LAS VEGAS — In a bid to gain traction in the world of utility computing, Veritas Software Corp. is dipping its toe into the server provisional and application performance management space.

The move, announced at the company’s 7th annual user conference held here, rounds out the company’s

product mix, helping customers maintain complex, heterogeneous computing environments, says Gary Bloom, Veritas chairman, president and CEO.

Thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of Precise Software — which will close in the next 60 days — the company is able to offer solutions that run the gamut from application all the way down to storage. The acquisition of Jareva also adds to the equation and will provide customers with better utilization and automation of servers, Bloom says.

In response to stressed out IT departments and changing business demands, Veritas sees huge market opportunities in the realm of utility computing, where customers can get better performance and availability from existing applications, he says.

“There’s a stress that’s going on here. Give me more applications, give me higher availability, give me higher service levels, but do it at a much lower cost.”

Bloom says utility computing lessens the burden on IT departments.

“We need to start coming in with some sanity to help IT managers address issues around availability, performance and automation.”

Key challenges include how to deal with the overwhelming complexity of

IT environments. IT departments need help with “”multiple databases, multiple Web servers, all different kinds of applications, which are deployed on all different kinds of hardware thanks to the traditional distributed computing model.””

The goal is to think of IT as a necessity, whereby downtime and poor performance should not be tolerated. “It should be always available like the water in our taps. What if you turned on the faucet in the kitchen and nothing came out — that’s kind of equivalent to what we’re doing with our IT utility today . . . If you come into an IT organization, the systems should be available just as you go into the kitchen and the water comes out.”

He says the key is to make each individual IT environment more mature – thereby sharing resources instead of each department having a separate well in each backyard.

“We have all of these building blocks of storage management, storage automation, server provisioning and we’re assembling them together to deliver you a solution to enable utility computing. And we’re not trying to be the utility, we are trying to enable you to offer up the dream of utility computing in your environment.””

Bill Zeitler, senior vice-president and group executive for the IBM

Server Group, says utility computing (part of the on-demand computing movement) is the intersection of business and technology.

“It’s the evolution of what’s been going on in the industry for the last

30 years.” He says it will boost administrative, departmental, personal and organizational productivity. “On-demand is more than utility computing — it’s about connecting business processes.” It will change business design, computing environments as well as financial delivery models, he adds.

And while the utility computing roadmap for resellers is still unclear, channel partners are excited about the Veritas strategy.

Dan Costantini, director of advanced technology for Infostream Technologies Inc., says the company will most likely see opportunities in consulting and integration. “We’re not sure exactly how the system integrator will be competing, but we’re anxious to get involved with the

Precise software.”

Veritas also announced four program additions to its Partner Program, including a channel loyalty program, a sales professional program (which offers free training), a focus program (an apprenticeship program for resellers specializing in key platforms), and a strategic channel partner program for specific hardware and platform resellers. Resellers provide solutions across a host of markets including AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows and Linux.

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