Veritas debuts utility computing tools

The maker of software for storage management releases new products and services designed to help businesses move forward with utility computing.

Matt Hines
Matt Hines Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Matt Hines
covers business software, with a particular focus on enterprise applications.
2 min read
Veritas Software stepped further into the emerging market for utility computing applications on Tuesday, releasing several products designed to help businesses keep better track of information technology resources.

The maker of storage management software launched two applications, dubbed CommandCentral Storage 4.0 and CommandCentral Availability 4.0, and overhauled a service related to the CommandCentral family of products. All have features that aim to give customers a better idea of how their storage systems are being used, to take advantage of utility computing.

The products debuted at this week's Veritas Vision user conference in Las Vegas.

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The idea of utility computing is to provide computing resources as a pay-as-you-go service, with business systems delivered online and metered like electricity. Veritas has spent the past year recasting itself as a software maker focused on utility computing, helped by the acquisition of a number of companies, including Jareva, Precise and Ejasent.

Veritas has said its goal is to provide management software for the automation of tasks such as the provisioning of resources and the efficient planning of computing capacity. To do this, it aims to offer software "building blocks" that will allow its customers to create utility computing services of their own.

One backer of the Mountain View, Calif.-based software maker's latest products is telecommunications giant Qualcomm, which plans to use the tools to provide online storage, data protection and clustering services throughout its operations.

The CommandCentral product push marks Veritas' first official entry into the nascent utility computing software space. However, the software maker recently established a utility computing partnership with BEA Systems, a specialist in integration applications. That deal calls for the two companies' engineering groups to collaborate on making their respective products more compatible in corporate data centers.

Larger rivals--such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard--have announced similar utility computing initiatives designed to make data center operations more efficient and cost-effective.

CommandCentral Storage 4.0 combines Veritas' existing software for managing storage area networks with beefed-up resource-management tools. Together, they offer customers a more accurate view of their storage networks' usage, according to Veritas.

CommandCentral Availability 4.0 promises to enable users to determine more easily how much storage capacity is on hand to run various applications. The CommandCentral Service package consists of a software portal that aims to provide more detailed insight into IT resource consumption, service levels and costs.

One analyst praised Veritas' heterogeneous, or vendor-neutral, approach to building applications.

"The ability to automate across servers, storage and applications will be crucial to realizing the promise of the utility computing model," Nancy Hurley, senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Storage Group wrote in a research note. "This breadth and heterogeneity is important, because utility computing, in its final form, requires a software layer that coordinates the whole infrastructure and allows it to operate as a single entity while meeting a spectrum of different requirements."