Symantec has announced the latest in its online software as a service (SaaS) offerings, Veritas Operations Services, a cloud computing–based set of services to "proactively identify best practices and optimal configurations for Veritas Storage Foundation and Veritas Cluster Server," per the vendor. Symantec will initially offer two Veritas Operations Services solutions, Veritas Installation Assessment Service and Storage Foundation Health Check.

The services will "help customers proactively identify risks in their environment, know which servers have risks, and rapidly solve problem and shorten the time of resolution," said Sean Derrington, director, storage management and high availability for Symantec. The Veritas Operations Services online solutions are oriented toward tracking best practices, configuration management, and hardware/software compatibility in data centers, although Derrington said that the services are "not limited to or focused exclusively in the enterprise."

Cloud-Based Configuration Analysis

Veritas Operations Services uses a cloud computing service-delivery model, via web services, to track best practices, configuration, and compatibility data for Veritas Storage Foundation, Veritas Cluster Server, leading OSs, and SAN software and firmware. The intent of the product is to enable IT administrators to proactively identify configuration risks and resolve them quickly.

The first Veritas Operations Services offering, Veritas Installation Assessment Service, validates pre-installation/pre-version upgrade storage and server configurations using automated, agentless data collection; provides reports and alerts to notify you of the status of key configuration variables, with hyperlinks to needed patches or relevant documentation for problem resolution; and provides a proactive patch-notification service. The Installation Assessment Services also features an agentless assessment that can run on one or multiple servers and OSs without requiring installation of Veritas Storage Foundation or Veritas Cluster Server.

Veritas Operations Services bases its configuration assessments on data from various sources, including "Symantec as well as partner data sources," said Derrington. "To gather the information, Symantec works with all operating system, hardware, and application vendors necessary for storage connectivity. Our engineering organization works with their \[organizations\] to test that hardware and software interoperate. We work with other partners to coordinate that information and get \[it\] back to customers, in the Installation \[Assessment\] service and Health Check."

Pricing and Availability

Veritas Installation Assessment Service is priced at US $500 per physical server. The service is available at no charge for customers currently subscribing to maintenance for Veritas Storage Foundation or Veritas Cluster Server. You can find more information about Veritas Operations Services at http://vias.symantec.com.