Focus on Performance

By eweek  |  Posted 2004-03-08 Print this article Print

One aspect of utility computing is enabling an IT department to charge business units for the computing resources they use. Has Veritas seen much of that?

Very few people I talk to want to get in the habit of sending a bill out to the end users. What they do want to do, if you talk to CIOs, is give those users visibility into what they are consuming and what the cost is. When we talk about data recovery and data protection, I want you to decide whether you need 30-second recovery or whether three-day recovery is OK.

As an independent software vendor, how dependent are you on APIs? Do you have to play catch-up in what you need to manage?

On this API area in particular, youre making an assumption that the vendors determine the competitive landscape there, and the reality is the customers determine that landscape. And so, if we were left to our own devices—with IBM, Veritas, EMC, and others all playing in the same sandbox friendly with APIs—well, probably not. But when you add the customer pressure that says the customer wants interoperability, the customer expects this part of cross-vendor solutions, that problem goes away. And right now, given our market share, and our markets, and given our success ... Yeah, any time we have a new API challenge the customer has stepped in. [Customers say to EMC, for] example, "If you want us to use your storage, youre going to have to support Veritas." That changes the dynamics dramatically.

Any particular emerging standards efforts that you need to focus on?

There are multiple standards efforts in storage. As Im sure you know, standards efforts tend to be promoted by those who believe they have the best competitive advantage out of them. Are we a fan of standards? We absolutely are. We think it neutralizes any of this API debate completely. And then we have very strong confidence we can out-engineer the competition—bring better, more-useful products to the market for our customers. The reality when you bring all that together, though, is what does the customer want? Well, one thing the customer doesnt want is hardware-vendor lock in. They dont want to return to a scenario under which they belong to a hardware vendor. And our technology helps insulate them from that, so its an insurance policy against vendor lock in; its not about strategy.

Next page: Veritas sells "glue" that holds vendors together.


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