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Vikings Vow to Vie With Veritas

Like its Viking ancestors, Swedish storage software company Northern Parklife Inc. is taking on an adversary much larger and mightier than itself: It claims it has two new storage resource management (SRM) products coming that should give storage software giant Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) a run for its money -- but only customers that have just Windows servers in their shops will give the Swedes the time of day.

This fall, Northern Parklife is planning to ship the last two modules in its five-piece SRM Storage Suite for Windows, which it launched in April (see Northern Ships Quota Server 2003). With the launch of its Storage Charge Back and Storage Assistant software modules, the company says it will add invoice capabilities and more automation to its SRM offering. The new additions will let it take on the StorageCentral products Veritas acquired when it bought Precise Software, the company insists (see Veritas Picks Up Precise).

"We're not scared of Veritas," says Thomas Vernersson, co-founder and president of Northern Parklife. "I think that they should be on their toes to make sure that development of the Precise products keep up, and that they maintain the level of innovation... The only development we've seen in that product over the past couple of months has been the price increase."

Northern Parklife expects to have the most leverage with customers on pricing. While Veritas charges $1,400 per Tbyte for the standard edition of its newly rebranded StorageCentral software, the Stockholm-based company's modules go for between $495 and $995 per server, regardless of the amount of storage. For a full five-piece set of the modules, the company charges $3,200 per server.

Carl Dvorak, a systems administrator at HK Systems, a New Berlin, Wisc.-based producer of software for automated handling tools such as cranes and conveyor systems, says that price played a big part in his company's decision to choose Northern Parklife.

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