Heady Days for Symantec


It's been an interesting week for Symantec customers, especially those who are heavily invested in the company's data archiving technology.


The big news was the decision to open up the Enterprise Vault system to third-party deduplication. The new version 8 of the software keeps its own proprietary file format, but there is now an off switch for the system's compression module that allows it to work with outside dedupe technology. And Symantec has given up some of its code to Data Domain, Hitachi and NetApp so those systems will work with previously archived data.


NetApp, for one, was quick to jump at the opportunity, claiming that integration of its archive and compliance appliances can cut archiving costs as much as 60 percent. NetApp said the most effective approach is to combine its dedupe system with Symantec's Optimized Single Instance Storage, and then use cascading Snapshots to enable end-to-end replication across the entire archive stack. This lets you govern the whole shebang with a single management platform that you can use to scale the system up as storage needs grow.


Symantec is also dabbling in virtualization, hoping to leverage the partitioning capabilities of the technology to enhance PC security. Although still in the developmental stage, the Virtualization-Based Endpoint Security (VIBES) system creates a virtual environment on a desktop whenever executable files are downloaded off the Internet. The system then launches the program within the partition to check for viruses. If infected, an alert is sent to the user, while the malware remains contained in the partition.


It sounds like pretty nifty stuff, until we start to encounter viruses that know how to jump partition walls.


And if all that's not enough, it turns out that Symantec CEO John Thompson is on the short list for Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration now that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is out of the picture. Such an appointment wouldn't provide any direct benefit to Symantec customers, but it would be comforting to know that someone in the Cabinet has ample data center experience.