Veritas Overhauls Storage Management

Foundation Suite gets a new name: Storage Foundation 4.0

Veritas Corp. today unveiled a substantially overhauled version of its Veritas Foundation Suite—a storage management and storage virtualization product—which it has re-branded as Veritas Storage Foundation 4.0.

“This is our single biggest product announcement in over a decade,” says Jose Iglesias, vice president of product management with Veritas. Iglesias says Veritas sought to address several key aspects with the new release, such as reducing the total cost of storage management, improving integration with its other products, and enhancing the overall quality of storage service.

Another key goal for the revamped product was expanding support for Unix platforms and diverse storage subsystems, Iglesias says.

Veritas claims Storage Foundation 4.0 can improve what it calls the quality of storage by boasting new features that enable storage administrators to create policies that prioritize certain kinds of data, such that unimportant or rarely accessed files can be moved from expensive storage arrays to inexpensive (typically ATA or Serial ATA) storage devices without disruption.

“You can define these rules based on almost any kind of criteria,” Iglesias says. “[Rules can be] based on file types—for example, you may want to treat a user’s spreadsheet files as top-notch, but then if she starts putting her MPEGs or JPEGs into work systems, we’re going to back those up to the Serial ATA drives. So you can cut and slice this capability any way you want.”

The revamped product also boasts support for what Veritas is calling “portable data containers,” which are said to allow data to be more easily shared between servers with different operating systems. Iglesias says this can solve many problems that organizations encounter when migrating between systems.

“One of the biggest impediments that customer shave when they want to move from one platform to another, such as from Solaris to AIX, or Solaris or HP to Linux, is not just moving the application, but moving all of the data that the application uses,” he points out. “With the portable data container, when you go through and define the volumes, we basically go in and mask the different operating system differences from the operator, but then we present to the operating system what it expects to see.”

Storage Foundation 4.0 boasts support for Advanced Dynamic Multi-pathing, a feature that spreads data across multiple network paths, which Iglesias says results in improved performance and availability.

Also new in the renamed product is support for provisioning templates that allow administrators to quickly provision new storage using standardized, user-definable configuration templates. “One of the things that we got told by our customers is that it’s okay to go through the work that’s required to set up the volume disk machine, but when I have to do the same thing tens or hundreds of times, it becomes very tedious,” Iglesias acknowledges. “So [using the provisioning templates] they can create a template that they want to use for all of their Oracle machines, for example, or all of their AIX machines, and be able to use it over and over and over again.”

Finally, another new feature in Storage Foundation 4.0—“Flashsnap Enhancement”—enables administrators to capture snapshots of volumes and file systems, which can be restored in the event of a system failure to facilitate a quick recovery.

As an example of the improved integration between Storage Foundation and other Veritas products, Iglesias touts improved interoperability with Veritas’ flagship NetBackup product that results in quicker backups. “Basically by having the integration done between the two products, we can reduce the amount of time that an application is unavailable,” he notes. “Before it would take tens of minutes to hours depending on the amount of data that was backed up; now, it gets reduced to sub-seconds or seconds.”

Veritas Storage Foundation is available now.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.