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Veritas, NetApp revive integration plans

Veritas and NetApp will this week outline a road map to deepen integration between their products, but so far the two-year partnership has failed to deliver much.

SAN FRANCISCO -- At Veritas Visions this week, Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp) and Veritas Software Inc. will reignite a partnership that began over two years ago to integrate key products from both companies.

According to an internal document obtained by, the two firms are working on integrating Veritas' NetBackup software with NetApp's NearStore secondary storage filer to provide backup of heterogeneous storage systems to the NearStore device.

The integration is expected to provide backup of just the changed blocks of data to NearStore, as well as centralized scheduling, backup policy management, cataloging, and indexing and restoration of files and volumes -- all via NetBackup, the internal document states. The integration is expected to be complete within the second half of this year.

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Industry analysts note that NetApp and Veritas first became friendly in August 2003, a month after EMC Corp.'s acquisition of Legato Software Inc., but the partnership hasn't amounted to much yet. "There's been some integration work between the companies, but this deal is a positioning statement more than anything else, to go up against EMC," said one analyst who requested anonymity.

So far, NetBackup 5.1 can launch a NetApp snapshot so that customers don't have to use NetApp's manual tools to perform this job. Integration with the NearStore device would be a considerable leap forward in collaboration.

However, sources close to both companies fear that even with the best intentions, the integration work will be a challenge as Veritas heads into its mega merger with Symantec Corp. The security giant announced its intention to acquire Veritas for $13.5 billion in December 2004.

If the two companies can avoid the distractions of the merger and achieve what's on the integration road map, NetApp and Veritas users could be in for a treat.

Future areas of collaboration include regulatory compliance and migration. When using SnapLock volumes ( write once, read many technology) on NearStore with Veritas KVS policy management tailored to NetApp filers, users will have a bundled solution for regulatory compliance and data lifecycle management, the internal document states.

Also on the road map is high availability and disaster recovery integration. When using Veritas VCS with NearStore at a secondary site, users will get application availability and performance at an "affordable price," the companies claim.

And lastly, Veritas CommandCentral Storage and StorageCentral with NetApp storage will provide centralized management -- one interface or one pane of glass -- across an entire storage environment, the document states.

Neither company was available for comment at press time.

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