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Sources: Symantec dumping Veritas file system development team

Enterprise Strategy Group president Steve Duplessie blogged Wednesday about information he’d received that Symantec Corp. has laid off 600 engineers who worked on VxFS (Veritas File System), VxVM (Veritas Volume Manager) and the VCS One server clustering line of products. Symantec today declined to comment on what it terms “rumors and speculation,” but industry sources have confirmed that number and say development of these products has been outsourced overseas.

There has been speculation among storage industry watchers on Twitter that this is a move toward Symantec spinning off all or part of the Veritas business, but sources close to the company say it’s unlikely. “It smells like a move of downsizing to milk the business rather than spin it out,” said one industry veteran who requested anonymity.

This seems to match Duplessie’s information:

This is a signal that those markets, now 20 plus years old, are finally in maintenance mode and those services are to most likely be off-shored so the company can milk whatever profits are left from the dwindling install base.  While acts like this are always sad, it was inevitable.

In the meantime, most sources expect Veritas’s backup products, NetBackup and Backup Exec, as well as its data archiving product, Enterprise Vault, to stay as they are.

It’s unclear how big an impact this move will have on Symantec customers — Duplessie also points out that these products are growing older and the markets they served have largely moved on. Symantec has already unveiled new file systems that will replace the Veritas products.

In my time in the industry, I’ve noticed there are certain companies whose “diasporas” have continued to steer enterprise technology long after they’ve ceased to be dominant players in the market. The two that most often come up in my experience are Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and Storage Networks. Now, you may be able to add Veritas to that list.

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