Symantec Touts New IT Standards

Data center foundation package will offer integrated solution

Symantec executives and customers extolled the virtue of "standards" at the Symantec Vision conference here on May 9, as the company pitched its version of standards support: namely, a soup-to-nuts integrated process solution for the data center.

Called the Symantec Data Center Foundation, the package includes four product families: Veritas NetBackup, Veritas Storage Foundation, Veritas Server Foundation and Veritas i3 APM (application performance management) tools.

These products span backup and remote replication of data, storage management, server provisioning and management functions, and application performance tuning and analysis.

Some of the pieces are product updates. For example, Version 5.0 of Storage Foundation, due next quarter, provides new capabilities for data replication, managing storage resources and optimizing performance.

Version 5.0 includes a management server for storage across an enterprise and a centralized console with which to handle instances of Storage Foundation versions 4.x and 5. In addition, the upgrade features Veritas Dynamic Multi-pathing, a storage discovery and management tool that lets users perform a variety of tasks, including load balancing of host bus adapters and applying firmware upgrades.

Version 5.0 also provides a new dynamic tiering capability that can automatically move files between storage resources based on date, owner, size or name. The policies are centrally managed and transparently support heterogeneous servers and storage infrastructure, said officials of the Cupertino, Calif., company.

Offering some of Version 5.0s capabilities is Storage Foundation Basic, which is a new product, according to Kris Hagerman, senior vice president of Symantecs data center management group. A free version of the storage management application is available for download now.

Storage Foundation Basic offers the Veritas File System and Veritas Volume Manager modules as well as the Dynamic Multipathing tool from Storage Foundation 5.0. It is aimed at edge-tier applications such as Web or e-mail servers. The software supports Sun Microsystems Solaris 10 x64 and several Linux distributions.

Hagerman said Symantec isnt concerned about cannibalizing its business because customers use Storage Foundation on higher-end servers running mission-critical workloads, such as databases.

"We do a great job in the data center for high-end, back-end applications. … Now, weve made it compelling for customers to put it on across the entire data center, every single server," he said.

Symantec also packed several server management applications under a Veritas Server Foundation branding. The new product family includes Veritas Configuration Manager (formerly Relicore Clarity) and Veritas Provisioning Manager (formerly Veritas OpForce), as well as Veritas Cluster Server.

The updated Cluster Server can monitor local and remote clusters in a single Web-based console, officials said. It also offers Fire Drill, a virtualized test of disaster recovery resources that allows customers to automatically test disaster recovery systems in their current environments with little disruption, Hagerman said.

In addition, officials said Symantec will work toward a common interface for the products and an integration platform that will offer APIs for business analysis tools, directory services and federated identity, among other functions.

Symantecs standards pitch urges IT managers to replace the many configuration and management products that come with heterogeneous hardware infrastructure with its Data Center Foundation products.

Hagerman said Veritas heritage of cross-platform support lets the products interoperate with "every major" operating system platform, storage vendor, database, middleware vendor and enterprise application.

"When we talk about creating a standard, we mean the ability to have a single layer of infrastructure software that works with everything," Hagerman said. Tad Lebeck, vice president of data center strategy for Symantec, agreed, pointing to Symantecs position in the market. "Ultimately, users look for solutions. If theres a lack of solutions, they seek standards because they cant figure out how to get there. If Symantec can deliver solutions to make their work easier—theres a standard," Lebeck said.

Symantecs New Vision for the Data Center

Veritas NetBackup

Backup management

* CommandCentral Service: compliance-reporting module

* NetBackup PureDisk:

Remote Backup Administration

Veritas Storage Foundation

Storage management

* Veritas Volume Manager

* Veritas File System

* Veritas CommandCentral Storage

Veritas Server Foundation

Server Configuration and Provisioning

* Veritas Configuration Manager

* Veritas Provisioning Manager

* Veritas Cluster Server

Veritas i3 APM tools

Enterprise Application and Database Performance Tuning

* i3 product family

* In-depth product family