Veritas buys Precise to expand beyond storage

In a pairing that analysts are calling complementary, the acquisition of Precise Software Solutions by Veritas Software Corp. was completed Monday. The move allows

Veritas to expand its heterogeneous offerings beyond storage management and into the entire computing infrastructure.

Alan Freedman, research manager for infrastructure hardware at IDC Canada in Toronto, said the US$609M acquisition matches the growing industry desire on the end-users’ part and trend on the suppliers’ side to support a heterogeneous storage environment and try to minimize the management costs of an infrastructure.

“”This seems like a strong acquisition,”” he said. “”Precise is very compatible and complementary to the current lineup of Veritas’ products and it seems in line with customer demand to ease the burden on the data centre.””

While Veritas has traditionally served the storage software space, it has also slowly moved into cluster management, according to IDC Corp.‘s Bill North, a director of research for storage software in Mountain View, Calif.

“”The upshot of it is historically Veritas has been a storage software company focused entirely on storage software, or so they’ve led people to believe. The reality is several years ago it began to develop products in the background and have become both technology and market leaders in clustering and high availability server management,”” North said.

The implication of the acquisition for its customers, he said, is that Veritas now has tools to begin to identify performance issues very early and link them to the software tools that can help to find a way out of the problems.

“”I think it’s an excellent marriage and an extension for Veritas into an area that is not historically where it has played, but essential to improving overall system management effectiveness and efficiencies,”” North said.

Fred Dimson, general manager and director of operations at Veritas Canada in Toronto, said that the addition of Precise’s tools is a step closer to Veritas’ vision of the mature IT network to its customers.

“”We look at storage and storage management as a utility, and the necessary piece is what Precise brings to the equation — the ability to monitor an application from top to bottom in terms of where it’s performing and where it needs improvement,”” Dimson said.

Freedman predicted that this will prove advantageous to Veritas’ current customer base.

“”It’s all about maximizing time and minimizing costs, and any time you can migrate something from a manual to an automatic task it should be beneficial,”” he said.

During the company’s official conference call announcing the close of the deal, it was announced that approximately 40 positions will be eliminated from Precise’s current workforce, mostly in administrative areas, but that an equal number would be hired on in other areas. This shift will not affect any Canadian positions, Dimson said, as Precise’s Canadian presence is strictly a sales team.

North said that he foresees a smooth transition based on Veritas’ history with acquisitions.

“”They do the right kind of acquisitions: they find companies or technologies that are near enough to their central area of strength that it’s not a giant leap of faith to get two companies’ products to work well together, but they also find companies far enough afield so there’s not huge overlap between technologies or development teams. It’s a good story.””

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