Veritas: ‘We Are Taking Heterogeneity to the Next Level’

Veritas recently marked five years of pushing software products to the Linux community, and with many announcements made at the LinuxWorld conference this week, Veritas’ offerings could now be called a complete range of storage management, data protection, performance management and automation software for Linux.

According to IDC’s “Worldwide Operating Environments 2004-2008 Forecast,” Linux revenue is projected to grow an average of 20.2 percent per year between 2004 and 2008. This makes Linux the fastest growing operating environment.

“IDC forecasted in 1997 that Linux would become a mainstream choice in all markets around the world by 2005,” said Dan Kusnetzky, IDC’s vice president of system software research.

“IDC’s current research shows that Linux adoption is moving along this path. Although there are many factors in the success of Linux, expanding support from software vendors, such as Veritas, is clearly a major factor in this evolution.”

Utility Computing

While perhaps best known as a friend of Solaris, Veritas has made significant strides into the Linux camp, earlier this year announcing several new products for the open-source operating system in addition to a Unix-to-Linux porting tool.

Most notably, Veritas this week announced that it has brought its Storage Foundation 4.0 software to Red Hat Linux. This software, released on Solaris earlier this year, combines the Veritas File System and Veritas Volume Manager into a single product. This gives Linux customers access to high-end data management software and puts a little more pressure on Sun to keep Solaris customers from shifting to Linux.

Veritas also has certified its Storage Foundation for Oracle RAC, Storage Foundation Cluster File System, Cluster Server with Global Cluster Option and Volume Replicator products to work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. These releases are part of Veritas’ long-term strategy to get all of its software released on Solaris, Linux, HP-UX and AIX at the same time.

“Our intention has been to try and release on all those platforms simultaneously,” Ranajit Nevatia, director of Linux strategy at Veritas, told LinuxInsider. “We’ve been trying to get to that point since last year. We are taking heterogeneity to the next level.”

By next year, Veritas expects to have product releases for at least Solaris and Linux arriving at about the same time, Nevatia said.

From Unix to Linux

In the meantime, Veritas is trying to make it much easier for Unix customers to find their way over to Linux. The company has brought the Portable Data Containers technology, previously only available to Solaris customers, to Storage Foundation 4.0 for Linux. This software converts data for use on Linux and lets customers dump that data on a Linux system with relative ease.

“It makes the data independent of the server or OS architecture,” Nevatia said.

Veritas also has upgraded its Storage Foundation for Oracle RAC product to run across numerous servers instead of just one. Veritas claims customers looking to run Oracle databases on clusters will pick its volume and file-system manager combination over similar products from other vendors.

Customers also can use Veritas’ Cluster Server product for Linux and make use of its wide-area failover technology. This software is designed to protect data on single systems or clusters on a wide range of platforms. Systems admins can now couple that data-protection software with the Veritas Volume Replicator for Linux, which allows long-distance data replication over an Internet connection.

The pricing is as follows: Veritas Storage Foundation starts at US$995, Storage Foundation Oracle RAC starts at $6,000, Storage Foundation Cluster File System starts at $2,500, Cluster Server with the Global Cluster Option starts at $1,500 and Volume Replicator starts at $2,500.

“We’ve come a long way since we first offered NetBackup software on Linux to customers in 1999 and Veritas Foundation Suite in 2001,” said Mark Bregman, executive vice president of product operations at Veritas. “Today, customers can harness the cost advantages of Linux and build a foundation for utility computing, a model for computing that enables IT departments to align with business needs.”

OSDL Affiliation

Perhaps the biggest Veritas news for those in the open-source community is that Veritas has now joined the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and will participate in the Lab’s Data Center Workgroup.

By participating in OSDL, Veritas hopes not only to demonstrate that it is committed to Linux customers but also to accelerate the process of making Linux enterprise-ready.

“I’ve been involved in the OSDL for a while now,” Nevatia told LinuxInsider.

“Last year, they were much more active on the carrier-grade Linux front, not on data center Linux,” Nevatia went on to say. “This year, since data center activity has become a main focus, it makes more sense for us to be involved. Veritas brings a lot of credibility to the data center environment.”

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