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VERITAS to Orbit Solaris

VERITAS Wednesday defined more of its utility computing play, including product roadmaps, services and a key partnership with Sun Microsystems .

Day two of the Mountain View, Calif. company's annual software event found the company agreeing to expand its relationship with Sun by increasing its support for the Solaris platform to include Solaris Operating System (OS) for x86 systems, for platforms based on AMD's Opteron and Intel Xeon chips.

Sun currently sells VERITAS File System, Volume Manager and NetBackup 4.0 storage software for the Solaris SPARC platform. Sun will begin selling File System, Volume Manager and NetBackup 5.0 for the Solaris platform on Intel in the third quarter 2004, with the same products being offered on AMD Opteron systems in Q4 04.

The companies also expanded their reseller relationship. Beginning in the third quarter, customers can purchase VERITAS's latest Storage Foundation 4.0 management software through Sun, according to Jose Iglesias, vice president of product management at VERITAS, who spoke in a phone interview from VERITAS Vision 2004 in Las Vegas Wednesday.

"What's interesting is that this is coming on the heels of Sun's announcement with Microsoft, so in my mind this is really important to send the message out to the customers that their investment is still a good one and that they can look forward to more fruitful years of the companies working together," Iglesias explained.

Iglesias told internetnews.com each concern will invest in engineering and testing new product offerings and interoperability. In addition, Sun and VERITAS plan to jointly market and sell the products.

Expanding support for additional servers, storage applications and architectures is VERITAS modus operandi, as Chairman, President and CEO Gary Bloom pointed out in his keynote Tuesday.

Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Nancy Marrone-Hurley said such heterogeneous support is an attractive value proposition in a utility computing field that includes IBM, HP, and Sun.

"The message of heterogeneity is a very powerful one," Marrone-Hurley told internetnews.com. "I recently conducted an end user panel discussing storage management vendors, all of the panelists and over 80 percent of the end users in attendance [more than 120] felt strongly that they would prefer to have a management solution from an independent software vendor."

The utility computing provider also updated its roadmap for i3 7.0, the company's application performance management software, which acquired in its purchase of Precise Software Solutions in 2003. i3 7.0 provides a window view into software running on platforms.

Iglesias said i3 7.0 will feature tighter integration with Storage Foundation, Cluster Server, and Volume Manager to provide deeper file system, volume management and storage metrics to measure the time its takes transactions to shuttle across IT infrastructure, not to mention providing greater bang for the buck in terms of application performance and availability.

The beta release of i3 7.0 is scheduled for June. More new features will be announced when the software is generally availability in Q4 2004.

VERITAS also significantly bolstered its global services organization by forming four consulting practices to help educate customers on how to manage heterogeneous IT environments and begin migrating toward a utility computing model.

The company appointed former Microsoft worldwide services chief Michael Sinneck to lead VERITAS consulting services. Sinneck will be responsible for erecting global practice organizations of computing infrastructure and consulting experts.

The four practices span disaster recovery, storage management, application performance management, and, of course, utility computing, for which the company also formed a customer advisory board to shape VERITAS' utility computing business strategy and technology development.