Veritas CEO: Incremental Strategy Will Win in Utility Computing

CEO Gary Bloom says most CIOs are trying to sort out their options in the expanding space-and that the company's message of 'complete integration' is resounding well with customers.

LAS VEGAS—With the sun shining on a clear day outside of the Venetian Hotel here, the site of this weeks Veritas Vision conference, Gary Bloom, president and CEO of Veritas Software Corp., envisions a bright future for his storage company in its quest to enable utility computing.

Driving home the theme to the 3,400 conference attendees that storage is a logical place to embrace a utility computing architecture, Veritas is developing products to improve application performance, measurement and service levels across storage environments.

Bloom sat down with eWEEK Senior Writer Brian Fonseca at Veritas Vision to discuss his thoughts on Veritas strategy, why storage hardware competitors are hamstrung, and the nonstory surrounding information lifecycle management (ILM).

Where do customers stand with the concept of utility computing today?

CIOs are trying to do a couple of things. Theyre, one, trying to figure out what is hype and what is reality. Theyre then trying to figure out, does this apply to my business? There were very few CIOs in our executive forum [at Veritas Vision] who didnt see the connection to needing to align business requirements to IT, drive down operational costs and invest in differentiating their business.

With that said, I think that largely with our utility strategy being very practical—being not a rip-and-replace approach but being one we can incrementally move down the path of utility computing—is resonating extremely well. And the dialogue with our customers is shifting aggressively toward, How do I get started?

Weve answered the question about the [role of] discover, consolidate, standardize, what are the steps to utility computing. Weve answered that one hundred times in the past few days to help them understand how to get going. And then the announcement around us having some new services that really say you, Veritas, are becoming a bigger part of our IT plan and my architecture, and you actually help with that architecture.

How do this weeks Veritas Vision product announcements play into Veritas bigger utility computing picture?

Theyre all building blocks. So, what we need to do and what our customers are asking for is make all your building blocks two things. The best in the market available for us, and two, integrate them so they interoperate together. So, weve been working on feature enhancements of all these building blocks; thats why there are product versions coming out.

As you saw with CommandCentral, theres complete integration, not just offering new functionality around service-level management and cost allocations but also just integrating in all of our management technologies to a common console. Little things like single log-on are huge for customers.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about the CommandCentral products.

From a management standpoint, are customers looking at Veritas to be their de facto storage management layer into utility computing and beyond?

When you talk to CIOs, theyre trying to figure it out. There are so many messages out there, theyre confused. They come to events like this to try to figure it out and sort it out, whats the best answer to me that makes the most sense. What I think they understand pretty clearly is that theres really nothing wrong with other vendors strategies, except that the strategies other vendors are articulating only apply to their environment.

And what I think is crystal clear to the CIOs aligning with Veritas is that we have a strategy that works in all environments. In other words, theres nothing wrong with Oracles 10g strategy, if youre 100 percent an Oracle customer.

Well, most of my customers have some Oracle, they have some DB2, theyre thinking about MySQL, they have lots of different things. Most of my customers are not just an IBM customer. Theyre an HP customer, theyre a Sun customer, theyre going to be a Linux customer.

Next Page: Nobody else is out there articulating a heterogeneous strategy, Bloom says.