Symantec Rolls Out Product Roadmap

Fusion is the name of the game, according to CEO John Thompson

June 11, 2008

3 Min Read
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LAS VEGAS -- Symantec unveiled its long-term plans for SaaS, archiving, and virtualization at Symantec Vision today, discussing its efforts to combine many of its products.

I believe we’ll see blurring of the lines between archiving, backup, and disaster recovery,” said John Thompson, the Symantec CEO, during his keynote this morning. “What you purchase today as separate products will come together as one solution, with better functionality to enable you to manage your information more effectively.”

One example of this is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), an increasing area of focus for the company after the launch of its Symantec Protection Network offering earlier this year.

“We started by delivering an online backup and a disaster recovery service for mid-sized companies,” said Thompson, explaining that this is integrated with Symantec’s Backup Exec. “Looking ahead, we plan to bring to market additional offerings -- such as archiving, messaging, and endpoint security services -- to customers of all sizes.”

The vendor rolled its CDP and de-dupe offerings into the latest version of NetBackup today, underlining the direction to merge many of its product lines.In keeping with this trend, Symantec is also looking to fuse its Data Loss Prevention (DLP) offerings with its endpoint, archiving, and backup products, according to Thompson.

“The content awareness capabilities of our DLP technology will allow you to make smart decisions about archiving,” he explained. “So you can encrypt highly sensitive information, but not every email, IM, or spreadsheet.”

The Symantec chief did not offer up a timeline for when these offerings will be on the market, although he promised enhancements to the vendor’s Altiris management software in late 2008.

“At the end of this year, we’ll also be unveiling Altiris 7.0, an enhancement to our services-oriented management platform,” he explained. “Integrated workflow capabilities will enable more IT automation, freeing your IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.”

Altiris is also set to play a major part in Symantec’s broader initiatives, involving tighter integration with the vendor’s endpoint security products and its systems recovery tools. “[This will enable] you to secure and manage your endpoint environment -- including your servers -- through a single pane of glass.”Like a number of vendors, including Sun and Dell, Symantec is also making a song and dance about the openness of its technologies, which will apparently be under-pinned by Altiris.

The vendor, for example, is currently working on what it describes as its ‘Open Collaborative Architecture,' an initiative to ensure greater interoperability between its own products and those of third parties.

”Dell is adopting and building on the Altiris platform, and will be releasing the Dell Management Console as part of their OpenManage strategy later this fall, based on our technology,” said Thompson.

The Dell management tools will also integrate with Symantec’s systems recovery and endpoint protection offerings, he added.

In addition to Dell, Symantec is also looking to extend its storage virtualization partnership with Sun into areas such as archiving and e-discovery.Inevitably, virtualization featured prominently in today’s keynote presentation. After forging even closer links with the XenServer hypervisor today, Symantec is already planning to extend its virtualization strategy, according to Thompson.

Symantec, which is clearly looking to challenge its key storage management rival, EMC, by teaming up with Citrix, is nonetheless keen to work with any of the major virtualization players, including EMC’s VMware off-shoot.

“Moving forward, as the virtualization market becomes more heterogeneous, we’re committed to supporting a number of hypervisors -- VMware, Citrix XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V.”

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  • Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS)

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA)

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • VMware Inc.

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