Veritas Shifts into Next Utility Computing Gear

NEW YORK — Veritas Software embarked on the next leg of
its utility computing sojourn Tuesday when it announced its CommandCentral
Service 3.5 for enterprises who desire data protection, backup and recovery
on a pay-for-use basis.


Members of the Mountain View, Calif. executive management team were on hand
in New York City to announce the news an hour after President and CEO Gary
Bloom opened NASDAQ market trading in celebration of the software vendor’s
ten-year anniversary. Veritas also unveiled compliance solutions to meet the
stringent demands of government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA
and unveiled a refresh of its flagship backup software, NetBackup.


Veritas is one of many vendors that is dipping its ladle in the utility
computing well, joining rivals such as IBM, HP Sun Microsystems, Computer
Associates and EDS when it purchased
server provisioning specialist Jareva Technologies and application
performance management vendor Precise Software Solutions earlier this year.


Bloom provided an introduction to his company’s latest progress before Executive Vice President Mark Bregman provided demonstrations of how the company’s new lifecycle management software and speedier NetBackup product work and tie into the company’s broader utility computing software focus.


Bloom kicked off the event by detailing the handful of disruptive events that occurred glboally over the summer, including the August blackouts in New York City and London, as well as the decimating earthquakes in Asia .His point was that Veritas’ job is to provide the backup software to make sure computer nextworks remain availabe despite catastrophes.


While data backup is nothing new, Bloom pointed out that a new challenge has come to the fore for the chief information officers at organizations: federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, which companies must mind to avoid legal issues. If the Securities Exchange Commission requests to view documents, a company must supply them.


“Compliance is not just a legal issue; it has become an IT problem,” Bloom told the audience. Veritas’ new software, Bloom explained, aims to help companies backup information, manage it and retrieve it efficiently and cost-effectively at a time when the CIO has the unenviable task of “doing more with less” to accommodate contricted IT budgets and raise return-on-investment.


Bloom also indicated that Veritas would push forward with its strategy to both build technologies to advance its utility computing strategy and make acquisitions where they are warranted.


“While tech companies were running to the hills [after the dot-com bust] we kept investing in and building new technologies,” Bloom said. “But our appetite is to do more acquisitions.”


Though he wouldn’t hint what areas Veritas is looking at in terms of acquisitions, Bloom said the company’s $2.3 billion cash balance gives the outfit the “financial strength tio satisfy that appetite.”


Enterprise Storage Group Analyst Steve Kenniston said Veritas has made a strong showing in its latest utility computing bid, noting that the big message is strong data protection coupled with management and services to compete with other heavy hitters like IBM, HP and EMC.


Up close


Bob Maness, senior director of product marketing at Veritas, said the
concern has spent that last several months finding ways to augment its
NetBackup and Backup Exec backup and recovery software with products from
Jareva and Precise. Tuesday’s news is the raw evidence the company has been
successful as Veritas now has a way to deliver backup/recovery and storage
as a service.


Maness told internetnews.com in a recent interview that CommandCentral will be integrated with
NetBackup and Backup Exec to allow administrators to discover backup and
recovery jobs, policy, error and media information from Veritas data
protection software across distributed enterprise environments.


Maness said CommandCentral Service 3.5, the evolution of a product the
company once called Global Operations Manager, provides IT administrators
with additional insight into what resources are being consumed, to what
degree and what cost to an organization. The service employs measures
service levels and usage and allocates costs based upon usage, all of which
are managed through a dashboard portal view of IT services.


“The portal allows you to manage service levels, for two parts of
infrastructure; one for back-up and recovery utility and the second for
storage management utilization,” Maness said. “CommandCentral Service 3.5
allows you to use portal to request back-up services, which may be retrieved
in a high-speed way.”


Maness said the companies next two phases of utility computing, including
the availability of utility services for clustering and utility services for
servers, will be available next year as the company continues to milk
Jareva’s Opforce technology for server management and provisioning. In the
second half of next year, Veritas will more tightly integrate application
performance management technology from Precise.


Boarding the ILM train


CommandCentral Service software will also play a pivotal role in Veritas’
compliance solution, Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0, because it
allows reporting in real time by allowing IT managers to define and measure
service levels based on compliance objectives.


Maness said Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0 helps companies solve their problems
of data growth, compliance, data security, data organization and resource
utilization by automating the management of data from cradle to grave
according to defined policies. This is analogous to recent information
lifecycle management (ILM) offerings from IBM, EMC and Hitachi Data Systems
(HDS) in which records retention and rendering data for easy auditing is
key.


The product also provides powerful, high-speed search and index technology
that reduces the cost and time of electronic records discovery. All of these
characteristics are important in helping corporations meet regulatory
requirements, which have been moved front and center in the wake of
accounting improprieties. Document shredding at places such as Enron have
paved the way for record retention periods stretching out to 20 years or
more, which will make data pile up.


Data Lifecycle Manager, Maness said, is designed to handle e-mail and file
archiving in Microsoft Exchange and NTFS (Windows NT file system) formats
and employs its existing backup and restore capabilities to retain and
retrieve files. This media management layer, Maness said, will save
customers money by reducing duplicate copies of data and obviating support
issues by not requiring a new storage infrastructure or IT skill set for
different products.


The product has its roots in an older Veritas product, NetBackup Storage
Migrator for Windows, which provided a lot of the hierarchical systems
management functions, but did not have high-speed search, or the
policy-driven look and feel of NetBackup.


Refreshing the flagship warhorse


Veritas ties the Data Lifecycle Manager and CommandCentral Service with the
latest version of its enterprise-level backup and recovery software,
NetBackup 5.0, a product that backs up and restores files 78 percent faster than the previous version, 4.5.


Enhancements to this popular product include synthetic
backup, which boosts restore times without the need to take a full backup by
combining together smaller backups into one.


For example, said Maness, synthetic backup allows an IT manager to make a
full copy of data while only making incremental backups Monday through
Wednesday without interruption, all the while creating a new, full back-up
in the background. An administrator could bring that backup to play without
the background.


In addition to supporting AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris and Windows, it also
now supports a variety of mid-range and high-end disk hardware platforms to
enable faster backups and instant recovery from disk.


In a demonstration at the product launch, Bregman backed up 1.7 million files in a tad over 10 minutes.


Other improvements include:

  • Simplified snapshots: brings a variety of powerful snapshot techniques
    to help organizations select the best snapshot backup and recovery method
    for their business needs; the FlashBackup snapshot feature is now available
    for the first time on Windows, enabling the rapid backup and recovery of
    millions of files

  • Desktop and laptop data protection: a major new component of NetBackup
    5.0 is the new Desktop and Laptop Option, which enables the protection of
    corporate data that resides on laptops and desktops outside the data center

  • Disk-to-disk copy and disk staging: allows a backup to stream copies to
    as many as three backup targets simultaneously, saving time and costs when
    copies of data are needed for off-site archiving or processing


CommandCentral Service 3.5 is available now at an entry-level price of
$22,000. NetBackup 5.0 – including the new Desktop and Laptop Option – will
be generally available in December 2003. NetBackup 5.0 pricing starts at
$5,000. The NetBackup 5.0 Desktop and Laptop Option starts at $2,500. Data
Lifecycle Manager is scheduled for general availability during the first
quarter of 2004.

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