Veritas Works the Storage-area Network

Veritas Software Corp. (Mountain View, Calif., <A HREF="http://www.veritas.com/">www.veritas.com</A>) recently demonstrated its latest storage and clustering solutions on what it claims is the world's largest storage area network (SAN). Presented 2 weeks ago in New York, the configuration consisted of a networked collection of Windows NT, HP-UX and Solaris-based servers hooked up to storage arrays, tape libraries, and fiber switches and hubs. As part of the SAN, 32 Solaris servers were clustered to support a high-availability implementation of SAP R/3 on Oracle databases.

Veritas Software Corp. (Mountain View, Calif., www.veritas.com) recently demonstrated its latest storage and clustering solutions on what it claims is the world's largest storage area network (SAN). Presented 2 weeks ago in New York, the configuration consisted of a networked collection of Windows NT, HP-UX and Solaris-based servers hooked up to storage arrays, tape libraries, and fiber switches and hubs. As part of the SAN, 32 Solaris servers were clustered to support a high-availability implementation of SAP R/3 on Oracle databases.

Platforms and equipment were provided by Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Data General Corp.’s Clariion unit, Dell Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard Co., LEI Logic Corp., McData Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Storage Technology Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Vixel Corp. "We were even able to get Microsoft and Sun on the same stage together," quips Eric Burgener, group product manager for Veritas.

The demonstration was staged to spotlight the capabilities of Veritas' latest versions of Storage Manager and Cluster Server, designed to manage high availability and storage networks scaling up to 32 nodes. Storage Manager, which runs on Windows NT and a substantial collection of other platforms, includes a Java-based GUI that provides centralized monitoring and management of all devices on the SAN.

Currently, 52 OEMs -- including most major operating systems vendors -- incorporate Veritas Storage Manager into their systems, Burgener claims. The only major exception at this time is IBM Corp., which develops and markets its own storage management solutions.

Veritas' Cluster Server is a high availability software solution that scales up to 32 nodes in clustered SAN environments. Veritas Cluster Server picks up where Microsoft Cluster Server -- which currently only supports two-node clustering -- leaves off, says Burgener. Veritas Cluster Server is initially being shipped for Sun Solaris servers, with a Windows NT Server version scheduled for availability by the second quarter of next year. "We'll be taking on Microsoft in this market with a product that scales far beyond their Cluster Server," Burgener says.

In Windows NT 5.0, Veritas volume management technology will replace NT 4.0’s Fault Tolerant Disk Administrator. Along with clustering support, "Veritas Volume Manager provides a way to manage data on a storage array completely independent from the physical configuration," Burgener explains.

Veritas is also working on technology that will enable different platforms running Volume Manager to communicate, thus enabling immediate usability without shutdown and rebooting, Burgener discloses. "If the storage that gets plugged in has Veritas Volume Manager, it will communicate with the Volume Manager sitting on the platform side, [and] it will be able to discover the new storage and make it available to the node. That would make expansion nondisruptive."

Veritas' high-availability software, Firstwatch, has been available for Unix systems since 1994.