Storage software maker Veritas Software wants to burrow deeper into the Linux market, unveiling a flurry of partnerships with leading vendors, releasing Linux-compatible versions of its NAS (network-attached storage) and clustering software and sketching a roadmap of its planned development projects during the next year.
"Linux is clearly a tier-one operating system. We treat it as equivalent to the other platforms we deal with," said Mark Bregman, Veritas's executive vice president of product operations.
Veritas released Linux editions of its Veritas Cluster Server and Veritas ServPoint NAS software for running NAS file servers, now available for Red Hat's Advanced Server Linux OS. Two other Veritas products, the Veritas Foundation Suite and Veritas NetBackup, were already available for Red Hat's OS.
Veritas clustering and storage management software for Oracle9i Real Application Clusters on Linux is scheduled for a 2003 release, and evaluation projects bringing Veritas's software to IBM's zSeries mainframes are in the works with several large enterprise customers, executives said.
Customer demand is driving Veritas's Linux development, CEO Gary Bloom said. Initially used for Web applications deployments and low-end projects, large enterprise customers are beginning to adopt Linux for critical enterprise infrastructure such as databases and high-end mainstream applications, he said.
Bloom likened Linux's evolution to that of Sun Microsystems' Solaris OS. "Look what Sun represented for our company: a huge revenue opportunity. We see the opportunity to do the same thing again as Linux moves across that spectrum."
One industry analyst attending Veritas's event said that the company's package of Linux products is now the storage software industry's most complete, surpassing the portfolios of rivals such as EMC and Network Appliance.
Veritas has the opportunity to emerge as the leading storage vendor for Linux, but it remains to be seen how much revenue that market segment will generate, said Stephen Elliot, research director of storage management and services for Hurwitz Group.
Veritas is expecting gradual, incremental revenue growth from its Linux offerings, Bloom said. The software's pricing will be comparable with that of Veritas's Unix software products, he said.
A customer who spoke at the press conference said the "greatest benefit" of the announcements is the signal that another major vendor considers Linux a key enterprise system.
"I think it gives us more choices. It's not necessarily the product to use or the greatest thing since sliced toast, but it adds to the viability of the platform. It's something I'm certainly going to pursue," said Bill Watson, manager of system administration for the Weather Channel.
Veritas also announced partnerships with several vendors, including IBM, Red Hat, Intel, Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard. Concrete details of those partnerships were not discussed, but Bloom said the alliances would include Linux product development and distribution deals.