Storage Players Play for Utility Computing Page 2


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A Direct Response to EMC's Bid for VMWare?

Now, EMC's storage rival VERITAS has responded by purchasing its latest virtualization play, Ejasent.

"It makes perfect sense for VERITAS, as the major lone hardware/software management vendor to go after something like this," Sageza Research Director Charles King told internetnews.com. "Utility computing or virtual computing has been getting a lot of ink over the years, and it seems as though the market is catching up to it. Vendors are mature enough."

Ejasent certainly fits the bill, Maness told internetnews.com. The system introduces an abstraction layer between applications and the server and operating system, enabling the movement of applications across different processing resources within a data center, including servers and storage.

Maness said he realizes industry experts might view the Ejasent bid as a knee-jerk response to the EMC/VMware agreement — both offer virtualization technologies that shuttle applications between servers and storage — but dismissed this.

First, he contends his company has looked at Ejasent for almost two years. Second, he says VERITAS had looked at VMware and other companies before settling on Ejasent, which he reports approaches virtualization different than VMware.

"The way VMware works is it provides multiple instances of an operating system, so application migration takes place in the middle of the OS and performance degradation is fairly high," Maness explains. "Ejasent runs stop the OS through an API and encapsulates that application so you don't get the performance overhead of VMware."

VERITAS Looking Toward Linux

Maness says Ejasent's technology was easily a better fit for what VERITAS is trying to accomplish in offering application-oriented utility computing. But there is another reason why VERITAS did not pursue VMware, according to Maness.

UpScale will be available initially on Sun Microsystem's Solaris operating system, with a Linux version planned for release in early 2005. This is in contrast to the EMC/VMware strategy, which Maness and analysts King and Hurley think could bump heads with Microsoft's pending Virtual Server.

VMware provides virtualization only for Intel servers, and Windows runs broadly on Intel platforms. EMC and Microsoft are amiable storage partners, but both of them will be offering Intel-based virtualization, which would make them competitors.

Maness, whose company makes its products compatible with Microsoft's Windows platform, reports this was certainly a factor in why VERITAS would not consider VMware. VERITAS desires to carve out utility computing in the Linux space.

But for now, VERITAS should be happy with UpScale's Solaris focus as a lure for those thirsting for utility computing.

Hurley says VERITAS' i3 application performance management and OpForce server provisioning technologies, as well as its own CommandCentral Service, have provided the company with traction as it builds a complete utility computing infrastructure. Should VERITAS desire to make UpScale work with Windows, Hurley contends the company could probably make such an adjustment in short order.

Maness says VERITAS will likely not stop seeking acquisitions any time soon, noting that a major task and direction the company has is integration of its total assets into a coherent, one-stop utility computing environment.

"We don't want to offer point products," states Maness. "Our goal down the line is to look at providing application-centric value to business processes."

Story adapted from internetnews.com.

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