Looking to assist IT personnel whose responsibilities are continually expanding, Symantec Corp. Tuesday launched a new business strategy designed to provide a single point of control for the company's breadth of data centre software. The new Unified Storage initiative aims to link Symantec's NetBackup data protection, Storage Foundation storage management and Enterprise Vault archive technologies underneath a common set of services. Executives outlined the plan at the company's Vision user conference here this week. The strategy targets storage trouble spots such as poor performance utilization within heterogeneous operating system and hardware environments, departmentalized management of data centre assets and operational tasks, and mushrooming data growth, executives said. The Unified Storage concept attempts to overlay administrative capabilities of the full software suite of storage and data centre tools Symantec gained through its $13.5 billion purchase of Veritas in 2004, noted Matt Kixmoeller, senior director of product management for NetBackup at Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec "We're not trying to create the uber console here. What we're doing is really looking at each of the key roles in the data centre and trying to bring together the way you manage tape, disk, de-duplication and [continuous data protection]," said Kixmoeller. Veritas NetBackup 6.5, also announced here, is the first product refresh to be rolled out under the Unified Storage umbrella, Kixmoeller said. He declined to disclose a timetable for releasing the next Unified Storage tool or Veritas data centre product upgrade. Unifying its data centre business within a simplified cross-management and integrated strategy should enable IT executives to better understand which Symantec offerings best fill their needs, said Dennis Martin, president of Demartek. "There is a need to sort of identify all the things that are related to storage which people need to mange," said Martin. "It's not just backup and recovery anymore, but [also storage resource management and] de-duplication. There's a lot of things going on and customers want to be able to say 'These are these are the areas I'm looking for.'" The continuing trend of shared storage, server, hardware and software administration roles within data centres being squeezed for manpower or IT budget resources will further drive the need for shared capabilities across storage, networking and security technologies, added Martin.
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