VERITAS Crystallizes Utility Computing Vision

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Arguing that a solid storage infrastructure is the best starting point for a utility computing model, VERITAS Software CEO Gary Bloom Tuesday announced steps to create a flexible platform for on-demand environments.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which entered the utility computing market about a year ago, also unveiled several software upgrades at its VERITAS VISION 2004 show in Las Vegas, including new and improved products for storage management and metered billing.

Bloom opened the conference by discussing how utility computing, which aims to automate data center management and allow users to provision resources on the fly, helps IT departments align resources with business needs.

In his keynote session, Bloom also stressed that his company’s commitment to heterogeneity — tailoring products to work with all operating systems, applications, and storage, regardless of vendor — helps it stand out among other utility providers such as IBM , HP , and Sun Microsystems .

“We have a very clear idea of what we want to do with utility computing,” Bloom said. He also abstained from criticizing utility efforts from rivals, but reiterated his company’s heterogeneous approach, which aims to cover as many server, storage, and application architectures as possible to provide greater flexibility and drive down cost for customers.

VERITAS unveiled CommandCentral Storage 4.0 and CommandCentral Availability 4.0, as well as a refresh of CommandCentral Service, a software portal that provides a window for IT resource consumption. The refreshed Service 4.0 adds a workflow/automation engine, which triggers storage provisioning, server provisioning, and data protection.

CommandCentral Storage 4.0 locates storage assets, sets up management policies, and tracks usage. CommandCentral Availability 4.0 manages business applications by providing visuals of clusters and operational control so that service level agreements (SLAs) are met.

CommandCentral Storage 4.0, CommandCentral Availability 4.0, and CommandCentral Service 4.0 will be available to the public in July. The complete family of CommandCentral can be purchased starting at $64,000. Individually, the products will retail for $20,000.

Bloom also provided an update on his company’s roadmap for the assets of its Ejasent acquisition earlier this year, unveiling improved MicroMeasure software to facilitate usage-based metering, cost allocation, and charge-back billing of storage, server, and application consumption by specific users and departments.

UpScale, which provides application virtualization , will be ready in the first half of 2005 as an extension to VERITAS Cluster Server software.

The utility computing sector caught fire in 2003, as more and more vendors began addressing customer requests for easier management and more control over the infrastructure in their data centers, prompting many analysts to compare strategies to the way consumers procure water or electricity from pipes and cables.

Elaborating on the utility computing topic, Bloom said the days of monolithic, UNIX-based servers and vertical scaling are giving way to farms of virtualized blades, where additional servers are added in a horizontal fashion.

“Blade computing is perfect [for utility computing] because users can manage those in a pool,” the executive said. “You can provision, manage, or allocate computing and make sure your investment is protected. You want to take advantage over time of that paradigm because that paradigm is going to drive down the costs in your environment.”

The executive also suggested the problem of some companies off-shoring their development to reduce the cost of IT could be solved if companies learned to automate their infrastructure through utility computing. “If the computers are smart enough to detect, they should be smart enough to fix,” he said.

As confident as Bloom is in VERITAS’ utility computing offerings, the chief said that the company offers building blocks for an approach that cannot be bought, but must instead be built over time using a combination of software and services.

Story courtesy of Internet News.

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Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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