New Symantec CEO stresses product integration

Three days after officially taking over as CEO, Symantec's Enrique Salem said the company will work to further integrate NetBackup with Enterprise Vault archiving and roll out more SaaS.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Symantec Corp.'s Veritas NetBackup and Enterprise Vault will eventually share a common interface and policy structure, and most of the company's software products will be available as a service within five years, said new CEO and president Enrique Salem at Storage Networking World (SNW).

Salem officially replaced retiring John Thompson as Symantec's CEO April 4. Speaking at a press luncheon on Tuesday, Salem said the company is still working to deepen integration across its storage and security product lines -- a process that began with the acquisition of Veritas Software Corp. in 2004. Enterprise Vault and Veritas NetBackup have been able to share back-end storage hardware since 2005, but the two will eventually meld into one.

"Why touch data more than once? Users should be able to migrate directly from backup to archives or vice versa under a single policy," Salem said. "We see backup and recovery and archive becoming features, ultimately with the same management interface."

The integration is part of a larger drive Symantec calls the Open Collaborative Architecture. The ultimate goal is providing a "single pane of glass" across storage and security offerings. Salem declined to offer a specific timeframe for Enterprise Vault and Veritas NetBackup integration. "It's not going to happen overnight," he said.

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Another big priority for Symantec going forward is software as a service (SaaS). Symantec has already begun offering online backup SaaS through Backup Exec and the Symantec Protection Network (SPN), as well as a configuration-check service for Veritas Storage Foundation customers. "Going forward, we expect almost everything we do to be delivered as a service," Salem said.

He added that while the topic of SaaS and cloud computing is hot right now, "it's not going to come as fast as some people think—the total addressable market is still relatively small."

Another focus for Symantec is the "consumerization of IT" and the incorporation of more edge devices into enterprise networks, Salem said. "IT has spent a lot of time driving standards, using the same devices with the same software stack—that's the past," he said. "IT has to become more flexible."

Salem said Symantec sees "huge potential" in solid-state drives (SSDs) and will support them through products such as Veritas Storage Foundation, which could store file system meta data on tier zero. But Salem said he wonders how the current recession will impact SSD adoption.

"Financial services have traditionally been early adopters, and then the technologies they adopt trickle out into other environments," he said. "But financial services [revenues] have gone down. It will be interesting to see how rapidly these technologies enter the market now."

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