Symantec Preps for Virtualization Showdown

    Now that most IT organizations appear to have virtualized more than half their server environments, the question that naturally starts to arise is how best go about managing an IT environment that contains a mix of virtual and physical servers.

    More than a few companies, including VMware, have made the case for specialized management tools that are optimized for virtual environments. The trouble with that approach is that not only do IT organizations only want to pay for one set of management tools for virtual and physical servers, but they want those tools to run across virtual servers from multiple vendors.

    At the recent VMworld 2012 conference, Symantec vowed to take up that challenge. The company, for example, says that NetBackup 7.6, scheduled for release later this year, will include NetBackup Accelerator for VMware cloud infrastructure that provides up to 100 times faster backup, while a new NetBackup Instant Recovery for VMware cloud infrastructure capability will recover virtual machines 800 times faster. The company also plans to add support for VMware vCloud Director and VMware vCenter Server.

    In addition, Symantec points out that Symantec Critical System Protection now supports VMware vSphere 5 and that Symantec Endpoint Protection 12, which includes VMware vShield Endpoint integration, is now in beta. Also in the Symantec tool bag is a new release of Symantec’s Dynamic Multi-Pathing for VMware cloud infrastructure that integrates directly into VMware vCenter Server and adds support for VMware vSphere 5 and forthcoming support for VMware vSphere 5.1. Dynamic Multi-Pathing for VMware 6.0 also helps organizations improve SAN storage input/output (I/O) performance and availability for VMware vSphere. Finally, the Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition protects data across mixed physical and VMware environments.

    According to Todd Zambrovitz, global marketing manager for virtualization, IT organizations are soon going to be in need of policy-based IT management tools that support hybrid environments more than ever. That need, says Zambrovitz, plays to Symantec’s strengths at a time when many organizations because of budget pressures are taking a second look at all the tools they have to license to manage their environment.

    Of course, the virtualization train left the station a while ago, which means Symantec is definitely playing catch-up. In fact, missing that train probably in no small part played a role in its recent decision to part ways with its former CEO. While there’s not much to be gained from looking backwards, the fact remains that every traditional competitor of Symantec along with a host of new providers of virtualization management tools is trying to position the company as an incumbent provider of legacy management software that is rapidly becoming obsolete. How Symantec responds to that challenge remains to be seen. But it’s safe to say that the new Symantec leadership thinks this fight is far from over.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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