CHICAGO - While he's skeptical about how "truly open" EMC's WideSky may be, Veritas CEO Gary Bloom said that if it does nothing else, the storage management initiative just further establishes Veritas as a long-time leader in the software management market.
Bloom responded to the question of growing competition from EMC during a Q&A session at the SearchStorage.com Storage Management conference being held here. Earlier in the conference, EMC also announced that it's opening up AutoIS APIs to competitors in an attempt to push the WideSky platform to de facto standard status.
The storage market is in turmoil right now, partly because of the economy, but also because of a market redefinition, Bloom said. Big vendors, such as EMC and Sun, are value shifting from the hardware arena to the software arena, and the introduction of WideSky is case in point.
"It validates the very position we are in - the big guys validating what we have done," he said.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas offers disaster recovery, data protection, high availability and storage area network software solutions.
"We've been at it for 10 years," said Bloom, discussing how Veritas -- in contrast to EMC - has always been entirely dedicated to software solutions.
EMC introduced its WideSky open management software in October enabing storage management applications to handle multiple vendor offerings. According to the company, the new products deliver on the promise of AutoIS, bringing the power of an EMC-managed environment to an open world.
"Ruettgers' definition of open is 'We spend a lot of money on it so we're open.'" said Bloom. "I'm skeptical--I'm questionable as to whether they can really get there," he added.
When citing reasons as to why he believes WideSky is not "truly open," Bloom discussed how Veritas has to write its software to EMC's APIs. He referenced Veritas' Backup 4.5 press release that quotes EMC's Vice President of Alliances and Information Sciences Don Swatik as saying, "Through EMC's open APIs, Veritas NetBackup 4.5 offers our mutual customers an integrated backup and recovery solution that provides high performance data protection with minimal impact on production IT systems." Bloom said Veritas enabled NetBackup to work with the APIs.
"Sometimes it's WideSky, sometimes it's blue sky - not quite sure which," said Bloom. He added EMC really doesn't have the hardware cooperation it needs to make WideSky a standard.
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Mark Lewis spent a fair amount of time commenting on EMC and its storage strategy when he was head of storage at Compaq and later Hewlett-Packard. Now that he's in the EMC camp as the company's chief technology officer, he admits his position has changed -- but he says his position has shifted only because the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company's direction has changed.
EMC has continued its quest for the brass ring in storage management with its "Chapter Two" announcement regarding AutoIS last week. The company unleashed eight new or newly beefed-up software tools for storage management last week, most of which included management support for storage arrays from competing vendors.
Lewis sat down with SearchStorage.com prior to the announcement to explain how he sees this new strategy of cooperation playing out.