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Veritas preps secret weapon to ease licensing horror

Bloom's omerta busted

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Veritas Vision The licensing "nightmare" faced by some Veritas customers may lessened in the near future thanks to a new service and product pairing, The Register can exclusively reveal.

Earlier this week at the Veritas Vision conference, Veritas CEO Gary Bloom faced off against a user base furious over software licensing issues. One customer publicly chastised Bloom during a question and answer session for making it so hard to keep track of Veritas software in a data center. Veritas is in the enviable position of having customers that own many of its products, but those customers are desperate for a tool that makes sure they are meeting legal, management and budget requirements with the software.

Instead of delivering a concrete plan to help customers, Bloom sidestepped these licensing questions. "All I can give you today details-wise is a commitment to improve," Bloom said.

Another Veritas executive was more forthcoming - albeit just a teeny bit more - during an interview with The Register.

Mike Speiser, a vice president at Veritas, mentioned an upcoming product and services combination named Veritas License Manager but declined to provide too much detail about it at this time.

"What has become very clear is that customers have issues working through cataloging the software," he said. "Frankly, it's hard to know what Veritas products you have deployed."

"We are working on technology to make it easier for customers to find what they have deployed," he said, refusing to budge on any other details.

When will Veritas License Manager arrive? What exactly will it look like? Who knows. The company has declined to provide many specifics. One source, however, did suggest that it will likely ship in the next of couple of years - a timeframe so loose that users will clearly have to be patient.

Today, Veritas file system and volume manager customers already have a license manager utility (# /sbin/vxlicrep) that reports on the given Veritas software installed on a system, including information such as the product name, license type, OEM ID and CPU count.

Veritas is likely working on a fancier version of this tool that would stretch across all its software product lines and present licensing information via a nice GUI. Ideally, the Veritas License Manager would also be able to search all the systems in a network and report back on the whole shebang instead of doing individual system reports. In addition, Veritas will likely offer a type of service that helps customers consolidate down the number of licenses they currently have.

Some savvy Veritas users out there might be able to tell us the ins and outs of their licensing problems today and how they'd like Veritas to solve these issues. ®

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