Veritas Buys Into Microsoft Clustering with ClusterX

Officials at Veritas Software say they realize they couldn’t beat Microsoft's clustering technology on Microsoft’s own Windows NT turf, so they joined ‘em.

Officials at Veritas Software Corp. (www.veritas.com) say they realize they couldn’t beat Microsoft Corp.’s clustering technology on Microsoft’s own Windows NT turf, so they joined ‘em.

Veritas had been butting heads with Microsoft with its planned port of the Veritas Cluster Server for Sun Solaris and HP-UX clusters to Windows NT later this year. "Our plans had not included embracing the Microsoft technology. We were sort of on an alternative path to the Microsoft clustering technologies," says Mike Miracle, director of strategic business development at Veritas.

But last month the application storage management vendor purchased ClusterX technology from NuView Inc. (www.nuview.com). NuView has had close ties with Microsoft and its clustering technologies.

ClusterX is a management tool that helps administrators manage all the two-node Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) clusters in an enterprise from one console. Earlier this year, NuView added management for Windows NT Load Balancing Services (WLBS) to the ClusterX product line. Now, NuView’s tools permit an administrator to manage all the up-to-32-node WLBS Web server farms and MSCS clusters in an enterprise from a single console.

Miracle explains the company’s change of heart: "Strategically [the plan] was flawed. In the longer term, you look at the marketplace and [wonder] how can you fight against MSCS? They’re going to four-node [clusters with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server]. They’re working with Compaq and IBM [on greater-than-four-node clusters]. You have to have a strategy that embraces and extends MSCS."

For now, Veritas and NuView will integrate their offerings to be able to perform cross-platform cluster management from a single Windows NT console. Plans for deeper integration of the product set will be unveiled at a later date.

The agreement brings Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas a 22-person research operation in Houston -- which had been NuView’s headquarters. NuView president Rahul Mehta will work with Veritas for a year to help grow ClusterX. The deal leaves Mehta with only the name NuView, with no organization left in place -- a position he’s been in before. Hewlett-Packard Co. purchased NuView’s ManageX technology a few years ago in a similar fashion.

Veritas intends to carry forward the established development plans for ClusterX, which includes taking on management of the next generation of Microsoft clustering technology. Microsoft is introducing component-level load-balancing in COM+ in Windows 2000. Development operations within NuView that focus on hardware-based, load-balancing solutions through ClusterX will be continued.

Veritas inherits the partnerships with major OEMs that NuView recently established, including deals with Dell Computer Corp., Data General Corp. and Unisys Corp.