Symantec is treading deeper into the realm of virtualization with a new version of its messaging security product that allows users to instantly adjust spam and virus filtering capacity without having to add or configure the physical infrastructure.
Symantec Mail Security 8300 Series Virtual Edition is built with several features designed to help enterprises deal with an ever-surging amount of message traffic. As virtualization spreads throughout the enterprise, Symantec has pursued a strategy to tighten security in virtual environments with partnerships-like Project Hood with Intel-and expanding its own technology.
“Virtualization helps operationalize security, making it something that scales up and down incrementally to meet demand cost-effectively,” said Brian Foster, vice president of product management at Symantec, as he discussed the company’s virtualization strategy with eWeek last month.
“This is especially relevant in messaging security, where the overall trend is the continued growth in messaging traffic, as well as unpredictable or seasonal spikes in messaging traffic. If you are forced to provision to peak capacity, you are wasting resources and underutilizing IT assets.”
A surge in e-mails means a surge in spam, as shown by the company’s January 2008 State of Spam report. The research stated spam accounted for 75 percent of all e-mail sent at the end of the 2007.
Matthew Lodge, senior director of product marketing at Symantec, explained Monday that using a hardware appliance means enterprises have to forecast their needs and provision for maximum spam capacity.
“You can easily end up spending more than you need on anti-spam,” Lodge said. “Symantec’s virtual edition enables you to turn up or turn down spam capacity quickly and easily, so you can adapt to spam volume without overspending,” he said.
Security and small businesses
The key is the Symantec Mail Security management application, which takes care of synchronizing all the spam filter policies and configurations automatically.” said Lodge.
The appliance, which operates in VMware Server and ESX environments, dynamically checks the IP addresses of inbound e-mail against a list of known spammers, courtesy of Symantec’s global security intelligence network.
Users can also automatically synchronize configurations and reporting across systems, and the product includes new reporting and management improvements that produce new executive summary reports across all active anti-spam servers in the name of greater visibility.
For small businesses, the virtual edition allows them to run several security applications on a single server as opposed to forcing them to dedicate a single server or appliance to anti-spam, Lodge said.
“Other software competitors can’t be virtualized and can’t be deployed on VMware because they are not designed to run on it, have performance problems, and of course are not certified by VMware-which means no support from VMware if needed,” he added.