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BEA, Veritas to tune tools in utility alliance

The alliance calls for the two companies' engineering groups to help products such as BEA's WebLogic and Veritas' OpForce work better together in corporate data centers.

BEA Systems and Veritas Software have penned a partnership designed to further align the two companies around utility computing.

The alliance, announced Monday, calls for the two companies' engineering groups to collaborate to make their respective products work better together in corporate data centers. The partnership will also involve joint marketing and sales arrangements to foster cooperation between the two organizations' sales forces, the companies said.

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Veritas and BEA said that the close technical ties between the companies will make their products more attractive for utility computing, which entails customers' paying for computing resources as they use them, much as people purchase electricity or gas.

The partnership will help BEA and Veritas compete against initiatives from larger technology providers, executives said. IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard all have utility computing initiatives designed to make data center operations more efficient and cost-effective. BEA sells software to run business applications, such as Web portals. Veritas sells software to manage computing infrastructure components, such as storage and servers.

Neither BEA nor Veritas has a vested interest in a specific hardware platform, as other large computing providers do, said Benjamin Renaud, deputy chief technology officer at BEA.

"We're seeing radically different approaches (among vendors). One is a proprietary, all-in-one, single-vendor approach," Renaud said. "The other is one that leaves customers with an open choice and ability to work with what they have and what they will likely have in the future."

The companies expect to make their products work well together so that business customers can allocate computing resources to tasks more efficiently.

Often customers purchase hardware gear and software solely to serve a single application. Veritas' utility computing software allows companies to create a pool of computing resources and dole them out according to rises and dips in demand. For example, a business may want to allocate more servers and software to tally financial results at the end of the financial quarter.

The two companies' products already work together. But the partnership would tighten the links between Veritas' utility computing software and BEA's WebLogic software, which is widely used among corporate customers, company executives said.

Under the partnership, BEA and Veritas will provide detailed technical information to make Veritas' OpForce software provisioning product, acquired from start-up Jareva, work closely with WebLogic. The two companies also plan to make Veritas' Indepth for J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) product, acquired from Precise Software, better able to guard against outages that can occur in WebLogic Java applications.

"The technical integration will give customers better manageability and lower the total cost of ownership of their enterprise application environments," said Arya Barirani, director of solution marketing at Veritas.

As part of the sales and marketing pact, the two companies will look to share sales leads, Barirani said.

Veritas has spent the last year recasting itself around the idea of utility computing by acquiring a number of companies, including Jareva, Precise and Ejasent. The company's goal is to provide management software for automating tasks, such as provisioning resources and planning computing capacity efficiently.

This is the first such utility computing deal for BEA.