Veritas Adds Volume Manager, File System To OpForce Server Provisioning

Veritas OpForce 3.0, which Veritas got when it acquired Jareva Technologies last December, is being integrated with Veritas Volume Manager and Veritas File System, said Marty Ward, director of product marketing at Veritas.

"This is the first proof point of where we are heading with utility computing," Ward said. "We're trying to get people out of manual provisioning, out of just-in-case provisioning."

Pat Edwards, vice president of sales at Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, said the combination of server provisioning with networking and storage components is a good proposition for customers.

It is easy to justify the cost of provisioning servers with the associated storage, said Edwards. "Today, everyone is trying to manage more with less as their budgets decrease. . . . There's a definite return-on-investment angle for customers," he said. "You want to have another body to do the management? Or make it all work with your current administrators."

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OpForce 3.0 automates server deployment, pools server resources, deploys servers on a just-in-time basis, and increases server utilization rates, said Ward. "Today's typical server utilization rate is between 20 (percent) and 40 percent," he said. "I can see it double easily."

When OpForce discovers a server, it can capture the server's configuration and keep its image, as well as all the network switches and paths. The software can also capture the Volume Manager and File Systems images along with the server image. Then, if the customer needs to provision a similar server, network, and storage configuration, it can do it using the captured image.

"If the server and storage are tuned the way you want, the entire image can be cloned," Ward said. "You can than blast the cloned image to one or hundreds or thousands of servers all in parallel, so you can do it all at once."

With OpForce, servers can be redeployed in minutes as needed, said Ward. "So at the end of the month, you can turn some Windows into Linux servers in minutes," he said. "You can also quickly do patches and upgrades."

The software will be available via direct and indirect channels.

As customers move towards utility computing, they will not necessarily use outsourcing. Instead, they may prefer to do insourcing, Ward said. They can use solution providers to deploy the technology. "Other vendors prefer to use their own services organizations," he said.

OpForce is a heterogeneous application, and works with Windows, AIX, Solaris, and Red Hat Linux platforms. Ward said he expects to be available shortly for the HP-UX platform.

The next version of OpForce will include further integration with the rest of Veritas' storage software products, including clustering and application management, said Ward. Also coming are further integration with the company's storage performance and storage availability products, he said. He did not disclose expected timing for such enhancements.

General availability is expected for July 7. For Intel platforms, the OpForce application costs $7,500, with an additional $500 for each managed server. For non-Intel platform, the applications is priced $15,000, plus $750 per managed server.