precise Software and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Jareva Technologies, a pair of purchases that gave the company control of servers, applications and storage.
The Precise acquisition, a $537 million transaction, brings Veritas' storage management software up to the application level by enabling monitoring and analysis of an application infrastructure. Web servers, application servers, databases and storage now fall under Veritas' management expertise.
Jareva Technologies' focus is on automated server provisioning. The company's software, which cost Veritas $62 million, automatically provisions requests for a replacement from a server pool in the event of a failure. Jareva brings new servers online, puts in place the correct environment and then passes it to Veritas to fail over the application.
Competitors like Computer Associates International Inc. said Veritas is overstepping its bounds by trying to move from managing just storage to tackling the entire data center, but North said that's not the case.
North said Veritas has always grown by acquisition in terms of entering new markets.
"They've shown that they know how to do that and integrate the acquisitions into the company and discard the stuff that isn't cogent to the core business," North said.
He said that if Veritas' general approach to this was to go off and develop server provisioning on its own, he would agree that they were pushing their luck, but what they're doing is leveraging a company with a proven track record in application server management.
"They have an excellent track record of doing things like this and make them pay off," North said.
Veritas said its availability software and application performance management technology from its Precise Software acquisition share the ability to support heterogeneous environments and enable products to span the entire IT stack from application all the way down to storage.
Veritas also announced a series of extended partner agreements. The company said 100 partners have joined the Veritas Enabled Program and are collaborating with Veritas for interoperability.
Also on the partner front, Veritas announced additions to the Veritas Partner Program, a channel program for value-added resellers and industry partners. Veritas enhanced support for its channel partners by offering a new loyalty program, accelerating partner benefits and increasing access to free training, the company said.
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