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Commentary: Veritas extends high availability

The company's new clustering and load-balancing technologies broaden the market for its high-availability solutions and also lessen the burdens of implementing them.

    By Donna Scott, Gartner Analyst

    Veritas Software's new clustering and load-balancing technologies broaden the market for the company's high-availability solutions and also lessen the burdens of implementing them.

    By offering a preconfigured version of its Veritas Cluster Server (VCS), the company is lowering one of the principal barriers to the adoption of clustering technology: costs that can run as high as $60,000 per application node (not including professional implementation services). At just $5,000 per node--and with significantly lower implementation and administration costs--VCS QuickStart will likely prove attractive to a much broader range of enterprise customers, including those with highly distributed smaller-node environments, as well as to centralized application server environments.

    The new Traffic Director load-balancing technology may be an even more significant development for Veritas, moving the company well beyond its traditional narrow focus on high-availability database systems. Load balancing is used across the entire network--not just in database applications--and this should open up new customer sources for Veritas.

    The requirement for a more robust and responsive Web infrastructure has fueled innovation in a number of technology areas. Everything from optical networking to advances in Internet traffic management is targeted at making the Internet and IP-based networks faster and more responsive for users. Over the past several years, the market for load balancers has migrated from providing basic high-availability services for server farms to enhancing and managing user and content relationships.

    The load-balancing market segment is a highly competitive one, dominated by hardware manufacturers such as Cisco Systems and by software providers such as Resonate. However, Veritas does have some important advantages in approaching this space--notably its long-standing and widely recognized expertise in ensuring the reliability of database systems.

    See news story:
    Veritas expanding software to new turf
    With its new products, Veritas is laying the groundwork for more actively managed network systems. Traditional clustering is more reactive in nature--responding to a failure and reducing recovery time, but not preventing the failure in the first place. Traffic Manager enables enterprises to seamlessly shift network connections when a failure occurs, in a way that is totally transparent to users.

    In addition, as Veritas products come to be deployed across all tiers of a Web application, they will be able to make more intelligent loading decisions--and that offers the potential to improve the overall performance and availability of the Web site.

    (For related commentary on high-availability techniques for servers, see TechRepublic.com--free registration required.)

    Entire contents, Copyright © 2001 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.