Security software maker Symantec Corp. is weaving together systems and storage management with security features to give IT managers more comprehensive management of enterprise IT environments.
The companys fledgling Enterprise Administration Business Unit is building off two recent acquisitions to create software that promises to enable administrators to ward off potential intrusions while performing system provisioning and patch remediation across a network.
To drive that mission, Symantecs Enterprise Administration Business Unit this year will introduce its Recovery Manager and Backup Manager products. The offerings will add management capabilities and advanced imaging to the often-unprotected data backup process, said Don Kleinschnitz, Symantecs vice president of product delivery and enterprise administration, in Cupertino, Calif.
Symantecs Enterprise Administration Business Unit comprises the companys acquisitions over the last four months of PowerQuest Corp. and On Technology Corp., which provide software life-cycle and configuration management technologies, respectively.
Symantecs plans entail cobbling together capabilities from various products, including Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition, for software updates and operating system migrations to desktops and laptops, and Symantec pcAnywhere, for managing remote workstations. In addition, PowerQuest technology will perform snapshot backup and recovery, while On Technology will offer patch management.
Kleinschnitz said the incorporation of storage and systems management into Symantecs arsenal will allow customers to respond to alerts proactively.
“Its one thing to warn people; its another thing to [enable them] to do something about it,” said Kleinschnitz. “We need to talk with CIOs about storage, systems [management] and security—if you dont get control of those three spaces in an integrated way, youre not going to get to a secure environment.”
Symantec said it will first address the marriage of storage and systems management before it commits to adding security into the mix next year.
For customers such as Bruce Thiebauth, software from Symantecs Enterprise Administration Business Unit will make a big impact by consolidating disparate management software, freeing up personnel and minimizing finger-pointing when events occur.
“Now you have one location to get the tools you need as a user to accomplish these [security, storage and systems management] tasks that, before, you were going to have to try to use a collection of tools to do,” said Thiebauth, network manager for HP Direct, a unit of Hewlett-Packard Co., in Omaha, Neb. “Anytime you can bundle those resources together and get more functionality out of that tool, all of those issues make life easier for a small or large organization.” HP Direct uses Symantec as its primary anti-virus software, as well as PowerQuests Deploy Center for imaging and Partition Magic tools internally. The organization also incorporates the technology into HP hardware when a customer requests it.
In the highly competitive systems management arena, the absence of IT asset management in Symantecs repertoire could limit its appeal. “[Symantec is] still missing a piece of the puzzle, which I think is IT asset management,” said Fred Broussard, an analyst at IDC, in Framingham, Mass. “That would complete the major parts of a systems management story.”
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