Symantec has bundled a management software package that combines the Big Three requirements of data center management into one product: systems management, endpoint security and backup/recovery.
Using in a single management console, Symantec said June 23 that it has packaged Altiris Client Management Suite 6, Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Backup Exec System Recovery 8 Desktop Edition into a new product called Endpoint Management Suite 1.0.
The suite also includes the Altiris platform and configuration management database.
The Endpoint Management Suite consists of an open standards architecture originally developed by Altiris, which Symantec acquired in April 2007 when it acquired the company. Because of its open APIs (application programming interfaces), the EMS can serve as a base platform for future generations of Symantec data center software.
An endpoint, by the way, is defined by Symantec as any user-operated system, including servers, desktop PCs, laptops and connected handheld devices. The new EMS is designed to take into account all the far-flung endpoint nodes of an enterprise system and keep track of all the data movement within it.
"The center of gravity of this suite is Altiris Client Management Suite," Kevin Murray, Symantec senior director of product marketing, told me. "It's able to inventory and discover all the endpoints, update [software] patches and help when it's time to procure new systems."
Industry analysts, including IDC, Forrester and Gartner, have reported that more than 90 percent of all system vulnerabilities can be eliminated through proper system configuration and patch management. The remaining 10 percent usually require multifaceted protection against zero-day and new-breed security threats, which the EMS provides.
EMS uses a Web services-based architecture to provide data sharing and IT automation so that IT managers can streamline process execution, Murray said.
If the customer already owns one of the three components, he or she can upgrade to the suite and receive a credit for the products already in use, Murray said.
Pricing for the entire EMS is about $200 per managed endpoint node, Murray said.
"Our sweet spot for this is midmarket and up," Murray said. "We see the customer need as doing these three major things together."
Editor's note: This story was updated with new information about how customers can upgrade and receive a credit for products they already use.