But the motivation for Veritas may be quite different. Like Symantec, it could be a realization that storage and security belong together, but it could also be a way for the organization to grow beyond its current capabilities, said John Webster, senior analyst of Data Mobility Group, of Nashua, N.H.
"They have been talking a lot about utility computing, but how much of that can Veritas really address as a storage player?" Webster said. "A lot of analysts told them they were biting off more than they could chew. They can address storage management, management of the storage network, and they have even made some acquisitions that have shown they are trying to get into application performance management, but there is still a hole in the strategy—the network. They cant manage the network unless they are willing to buy Tivoli away from IBM or OpenView away from HP [Hewlett-Packard Co.] or Unicenter away from Computer Associates or buy BMC outright. So they may have come to the realization that they have come as far as they could go alone."
Although the impact on many storage companies may be minor, the impact on Veritas direct competitors could be devastating.
"If the deal goes through, companies like EMC will look like they were caught sleeping, because they are nowhere when it comes to security," Duplessie said. "This could wake up the rest of the giants, and they are going to realize they have to play, because it will be difficult for anybody to just sell backup when Veritas/Symantec can walk in the door."
Although its far too soon to anticipate what major competitors like EMC might do, Duplessie said they have just a few options. "They might react by buying a smaller security company and trying to integrate it, or maybe they try to cut a deal with McAfee or Computer Associates. They will have to do something, though."