The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks crystallized for many enterprises the need to be able to get operating systems up and running quickly following disasters or technical failures.
Veritas Software Corp. last week expanded its reach in that area when it bought The Kernel Group Inc., a small company that developed software that fully automates server recovery for Windows and major Unix platforms.
The acquisition of the privately held Kernel Group and its Bare Metal Restore software will expand that capability to major Unix platforms, including Solaris, AIX and HP-UX, said Veritas officials.
Veritas, a storage management software maker based in Mountain View, Calif., has similar software for Windows NT systems.
"I think this is a good acquisition for Veritas," said Arun Taneja, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., in Milford, Mass. "If you have a total disaster, then recovery using normal methods can be fairly long."
The 12-year-old Kernel Groups expertise is heavily IBM- oriented, with other products in the debugging and consulting space, and so its technology and roughly 50 employees should mesh well in the Veritas world, also an IBM partner, Taneja said.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Veritas officials said they expect to keep open Kernel Groups operations in Austin, Texas, and retain most of its employees.
Veritas initially will integrate Bare Metal Restore into its NetBackup software, which will be available by the end of this quarter. After that, Veritas may integrate it into other products in its storage management software line, said company officials.
Bare Metal Restore can reduce the recovery times of systems brought down by natural disaster or data corruption from days and hours to minutes, which can reduce mistakes and lead to savings of millions of dollars, according to Veritas officials.
It eliminates the need to manually reconfigure disk hardware and lets users avoid having to reinstall operating systems. Instead, the reconfiguring and reinstallation are done automatically.
"More and more, data preservation is all about recovery and how quickly you can recover," said Julie Stewart, director of product management for NetBackup at Veritas.
Additional reporting by Evan Koblentz