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Veritas expands Linux software line

The maker of storage and data protection software releases new products and unveils partnerships with Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Red Hat.

Storage and data protection software maker Veritas has expanded its Linux software line, releasing new products and announcing partnerships Monday with Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Red Hat.

Veritas in January released its first Linux products for storage operations, such as backing up data. Now the company has released "clustering" software, which lets IT managers join several servers together so one can take over if another fails. It also released network-attached storage software, which turns a server into a special-purpose storage system.

"We view Linux as a strategic platform with immense growth opportunity," Veritas Chief Executive Gary Bloom said in a statement. The support comes through Red Hat's Advanced Server version of Linux running on Intel-based servers from HP, IBM and Dell. Partnerships with high-end software companies is a central part of Red Hat's Advanced Server plan.

While embracing Linux, Veritas has also expanded to support AIX, IBM's version of Unix. Previously, the company sold products for Windows and for Hewlett-Packard's and Sun Microsystems' versions of Unix, but it started to work with IBM on AIX in April.

"With Veritas' recently announced AIX products gaining traction in the market and today's announcement of Linux-based storage software solutions, the company should be able to diversify away from the Solaris market," which provides Veritas with more than 40 percent of its revenue, said A.G. Edwards analyst Shebly Seyrafi. "We believe that the pace of Linux displacing Solaris is accelerating."

Veritas, unlike competitors such as Computer Associates International, doesn't sell software for IBM's mainframe lines, but executives at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company have said that Linux will provide an entry into that market. IBM is backing use of Linux on its mainframes, though it still steers customers to its z/OS operating system for high-end mainframe work.

Veritas plans to release its mainframe Linux products in 2003, a source familiar with the plan said Monday. The mainframe products are currently running in Veritas labs.

Linux, a clone of Unix, initially was created by a host of volunteer programmers and Linux specialists such as Red Hat, but in recent years has drawn participation from IBM, HP, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Sun and others. A Windows competitor, Linux runs chiefly on servers with Intel processors.

The Veritas Linux software will be tested and certified to work on Dell and IBM Intel-based servers.