Symantecs Growth Calls for Unity, Simplicity

Tech Analysis: Before the expanding company can merge its security line with Veritas' storage management products, it has to get its own house in order.

There is no doubt that Symantec Corp.s top goal is merging its security products with the storage management products it recently acquired due to its merger with Veritas. But eWEEK Labs believes that before this can happen, Symantec must straighten out its storage management lineup.

As it stands now, Symantec is chock-full of powerful storage technologies scattered among a number of different products, many of which were acquired during the last two years.

One of the biggest problems related to storage management today is that every storage tool that IT departments implement comes with a separate management console that needs to be mastered.

As a result, IT staff members are drowning in a sea of training manuals, and the process of documenting simple tasks is becoming a complex and never-ending chore.

When Symantec unifies its management platform, IT managers will be able to back up and restore data while also being able to rebuild systems from a single console.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about Symantecs revamp of its consumer security package.

We dont expect a one-size-fits-all über-interface to arrive any time soon, but we do believe that Symantec—and other vendors, for that matter—must ensure that its tools can communicate with each other.

For example, if a manager sees that an Enterprise Vault server is corrupted, it would be good if he or she could immediately see when the last backup took place and initiate a restore job without having to log in to a different console.

In the data protection arena, Symantec has two backup platforms for SMBs (small and midsize businesses), Backup Exec 10d and LiveState Recovery 6.0, which Symantec acquired with PowerQuest Corp. in December 2003.

These two backup platforms have complementary strengths. The Backup Exec platform has never been great at bare-metal restoration, nor has it been able to quickly rebuild systems corrupted by viruses, worms or user error.

On the other hand, LiveState Recovery—which has its roots in PowerQuests Ghost imaging software—can create point-in-time disk images that can be restored on demand.

Backup Exec 10d is a market-leading backup platform for SMBs, and it is well-suited for data and application backup on tape media. With the addition of Continuous Protection Server, Symantec now has a solid disk-based backup solution with user-initiated file restores.

Backup Exec 10d, bundled with the Continuous Protection Server, is priced at $995; the LiveState Recovery 6.0 platform costs $1,695 per server.

Unification wont come easy, but Symantec needs to accomplish this as promptly as possible to make life easier for its clients.

Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at

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