On September 12-14, 2016, Veritas held its inaugural Vision conference as a newly independent company after its divestiture from Symantec on January 30, 2016. As a point of reference, the last time Veritas held a Vision conference as an independent company was 2005.
The theme for Vision was Information is Everything. With roughly 2,000 attendees, over 40 technology sessions, and over 50 hands-on lab, Veritas invested significantly in ensuring a successful event, and overall Neuralytix believes that the event was outstanding.
It was clear that in the short time Veritas has been independent, that a lot of work had been done, and milestones attain.
In interviews with Veritas leaders, it was clear that Veritas had many of the new products that were announced at Vision at the ready, or at least under heavy development, but Veritas was being held back by Symantec, and their vision of the company.
At the keynotes, each of the speakers read from a carefully scripted teleprompter. Regretfully, in our opinion, the awkwardness of reading from the teleprompter took away from the flow or the messaging, and may for some, as it did for Neuralytix, watered down the impact of the overall message Veritas was trying to send.
Nonetheless, Veritas announced a number of different new products. These include Information Map, Access, HyperScale for OpenStack, Veritas Resiliency Platform, as well as enhancements to existing products including its flagship NetBackup software.
The Veritas Vision & Journey
Veritas attempted to articulate a clear vision, which Neuralytix feels was not clear at all from the keynotes. It was successful in laying out its transformational journey from being primarily a backup and recovery company to a company that intends to evolve itself to a cloud data management, then becoming a 360o data management company, then leveraging its knowledge to become an intelligent data management company.
Neuralytix interprets this as, Veritas wants to be a platform company that delivers data management across the enterprise, across whatever data pool is accessible and available, and help enterprises derive insights and intelligence from the data it manages.
Veritas did not give a timeframe over which the vision would be realized.
The Veritas vision is going to be highly dependent on NetBackup, and more specifically, the NetBackup catalog.
One cliché describes how sometimes, the most obvious things are right in front of us, and yet, we seem to find it difficult to see it. This was true for Veritas.
The NetBackup catalog holds an immense amount of metadata about files, the number and frequency of times files are used and accessed, how long a particular data object has been stored and restored, etc. Simply mining this metadata allowed NetBackup to create a new product – the Veritas Information Map. This product (currently free to trial) will help users understand all sorts of information about its data from the concentration of data across the globe to understanding data redundancy, and it can even advise on compliance of data.
Information map will give users advice (on a prescriptive basis) on what to do with its data, as well as providing analytics on the metadata. Veritas gave the example of Sky, the British television network, which, after deploying Information Map, was able to improve productivity of backup admins, eliminate 96,000 obsolete backup tapes, and even turn tape rooms into employee services areas.
Veritas even demonstrated a future capability in which, Information Map would reach into third-party metadata sources, such as Salesforce, LinkedIn, and email (to name just a few), and help improve the predictability of sales opportunities by correlating titles and roles of the individuals engaged in a deal (through LinkedIn), as well as the activity (through email) of those individuals in relation to a specific deal.
This would result in a much more accurate assessment of the probability of the deal closing. This sort of technology is indicative of the power of metadata, and that is the type of activity that Veritas intends to deliver over its vision time period.
HyperScale for OpenStack
True to its data storage roots, Veritas announced the availability of HyperScale for OpenStack. This is a software-defined storage (SDS) solution for the OpenStack environment.
Despite the complicated and convoluted way in which HyperScale for OpenStack was described during the keynotes, HyperScale is what you would expect of any other SDS solution. It provides the ability to virtualize storage resources, and manage it across a single pane of glass.
One unique feature of HyperScale for OpenStack is that primary storage is server based, and not redundant. However, the primary data storage is backed up by another independent data store that essentially enables asynchronous copy data management, and other data services.
Veritas claims that this design will sustain higher performance, since the primary data store will only be doing one task – serving up data to the attached servers. The secondary data store, which consists of the output of an intelligent snapshot capability will then be able to serve mountable or readable copies of the primary store without impacting the performance of the primary store. It can also perform backup and recovery independent of the primary store, as well as advanced data services such as data reduction, and other copy management capabilities.
The initial release, as the name suggests is only for OpenStack. Neuralytix was surprised that Veritas would address such a limited market to begin with, but it does give Veritas a first-mover advantage in the OpenStack space.
We believe that Veritas will, in future releases, support other, more popular platforms such as Windows, Linux and VMware.
While this document does not cover every announcement made by Veritas at Vision, Neuralytix believes that what was announced was aggressive, and relevant to the market today.
We expect Veritas to further integrate all of its products into this “platform” vision, some of which are currently point solutions, such as Data Insight.
Veritas is taking a unique, yet very safe route to market, and leveraging its large user base of NetBackup customers. It is equally leveraging the large amount of data embedded invested in the NetBackup catalog.
This strategy is very clever. Each new product released should add to the capabilities of the existing investment made in NetBackup, an already “sticky” product. The products already announced, show the capability of Veritas in turning what would be considered innocuous data (backup metadata) into highly impactful insight and information for its customers.
Neuralytix believes that Veritas is on the right track to success, and well on its way of regaining the market leadership it enjoyed when it was last an independent company.