Veritas has said it will put its virtualisation software and storage resource management (SRM) software onto network storage switches from Cisco by the end of the year and on switches from Brocade sometime after that.
Veritas also announced at its users conference, a road map for its flagship NetBackup and Backup Exec software, which it plans to expand to desktops and laptops across enterprise networks using existing file servers. The technology, that Veritas is calling Project Shadow, will be available in the second half of the year.
Porting the software to Cisco's MDS 9000 director and Brocade's Silkworm switches will give the software a more integrated and consolidated view for managing storage area networks (SAN), worldwide director of marketing at Veritas, Bob Maness, said. However, Maness added that Veritas wasn't religious about where the software should reside - on the switch or in the host server. He said the decision was up to the user.
"It's difficult for us to project what the market acceptance will look like," Maness said.
Today, Veritas' virtualidation or disk-pooling software, Volume Manager, and its SRM software for monitoring and reporting on SANs, resides on the server, where it can still work across multivendor storage arrays. Analysts have criticided putting virtualidation software on the server because it eats up CPU cycles. However, Maness said Veritas' software took up only 2-4 per cent of a CPU's cycles.
An analyst at Data Mobility, John Webster, said that putting the software on the switch will ultimately remove barriers to data movement between servers and arrays.
Some users at the conference wondered why they would need virtualisation in the first place, preferring instead to manage applications specific to certain storage arrays.
"I just don't know what it would buy me," said one systems administrator at a large brokerage firm who asked not to be identified. A specialist infrastructure systems analyst for the South Florida Water Management District, Tim Rabbitt, said virtualisation in the network would help him more centrally manage his 17TB SAN and give him freedom to choose the disk behind it, based on price and not brand. "It removes a layer of management," he said.