Veritas wants to play peacemaker

Steve Staves, senior technical analyst at Vancouver-based Canfor Corp., has servers from a variety of vendors, as well as myriad applications. He’s looking for ways to manage stored data, which is easier said than done.

“Everybody’s got a heterogeneous environment,” he said, adding that the mix of technology and vendors makes storage management difficult.

But just because heterogeneity is the name of the game, it doesn’t mean Staves is happy with the status quo. He wants more for Canfor, a forestry products firm. He wants to be able to manage data from one point in the network, to see storage become part of the network itself, and witness technology vendors working together to meet his needs.

Wishful thinking? Not necessarily. Staves attended Vision 2002 in Dallas to hear about Veritas’s upcoming storage management solutions. Concerning the top-level view of stored data he wants, Staves said he liked what he heard.

“Some of [Veritas’s] direction is leaning towards management of heterogeneous environments,” he noted, adding that it’s a good sign from the storage software vendor.

Veritas announced new programs designed to bring disparate parts of the IT shop together. The firm unveiled Veritas Enabled, a program wherein Veritas becomes a single point of contact for customer care. For example, if Staves had a problem with his Dell server running Veritas software, he could call Veritas to co-ordinate a fix, even if the trouble resided in Dell’s hardware instead of the Veritas software.

Veritas wants to bring the industry together, to see companies meeting users’ needs through co-opetition, but there are challenges, said Stephen Elliot, research director, storage management with Framingham, Mass.-based Hurwitz Group Inc. Although Veritas has garnered approval from certain hardware vendors, some of them might not play fair. The fact is, most hardware vendors have their own storage software to sell. If, for example, EMC can convince a customer to buy its hardware as well as its own software, the company will promote its homegrown apps over Veritas’s products.

As a Veritas customer himself, Staves said he approves of Veritas’ new direction. If this path means easier management of heterogeneous storage floors, he’s all for it. “They’re definitely on the right track… It’s about time somebody took the initiative.”

– Stefan Dubowski