NetApp, Veritas Expand Partnership

Duo aims to deliver integrated product bundles this winter.

Network Appliance Inc. and Veritas Software Corp. announced an expanded partnership Tuesday, with the promise of delivering integrated product bundles this winter, officials said.

By doing so, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Network Appliance can offer users solutions that better counter those of rival EMC Corp. and its pending $1.3 billion purchase of Legato Systems Inc., officials said.

Network Appliance and Veritas will immediately begin joint sales and marketing, field engineer training, product interoperability, and cooperative technical support, said Rob Soderbery, vice president of strategic alliances for Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas.

The relevant products are Veritas NetBackup software, to integrate with Network Appliances disk-based NearStore device, plus Storage Migrator, Volume Replicator, Cluster Server for Oracle Corp. databases, and StorageCentral, all for Network Appliances FAS storage family, officials said.

There is not yet a reseller or OEM deal in place, but "We see... NearStore to be very synergistic with our desire to drive disk-based data protection. NetBackup will be able to manage all of the advanced features. Thats one example" of the future integration, Soderbery said. Other specific product developments will be announced later this year and early in 2004, he and Network Appliance officials said.

"We felt that our sales and marketing relationship was lagging," Soderbery said. Veritas discontinuance of its ServPoint NAS product earlier this year, Network Appliances entry into the SAN market, and the EMC-Legato deal all helped to change that, he said. "We are committing to do unique integration" beyond what occurs between Veritas and other top partners such as Hitachi Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM, he said.

As for the renewed competitive threat by Hopkinton, Mass.s EMC, "The business relationship and the technology relationship are very different. You can hate each other and still work together," Soderbery said. Veritas has "no plans whatsoever to stop" support for EMC products, he said, despite EMC CEO and President Joe Tuccis categorization that the Veritas relationship is "terrible."