A considerable number of storage users run Veritas Software Corp.'s NetBackup software. If you're among them, you might like to hear how to get more bang for your buck when dealing with your Veritas sales rep. In this interview, GlassHouse Technologies storage consultant Jeff Harbert offers some tips on how to swing a better price for your NetBackup software.

Harbert also shares his take on what Veritas is doing to beef up NetBackup's features while trying to stave off heavy competition from the likes of Legato Systems and Tivoli.

SearchStorage.com: Since Veritas is up against heavy competition in user accounts, do users have any added leverage to deal with Veritas on price? Do you have any specific advice for users on striking a bargain with Veritas?

Jeff Harbert: Historically, users haven't had a lot of leverage when dealing with Veritas, but some things to consider are bulk purchases or site licenses. Generally, users get better pricing when purchasing more licenses. So, if users can forecast their licensing requirements beyond their immediate needs, it may benefit them to purchase more licenses initially. An alternative licensing option is the site license, which includes one universal license for an environment, rather than individual licenses for each option. Typically, site licenses are reserved for Veritas' largest customers, but these licenses provide the most flexibility and are usually the most cost-effective.

SearchStorage.com: Are

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there any obvious storage management tools or features missing from NetBackup? If so, what is Veritas doing to plug those holes?

Harbert: With the emergence of low-cost serial ATA disk arrays there has been a tremendous push to incorporate disk in the backup environment. While Veritas has supported backup to disk for several years, NetBackup did not facilitate long-term storage of this data or easily allow for the creation of multiple copies of the backed-up data. Veritas addressed these shortcomings with the release of NetBackup 5.0. By incorporating Disk Staging and Synthetic Full Backups, NetBackup now integrates the speed and reliability of disk-based backups and recoveries with the durability and mobility of tape to offer a more robust backup solution.

SearchStorage.com: Given its dominance in the backup market, does Veritas have much to fear from an EMC-backed Legato Systems?

Harbert: Veritas owns a significant share of the backup market and should continue to do so for some time. That said, EMC is a formidable competitor with significant resources, making Legato a stronger player than it was independently. Prior to the acquisition, Legato was floundering: they had a broad spectrum of data protection products, but didn't offer a clear integration strategy for these products. Now, with the engineering and sales resources that EMC brings to the table, Legato's products are part of a bigger, cohesive storage management picture.

SearchStorage.com: In your opinion, is Veritas' utility computing mantra confusing storage users?

Harbert: Like networking before it, storage is evolving into a separately managed environment consisting of standardized service offerings, tiered service levels, and comprehensive management and monitoring tools. Given Veritas' broad range of storage products, the company is able to address storage management issues at the host, SAN, and device levels. As such, the concept of the storage utility is a logical fit with Veritas' offerings.


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This was first published in March 2004

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