Storage software giant Veritas Software Corp is continuing its effort to move into the adjacent market for utility-style server farm management, by buying start-up Ejasent Inc for $59m cash.
Veritas is already heavily committed to its utility computing strategy, via its purchase last year for around $600m of start-ups Jareva Technologies Inc and Precise Software Solutions Inc, whose utility computing software will dovetail with that of Ejasent.
The Ejasent announcement comes hard on the heels of EMC Corp’s announcement last month of its intention to buy utility computing specialist VMWare Inc for $635m, and it underlines the competition that Veritas and EMC are headed for.
Ejasent sells resource monitoring and charge back software, but Veritas is far more interested in the privately held company’s UpScale software. UpScale automatically moves applications from one server to another, and as such will complement the server provisioning and performance monitoring software originally developed by Jareva and Precise.
At present UpScale only supports Sun Microsystems’ Solaris platform – a restriction that will have to be lifted for Veritas to fully exploit the market potential of the software. Veritas said it would ship a version of UpScale for Linux early next year. Veritas insisted that it is intending to support a broad range of operating systems with UpScale.
We’ll cover the full set of Unix flavors, said Bob Maness, senior director of product marketing. The Linux piece is important, but in many production environments Unix will continue to be the primary OS.
When fully developed and integrated, the combination of the software from those three acquisitions will be able to automatically move applications among servers on the fly, juggling resources within server farms to match demand that can change hour by hour for individual applications, so maintaining performance and using hardware more efficiently. The Precise software will continually decide which applications needs what resources, the Jareva software will provision new servers or server blades -ie load the required operating system – and the Ejasent software will load applications onto those servers or blades. This is a very similar vision to other vendors’ utility, on-demand, or grid-computing promises, and with some technical reservations is being called server virtualization.
Veritas described UpScale as a layer of software that sits betweens applications and operating systems.
This is a pretty sophisticated snapshot and restore technology that can snapshot applications with full state and connections, and migrate it without disruption and with persistent connections, said Maness.
VMWare said: Yes, para-virtualization [Ejasent’s type of technology] can have better performance, but it lacks other important qualities.
The difference in the price EMC paid for VMWare and Veritas paid for Ejasent reflects the difference between the sales of the two companies, and the software they sell. VMWare represents all of EMC’s utility technology at present, while Ejasent is only a third leg to Veritas’ software.
Veritas would not say how much UpScale software Ejasent has sold, although it said that Ejasent’s resource monitoring software is OEMed by Sun Microsystems Inc, and used by EDS. In contrast VMWare is forecasting that it sales will continue to double yearly to reach $175m to $200m next year. VMWare’s software unlike Ejasent’s can create multiple instances of heterogeneous operating systems on single servers, extremely useful for maximizing performance and resource utilization.
This article is based on material originally produced by ComputerWire.