Veritas Expands Object Storage With Added Intelligence, New Software-Defined Storage Capabilities

Data protection and management technology developer Veritas TechnologiesWednesday unveiled a new software defined storage offering -- and a hardware appliance based on that software -- aimed at adding intelligence to the growing amount of object storage being employed by businesses.

The new Veritas Cloud Storage offering, introduced during this week's Veritas Vision conference, includes the intelligence to take advantage of analytics, machine learning and classification technologies needed to help customers extract value from their object storage, said Dan O'Farell, Veritas' senior director of solutions marketing for software-defined storage.

While Veritas Cloud Storage is new, Veritas was actually a pioneer in the development of software-defined storage for Unix-based OEM hardware vendors, O'Farrell said.

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Veritas Cloud Storage provides a cost-effective, flexible way for customers to acquire cutting-edge storage technology as needed without being tied to the three-year buying cycles and lock-in that result from buying storage technology from proprietary storage hardware vendors, O'Farrell said.

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That technology is being offered as both a software application for integrating on server hardware the customer chooses, or integrated as an appliance, O'Farrell said. "We offer both software and appliances," he said. "But Veritas is not a hardware vendor. We're offering customers a choice."

The new Veritas Cloud Storage is an object storage platform that can scale to petabytes of storage capacity and handle billions of files and a quintillion number of objects, said Peter Grimmond, vice president and head of technology for Veritas' EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) business.

It comes with built-in intelligence to classify data to determine the appropriate policies and automatically set those policies. "[It] stops storage from being dropped into a large bucket," Grimmond said.

Veritas Cloud Storage also includes geo-awareness, which allows data to be written to the cloud locally and be available locally where it is needed, he said.

Also new is the Veritas Access Appliance, which is based on the company's Veritas Access scale-out software-defined NAS technology for unstructured data, Grimmond said.

Veritas Access Appliance is based on the Veritas Access software-defined storage offering, but is built as a fully configured appliance with the same hardware that Veritas uses in its NetBackup data protection appliance, he said.

Use cases for the Veritas Access Appliance include high-performance file storage, streaming video, and replacing tape as a data protection target, Grimmond said. "I think we've finally reached the time when tape will go away," he said.

The Veritas Access Appliance integrates with Veritas NetBackup data protection technologies for consistent end-to-end long-term data retention and protection with full data classification and global deduplication capabilities, and also will serve as a primary archive store for the Veritas Enterprise Vault archiving software, the company said. It also fits in with Veritas' multi-cloud strategy, the company said.

Veritas is being very competitive with new technologies including software-defined storage, said Kurt Klein, CEO of DataEndure, a San Jose, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime Veritas channel partner.

"Veritas has a more compelling road map than I've seen in 10 years," Klein told CRN. "Our customers are excited about it. We've got a lot of new ways to consume the product. That for me is significant. We can go into a customer and have a much broader discussion with these large enterprise customers."

Veritas has been adding new intelligence to its products for years, but just has not articulated it as well as the company has done at this year's Veritas Vision, Klein said.

"It feels like it's all coming together for Veritas," he said. "Now, how do we go and exploit that new intelligence? I'm bullish on it. It's all shiny on stage. There's a lot of work to do, both in terms of educating my engineering staff and retraining my salespeople. So it's not easy. But it's where customers are going and what they expect."

Veritas Cloud Storage is slated to be available by year-end, while the Veritas Access Appliance is expected to be available in early 2018, Grimmond said.