Veritas Takes a BEA Line

Storage and application vendors team to burrow further into data center

April 13, 2004

3 Min Read
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Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) dove deeper toward the heart of the data center today through an alliance with BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS). (See Veritas Sees the Logic of BEA.)

Veritas and BEA have agreed to joint development, sales, and marketing of products. Veritas's Indepth for J2EE application management software, Cluster Server high availability application, and OpForce server provisioning software will be sold with BEAs WebLogic and Tuxedo enterprise application platforms.

Indepth for J2EE and Cluster Server with WebLogic are available today. Other product combinations are expected to begin shipping in the second half of the year, say the vendors.

Terms of the agreement, including its duration and potential for including other partners, weren't available at press time.

By teaming up, Veritas and BEA are firing primarily at their common rival IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), whose WebSphere is a direct competitor to WebLogic and competes with Veritas across the storage software landscape.Veritas also is sending a message to server/storage companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW): namely, that Veritas intends to win an integral spot in the data center by “moving up the stack” with software that manages servers as well as storage (see Veritas Moves up the Stack).

Veritas’s move from a pure storage software vendor into more of a data center player has included laying out $730 million since December 2002 on acquisitions. Veritas has purchased performance management vendor Precise Software Solutions, application management company Ejasent, and server automation software maker Jareva Technologies. (See Veritas Percolates Java2EE, Veritas Adds Cluster Agents, and Veritas Nabs Ejasent.)

“Veritas wants to be in the knickers of the entire data center, not just storage,” says analyst Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group. “All of these [moves] are small steps in that direction. It’s also a sign that storage is not going to play on an isolated island any more.”

The BEA alliance moves Veritas further into grid computing, which combines the processing power of computers into one large system. Besides the server vendors, software giants such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) also seek to play a role in grids via support of clusters.

But while most vendors’ idea of grid computing involves locking the customer into their hardware or software, Veritas and BEA see heterogeneous enterprises as a potentially lucrative spot.Veritas and BEA also hope to play in utility computing, often seen as an offshoot of grid computing, in which resources can be provided as needed. According to Tom Curlin, director of equity research at RBC Capital Markets, utility computing has two layers. A Web computing layer includes Web services and applications. That is where BEA plays. A fabric computing layer focuses on the network, computer, and storage resources that support the Web services and applications -- Veritas’s space. Curlin says major players such as IBM and Microsoft compete in both layers.

“To compete effectively, BEA and Veritas must also offer integrated software stacks to address utility computing opportunities,” Curlin writes in an email. “Hence, the partnership.”

Veritas isn’t the only storage company setting its sights on a more generalized approach to the data center. EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) moved closer in that direction with its acquisition of server virtualization software vendor VMware last December (see EMC Gobbles VMware).

“There’s a blurring of the lines between storage and the other layers of the network,” Taneja says. “It’s going to be an interesting couple of years to see how it shakes out. We’re going to go through a muddy phase before the picture starts to get clearer.”

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch0

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