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Veritas' server automation software hits the streets

Veritas Software Corp., Mountain View, Calif., introduced Veritas OpForce 3.0, the first release of technology from Jareva Technologies, which Veritas acquired last year.

Veritas Software Corp., Mountain View, Calif., introduced Veritas OpForce 3.0, the first release of the technology from Jareva Technologies, which Veritas acquired last year.

Veritas said OpForce 3.0 improves the utilization of existing IT environments by automatically provisioning servers, switches and load balancers across networks. The OpForce release represents Veritas' first foray outside of the storage software world and a step toward its utility computing goals.

OpForce 3.0 is now integrated with Veritas Volume Manager and Veritas File System, and it provides automatic discovery of IT resources, as well as centralized management, role-based administration and authentication, and automated job creation and scheduling for provisioning.

Marty Ward, director of product marketing for storage and applications for Veritas Software, said the OpForce line represents a new product family from Veritas in a category called server automation.

"OpForce does for servers what SANPoint Control does for storage. Our message into the server automation market is, 'Use what you have,'" Ward said.

He said customers are not getting cost benefits out of their existing infrastructures because of complex management and over-provisioning, thereby wasting resources. "People want something like this because there is still a heck of a lot of manual processes going on in the [data center]," Ward said.

OpForce automates the deployment of compute resources. Ward said OpForce puts those resources into a logical pool and coordinates them into something called "just-in-time" provisioning. "We can achieve major increases in server utilization rates. Rates of 60% to 80% will not be uncommon," Ward said.

Nancy Marrone, senior analyst at the Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Milford, Mass., said that Veritas intends to sell the Jareva products separately, targeting financial institutions and other vertical markets that have a need for dynamic reallocation of compute power.

"Veritas expects that this will open up new markets for them and enable them to penetrate enterprise organizations at a different level in the organization," she said.

Marrone said Veritas will look to leverage its installed customer base, but many of the customers that purchase backup and replication solutions are not necessarily the same target buyers for the Jareva solutions.

"These products should help Veritas expand their footprint in current accounts and help penetrate new markets as well," she said.

Veritas started inching its way toward utility computing last month with the latest release of its Bare Metal Restore product. Unlike the enhancements to NetBackup and Backup Exec announced during the past few months, Veritas said Bare Metal Restore 4.6 was designed to automate the recovery of heterogeneous server environments. Bare Metal Restore cuts recovery time by automating system and software configuration processes. Veritas called the release of Bare Metal Restore 4.6 the first building block in the company's utility computing strategy.

The utility computing model, according to Veritas, ties applications directly to the IT infrastructure by providing an abstraction of the physical IT infrastructure and presenting it as a service to the user. Veritas said it is readying products with more automation and more diagnostic and problem-resolution capabilities across the entire IT infrastructure, not just the storage network.

OpForce 3.0 supports Solaris, IBM AIX, Red Hat Linux and Windows. Pricing starts at $7,500 per host server and $500 per managed server. The OpForce software will be generally available beginning July 7.

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