CA strengthens position in Windows storage

12 August 2002 Embattled software giant Computer Associates has claimed it has fought off rampant competition in at least one sector of its business: Microsoft Windows storage.

Against a background of shrinking sales in the storage software market as a whole, CA has said that it is now shipping around 60,000 copies of the BrightStor ARCserve Backup product in Europe alone each quarter, helping it make the ARCserve operation into a business with more than $100 million (€102.9m) in annual European revenues.

That suggests that sales of the Windows NT/2000, NetWare and Linux storage product now bring in around a half of CA’s total storage software revenues, which reached $478 million (€491.9m) globally in the year to the end of March 2002.

CA acquired the ARCserve range with its purchase of Cheyenne Software in 1996. But two recent moves by the company have strengthened its position, said Tony Martin, CA’s UK managing director.

First was the move in April 2002 to sell all storage products (with the exception of mainframe software) through channel partners. Even its direct sales team, which numbers around a 100 in the UK, has to call in a partner to fulfil any order taken for ARCserve. That has had the positive effect of eliminating channel conflict, said Martin.

The ARCserve business will also be boosted by the imminent release of the first upgrade to the product in two years. ARCserve 9.0’s focus is on ease of use. Aside from a new scheduling feature that automates much routine administration, storage mangers will also be able to run storage tasks from a single, common interface – irrespective of the underlying operating system. The beta version of 9.0 was released at the beginning of July and those buying the product before general availability are entitled to a free upgrade.

But while CA has held onto its share of the Windows and Netware market, it is still only an ‘also-ran’ in the Unix world, where Veritas Software dominates. Having miscued an earlier competitive challenge, CA is now mounting a late attack following the release earlier this year of BrightStor Enterprise Backup.

Now, Martin has suggested that CA is gearing up to “give Veritas a hard time”. But he described the company’s approach as ‘flanking’ rather than going ‘head to head’ with the storage software giant. That may be less than surprising given that BrightStor Enterprise Backup has an install base of just 20 enterprise customers in the UK.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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