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Veritas to acquire startup for utility computing technology

Not to be outpaced in the utility computing race by EMC, which recently announced it will buy VMware, Veritas said Wednesday it will open its wallet and shell out more than $50 million for Ejasent -- a maker of application migration technology.

Veritas Software Corp., Mountain View, Calif., announced Wednesday that it has inked an agreement to acquire Ejasent Inc., an application virtualization technology supplier also based in Mountain View, for $59 million in cash.

Veritas is gunning for Ejasent in order to beef up its own utility computing portfolio. Specifically, Ejasent's two software applications, UpScale and MicroMeasure, offer application migration between servers and usage-based metering and billing of physical and logical storage, servers and application transactions.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Ejasent will become part of Veritas' high availability and clustering group. Veritas expects to deliver UpScale and MicroMeasure software in the second quarter of 2004. UpScale will be available initially on Solaris, with a Linux version set for release in early 2005. MicroMeasure runs on Solaris, Linux, Windows and HP-UX.

Enterprise Storage Group Inc. technology analyst Steve Kenniston believes that Veritas' bid for Ejasent is a response to  EMC's recent announcement that it will acquire VMware Inc., a company partly owned by Veritas.

"This is an excellent acquisition for Veritas. Ejasent actually has software that does two things. One is server virtualization, and the other is reporting on application utilization," Kenniston said. "Combine this technology with [their] Jareva and Precise tools, and they have a very strong set of tools for both accurate and chargeable server and storage provisioning."

Veritas admits it "looked at" VMware, but the company maintains that there are significant technology differences that make Ejasent a better fit with its plans. VMware's technology provides a layer of abstraction between computing, storage and networking hardware and the software that runs on it, which effectively removes hardware management from the equation. VMware's technology lets Windows, Linux and NetWare run simultaneously and independently on the same Intel-based server or workstation.

"VMware provides multiple instances of operating systems on one server. The real challenge is, when you migrate applications between servers, the performance impact is significant," said Bob Maness, senior director of product marketing for Veritas. "What Ejasent does different is it sits on top of the OS and allows you -- through the snapshot restore technology -- to migrate applications with minimal performance degradation."

Another clear difference between EMC's bid for VMware and Veritas' pending deal with Ejasent is the price tag. EMC will pay $635 million for its acquisition target while Veritas has offered $59 million for Ejasent.

Upon hearing the news, Veritas' competition was quick to comment on the proposed acquisition of Ejasent. Jack Kudale, director of brand strategy for Computer Associates International Inc., said that Veritas' acquisition of Ejasent would add some much-needed application virtualization capabilities to the company's portfolio. However, in the absence of integration with a broad range of fundamental management functions, "the company will remain unable to address the critical requirements of resource utilization," he said.

Kudale said the application management Ejasent offers is just "one small piece" of customer requirements for enterprise management and on-demand computing.

But Veritas isn't heralding Ejasent's software as a cure-all. Maness said the addition of Ejasent will let Veritas start to "connect the dots" between applications and storage.

"This will have a direct impact on storage administration, because now you can tie the application to storage utilization in [a] specific way. This is an important step in utility computing," Maness said.

Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail: Kevin Komiega, News Editor.

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