Veritas gratifies itself, users and Sun with new product

i3, services and Solaris x86

Cat 5 cable

Veritas Vision Veritas bounded into the second day of its user conference, dangling a wide range of new goods in front of customers and signing an "extend the love" pact with Sun Microsystems.

On the product front, Veritas was quick to lay out a roadmap for the i3 products it acquired in the Precise buy, saying a new beta version of the software suite will ship in June with the final release arriving in the fourth quarter. To better support its entire product line, Veritas has also formed four new consulting practices that hit the company's main areas of interest - disaster recovery, storage management, application performance management and utility computing. Add to the mix a new deal with Sun that will see Veritas' software come to Sun's Xeon and Opteron servers running Solaris x86, and you have a full day here at Vertias Vision.

Veritas executives are not shy about their i3 excitement. The software holds a key place in Veritas' utility aspirations, allowing customers to collect data on software performance. This information can obviously be used to try and speed up overall performance, but it's also crucial to improving other Veritas products such as its clustering code or storage management line. If you're automatically shuffling applications around clusters or storage gear, you need to make sure the changes don't degrade performance.

Since it acquired Precise in 2002, Veritas has been able to close a number of multi-million dollar deals for the software, according to Marty Ward, Veritas’s director of product marketing.

"We've enabled a channel that Precise didn't have before and then been able to add more training, more research and development and more sales staff." Ward said. "The company never really closed a huge deal before coming to Veritas."

Veritas has lofty goals for the release of i3 7.0 in the fourth quarter. The company plans to create a similar interface between the suite and its own Cluster Server and Volume Manager software. Beyond that, Veritas also hopes to have the i3 products burrow deep into Veritas's file system and volume manager technology to create a new class of performance metrics for customers.

Other new features in the upcoming i3 release include a cleaner install and a tool for tracking an unlimited number of service-level agreement metrics.

Self-service satisfaction

Backing up the products will be the new services/consulting groups.

Veritas has tapped Microsoft's former services chief Michael Sinneck to lead its consulting services unit.

The upped services play is a no brainer for a company that is trying to expand beyond being a storage specialist to one that can manage everything from the laptop to the server and then storage. Veritas will have consultants lay out disaster recovery architectures, tune storage and server boxes for high performance and form plans for moving to utility computing-style data centers.

On a smaller scale, Veritas today also improved its technical support services by adding the DirectAssist software to Backup Exec for Windows. The free download gives customers a troubleshooting app that can identify and, in some cases, fix problems.

Veritas boldly describes the new software as "self-service satisfaction," which is remarkably similar to offers received this morning in 20 spam e-mails. That said, DirectAssist does have a certain self-gratifying quality in that it allows admins to survey their Backup Exec installation and Microsoft SQL and Exchange installations. Users can then send their "profile" to Veritas via a secure connection and escalate their problems through Veritas technical support. Later on, the product will be available for Linux and Unix customers as well.

You are my Sunshine

Veritas also made a splash with longtime pal Sun. Sun will start selling Veritas File System, Volume Manager and NetBackup 5.0 for Solaris x86 in the third quarter on Xeon-based servers. The same software will arrive for Sun's Opteron kit in the fourth quarter.

But that's not all.

The two companies have also tightened their reselling agreement. Sun will begin selling Veritas Storage Foundation 4.0. This is a natural move for Sun, since its rival EMC now owns Legato, meaning Sun could use a new storage management partner. The two companies also plan to increase their already heavy joint marketing and sales programs.

This week has left no doubt that Sun dominates the high-end Veritas world whether its with clustering, the Vertias file system or volume manager. Solaris has certainly been the most often heard word at the Veritas Vision conference. With new Veritas code such as an upcoming clustering package - more on that here - still arriving first on Solaris, it's only natural for the companies to keep close ties. ®

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