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Intel: putting feathers in Veritas' cap

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Intel has launched the dual Xeon-based SBXL52, the first item in its Enterprise Blade Server family.

Chip giant Intel has chosen to bundle Veritas' OpForce server deployment software with the blade servers that it launched yesterday. Veritas beat off competition from several rivals to win the deal, and in doing so has scored an important endorsement for its expansion into server management.

Although Intel's blade server platform is unlikely to win a huge market share, and is likely to be used only by tier-two and smaller OEMs, the move will greatly improve the market exposure for Veritas' software.

OpForce represents a major plank in the storage software specialist's plan to maintain growth by expanding sideways into server and applications management, and was acquired by Veritas when it bought start-up Jareva Technologies for around $63 million at the beginning of the year.

The software automates the deployment of operating system and application software to blade or other servers, and the connection of those servers to the network. This will be essential in the utility-style or on-demand computing architectures being pitched by Veritas and other suppliers such as IBM or Hewlett Packard.

Intel said it evaluated a "considerable" number of similar products before plumping for the Veritas software, and that it had begun evaluating OpForce before Veritas bought Jareva. It said it was impressed by the flexibility of OpForce, which can load not only Windows or Linux operating systems and applications to servers, but also patches, and firmware or BIOS upgrades.

One of the other candidates that Intel considered will certainly have included IBM's ThinkControl software, which IBM acquired when it bought ThinkDynamics earlier this year. Intel's blades are being made to a specification jointly developed by IBM, which is hoped to allow future blades from different vendors to be mixed and matched within racks.

Apart from any technical reasons behind Intel's decision to not extend its collaboration with IBM by adopting ThinkControl, the amount of software royalties it will pay Veritas may have been a factor. These may be lower than those IBM or other suppliers would have charged because of Veritas'greater need to establish itself in this market.

Source: Computerwire/Datamonitor

Recommended research: Reuters Business Insight, "The Storage Outlook:Managing to maintain growth"(RBTC0060)

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