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Veritas retools its past with Storage Foundation 4.0

Solaris fans rejoice

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Veritas rearranged its roots this week with the release of Storage Foundation 4.0 - a rebadged version of the volume manager and file system combination that helped grow the company into a software giant.

Veritas is billing the new software as "the most feature packed" release since Version 1.0 launched more than ten years ago. And unlike the former Foundation Suite brand, the new Storage Foundation monicker carries across Veritas' broad line of volume manager and file system products aimed at specific applications such as databases and clusters.

"We had all these different, tailored versions of the product, and people did not always find them very easily," said Marty Ward, Veritas’ director of product marketing. "Now, they are all packaged into one Storage Foundation name."

But it's the new features customers will be most interested in, starting with the file system's ability to stretch across hardware made by different vendors. Veritas has made it possible for administrators to prioritize certain types of files for specific systems, using a form of automated management. An admin could, for example, set up a policy to make sure transaction processing data is always handled by a high performance box, while a marketing department's rarely used videos fall on lower-end machines.

"This lets you set up applications on the storage systems and let them go," Ward said. "Without a tool like this, admins would have to do this manually."

Along a similar line, Veritas has also rolled a set of provisioning templates. This lets customers copy the configurations they have used for certain applications to new systems. The premise is that once a customer has tuned software to work in a particular setup, they can replicate it and save time on future rollouts.

Veritas has also added its high-end Dynamic Multi-Pathing technology that lets customers run data over extra I/O paths. This helps make sure an application can keep running at top speed when a hardware failure occurs and can also improve overall performance.

In addition, Veritas is touting something it calls portable data containers. This makes it possible for different operating systems to share raw data. You could, for example, send transaction data from a Solaris box to an HP-UX box that handles billing.

Veritas makes millions off its file system and volume manager products, particularly on the back of Sun's Solaris OS. So it should come as no shocker to see Storage Foundation 4.0 released first on Solaris with a Linux release coming this Summer and then AIX and HP-UX releases in the second half of the year.

Veritas says its Solaris-based business is still growing despite a decline in Sun server sales. The company, however, is quick to say that other operating systems are gaining steam. You have to wonder how fast they are growing though given the clear focus on Solaris.

The new software starts at $2,495 for a low-end server. ®

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