Veritas CEO: Storage and More

Veritas embraces larger management role for software.

Founded in 1989, Veritas Software Corp. has been steadily expanding its storage management software niche to encompass greater systems management functionality. Gary Bloom, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Veritas, joined the company in 2000 following a 14-year career with Oracle Corp. Like the company he manages, Bloom tends to be conservative in his predictions and structured in his approach to the technology marketplace. Recently, eWEEK Editor in Chief Eric Lundquist and eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar caught up with Bloom as Veritas was preparing for its Vision customer conference in Las Vegas.

What is the state of the storage management business?

People have thought about storage as a box you buy from a hardware vendor. They havent thought about storage in the same way you configure and design a security system for your company or as you might configure and design your network.

And what is the benefit of thinking management instead of storage box?

At the end of the day, the ultimate benefit is a more profitable operation. On one metric, you drive up the service level, and on the other metric, you drive down costs.

And beyond storage management?

We are in a position to not only manage the storage resources more effectively but also to manage the server resources more effectively.

Arent there a lot of companies already into systems management?

Not really. Today, systems management is predominantly defined by console management. What you are doing is systems review. We are looking at it from an infrastructure perspective.

And how is that different?

Our question is, How do I offer an infrastructure technology that delivers high availability of applications, high performance and maximizes utilization of hardware resources in a completely heterogeneous manner?

How do you define that concept?

It is ultimately about enabling a concept that has been talked about a lot—the concept of utility computing.

So in the Veritas view, utility computing does what?

We provide a view of how the system is running now. From that information, we ask, Why is the system not running faster and why are applications [performing] slow? It identifies the causes at that point in time and advises changes or implements changes.

How is that definition different from, say, IBMs definition of utility computing?

They view it as world domination by a single vendor.

It seems your definition operates at a more fundamental level.

Our utility model is a stack- of-computing model—which means when you come in, your IT infrastructure is readily available, highly protected, and you can get resources and capacity on demand. It may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it is critical. You are talking about the physical system that supports operations.

And you can do that without getting married to a single vendor?

The way to think about Veritas is we are enabling the heterogeneous network.

Besides storage and application resources, there are network resources. When do they all become one big network to manage?

There is a coming collision in the industry between storage and networks. Storage and networks are merging together, but that convergence will not happen as fast as many believe. The reason [it wont happen as fast] is complexity. When you take all the complexity of storage and all the complexity of networks and put them together, that is difficult.

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