Veritas sets sights on wider storage role

Round one of the open systems storage management fight had one clear winner: Veritas Software. With around 50% market share, the company now only has one major challenger, IBM’s Tivoli division, when it comes to Unix back-up and recovery, and only IBM and Computer Associates as real rivals in the Windows back-up market.


Company: Veritas Software

Product: NetBackup, Backup Exec, Volume Manager, SANPoint

CEO: Gary Bloom

HQ: Mountain View, California

Status: Listed on Nasdaq

Key financials: Revenues grew 24% to $1.49 billion in the year to 31 December 2001, with net losses rising to $651.4 million from $619.8 million

Key competitors: EMC, Computer Associates, IBM/Tivoli

Infoconomy opinion: Veritas has conquered the open systems back-up market. Now it has the opportunity to repeat that success in storage area network management by emphasising the platform-independence of its software.



Moreover, in 2001 it grew its share of the combined Unix and Windows back-up and recovery market by 30%.

Now the question is: can Veritas position itself to win the next round in open storage software, as the management task becomes networked?

Certainly the company is approaching the prospect from a rock solid base. Despite steering clear of the mainframe storage management market, it has built an annual revenue stream of $1.5 billion on the back of its technically-acclaimed Backup Exec and NetBackup data management products, its Volume Manager and File System data protection and recovery tools, and clustering and data replication software for supporting failover.

But Veritas has set its sights on a wider storage prize. With its SANPoint line, it is building a storage area network management (SAN) suite that will position the company as one of only a handful of vendors capable of delivering hardware-agnostic SAN management software.

SANs could also fuel further growth on the back-up side. Investment bank Baird &Co highlights how large numbers of users – particularly those implementing SANs – are planning to consolidate their multi-vendor back-up software around a single vendor’s product line. “Veritas will benefit disproportionately [as a result],” it says.

However, Veritas is still perceived by many customers as needing to bring the quality of its customer services in line with its vaulting ambitions. A survey of large organisations’ storage issues by Baird led its analysts to conclude that “if Veritas is to successfully transition from being a back-up vendor to a fully-fledged enterprise software vendor, [it needs to] upgrade its service capabilities.” Clearly, winning round two is going to take more than just great technology.

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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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