Veritas Software Corp. Monday announced that it has completed a US$609 million buyout of Precise Software Solutions Ltd., a maker of performance management software, ending a recent round of acquisitions that it hopes will move it closer to being able to offer its customers automated, utility-style storage.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas said that by the end of the second quarter it will begin selling Precise's i3 software, which looks at the performance of storage and applications on storage-area networks (SAN) and reports back to administrators any degradation in service and recommends a solution.

Veritas will also begin selling Precise's StorageCentral, a storage resource management (SRM) software for Windows, sometime in the second quarter, Veritas CEO Gary Bloom said during a conference call Monday.

Veritas announced the acquisition of Israel-based Precise in December, at the same time it bought out Jareva Technologies Inc. to gain server-provisioning capabilities on its own software suite (see story). Veritas paid $62 million for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Jareva.

Precise, a 10-year-old company with 450 employees, will give Veritas the ability to oversee mission-critical applications such as SAP, Oracle, BEA and Microsoft Exchange. Bloom said Veritas would lay off about 40 Precise employees whose positions are redundant at Veritas, but he said that would be offset by the hiring of another 40 people in sales, customer support and research and development.

Once the Precise and Jareva products are integrated with Veritas' own management suite, "it'll be able to call Veritas' storage management software to provision more storage," Bloom said. "And Jareva will provision more server capacity."

Matt Swann, director of database systems and engineering at Inc. in Seattle, has been using Precise's i3 software for two years on his storage network. He also uses Veritas' flagship NetBackup software.

Swann said i3 has helped proactively find and correct performance problems, which helps ensure that the data feeding the company's Web site is continuously available. Integrating the Precise and Jareva products "would give me a single console to tackle all that management," Swan said.

Bloom said that "there's a limitation on how much joint work" integrating applications could be done until now, given they were both publically traded companies. "The actual commingling of code (could) not occur until you close the transaction. Our anticipation is you'll start seeing (the integration) over the next three to six months," Bloom said.

Swan said he would like to see Veritas continue adding middleware to its storage management stack in order to better tie together front- and back-end systems.

Veritas will sell the Precise products through its own sales force and through partners CDW Corp. and Dell Computer Corp. Former Precise partner Electronic Data Systems Corp. will also continue selling i3, now as a Veritas partner, Bloom said.