Veritas Software: Default Position

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2005-04-06 Print this article Print

Veritas Software's data replication packages have a few quirks but work well with Veritas' other software, customers say.

Some customers who use Veritas Software's replication software backed into it—they picked it because they were already using the company's storage-management applications. While they say the products work well together, some wish its data replication software were better tuned for long-distance networks.

CNF, a freight-shipping and logistics company, was already running Volume Manager on many of its servers when it identified a need to replicate data from its Portland, Ore., data center to a second site in Scranton, Pa. Because of that, Volume Replicator "was the easy solution to implement," says Aaron Huslage, a senior system administrator. "And it works pretty well."

But Volume Replicator was originally designed to operate on a local network. As a result it lacks some features for sending data across wide area networks, such as data compression. Doug Hughes, senior Unix administrator at telecommunications carrier Global Crossing, says that adding compression "would be nice, because it would cut down on the bandwidth." A Veritas spokeswoman says compression isn't part of Volume Replicator because the feature could potentially interfere with the operation of a customer's primary systems.

Hughes, however, adds that while Volume Replicator "is solid at the core," he's encountered a few quirks that required Veritas' help to resolve. On one occasion, he says, when a disk drive failed on the primary Volume Replicator server, the software unexpectedly shut down all the replication groups and crashed an Oracle database. The issue is documented, Hughes says, "but not very clearly." (Veritas says this problem is uncommon and recommends that customers conduct regular tests of their setups.)

Meanwhile, Veritas is in the midst of being acquired by Symantec, an antivirus and security software vendor, for $13.5 billion, a deal expected to close by the middle of 2005. Some view the pending merger with a shrug. "I don't know that it will mean anything for me," says Mike Haske, vice president of technology at BankAnnapolis, which uses Veritas' Replication Exec at its five branches. "I just hope they don't decide to drop any products."

Others are upbeat about the takeover. "Symantec and Veritas have the same corporate culture," says Joe Wagner, chief technology officer at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif. "Their overall approach to projects, and their understanding of our business, is very similar."

Data Replication Software

Veritas Software
350 Ellis St.,
Mountain View,
CA 94043
(650) 527-8000



Gary Bloom
President, CEO
Hired for top job in November 2000. Previously spent 14 years at Oracle, where he ran the database business unit as well as marketing, support, alliances and other groups.
Kris Hagerman
Executive VP, Storage and Server Management Group
In charge of data replication and other storage management products. Before joining Veritas in 2001, he founded and headed BigBook, a yellow-pages Web site bought by GTE in 1998, and Affinia, a now-defunct e-commerce firm.

Volume Replicator transfers changes to a set of data to a secondary server over an Internet Protocol network; it requires Volume Manager, which controls how server applications access disk storage. Replication Exec copies data from Windows servers at branch offices to a central site.

Reference Checks

Farmers & Merchants Bank
Jerry Craft
Mgr., Network Services
Project: Bank in Long Beach, Calif., replaced tape backup systems in 20 branches with Replication Exec, which copies data from each branch to a central 2-terabyte backup server.

El Camino Hospital
Joe Wagner
Project: Hospital synchronizes data on a 40-terabyte storage area network to a backup site in Nevada with Volume Replicator.

Global Crossing
Doug Hughes
Senior Unix Administrator
Project: Carrier uses Volume Replicator to send changes as they happen in an 850-gigabyte Oracle database from its Phoenix data center to a backup site in Rochester, N.Y.

Aaron Huslage
Senior System Administrator
Project: Shipping and logistics company uses Volume Replicator to synchronize 2 terabytes of data from Portland, Ore., to Scranton, Pa., over a 45-megabit-per-second link.

Tom Blackerby
Mgr., Enterprise Unix Systems
Project: Energy company in Portland, Ore., replicates 200 megabytes in several Oracle 9i databases to a backup site in Salt Lake City using Volume Replicator.

Mike Haske
VP, Technology
Project: Local bank in Annapolis, Md., deployed Replicator Exec in mid-2003 to replicate files and database information to and from five branches.

Executives listed here are all users of Veritas' products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Veritas operating results*

2004 2003 2002
Revenue $2.04B $1.75B $1.51B
Gross margin 84.0% % 82.1% 79.7
Operating income $551.36M $386.99M $129.37M
Net income $411.41M $347.47M $58.27M
Net margin 20.1% 19.9% 3.9%
Earnings per share $0.94 $0.81 $0.14
R&D expenditure $346.64M $301.88M $274.93M

* Fiscal year ends Dec. 31

Source: Company reports Other Financials**

Total assets $5.85B
Stockholders' equity $3.92B
Cash and equivalents $700.11M
Short-term investments $1.85B
Long-term debt $900.63M
Shares outstanding 430.99M
Market value, 3/24 $9.72B

**As of Dec. 31, 2004, except as noted


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