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Veritas enters the utility game

The software company launches a product to manage server computer resources, moving beyond its roots in the storage field and into the utility computing arena.

Moving beyond its roots as a storage software company and into the utility computing arena, Veritas Software on Monday introduced a product to manage server computers.

So-called server provisioning is seen as an initial step toward highly automated computing systems that act as a service much like electricity. Veritas' new product is part of the company's evolution from focusing on data storage management to improving the performance of a broader computer system, said Bill North, storage software analyst at market research firm IDC. "They were always at the back end of the equation," North said. "That's no longer true."

The Veritas OpForce 3.0 product is intended to relieve information technology departments of manual burdens involved in configuring server computers and to improve the utilization rates of machines. Veritas' software automatically detects devices in an IT environment and allows IT managers to automate the process of reallocating server resources based on shifting demand.

Available July 7, the software supports the Solaris, IBM AIX, Red Hat Linux and Windows operating systems.

OpForce 3.0 is based on software from Jareva Technologies, a company Veritas acquired earlier this year. Veritas also has announced plans to acquire Precise Software, another company whose technology fits in with the utility computing push. Precise makes software to manage the performance of applications.

Veritas is hardly alone in its utility computing plans. IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems also are pitching services that aim to help customers achieve a more automated computing infrastructure.

North suggested that Veritas' server management software would fare well against these giants, who also are keen to sell their own hardware products. "They have a serious ax to grind there," he said. "Veritas has no such ax."