A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a very interesting event, Symantec/Altiris ManageFusion. I was briefed on a new version of Symantec's Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) 7.0 and how it integrates with tools from Altiris. It was an eye opening experience to be sure. If you're interested, please review that post here: Altiris ManageFusion Day 1. I was only able to hint at the content of that briefing because BESR 7.0 was not yet announced. Now that it's announced, I thought I'd comment a bit more .
Here's how Symantec describes the product:
Symantec Corp. announced that it will offer new integration with Altiris technology to provide customers with the rapid Windows backup and recovery capabilities of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0. By using Backup Exec System Recovery Integration Component for Altiris, the integrated solution will help Altiris administrators meet recovery time objectives by recovering complete Windows systems, including systems in unattended remote locations, in minutes instead of hours or days—even to dissimilar hardware or virtual environments.
“By combining the power and flexibility of Altiris manageability with Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0, IT administrators have the best of both worlds at their fingertips—the leading systems management solution together with complete Windows system recovery,” said Steve Fairbanks, senior director of product management at Symantec. “Through this integration we are automating business processes to protect our customers’ data and computing environments.”
The announcement went on to say:
The new integration also provides Altiris management customers with a unique ability to convert physical systems to virtual (P2V) and virtual back to physical (V2P) and perform granular recovery for Microsoft Exchange, and end-user file recovery capabilities via Google Desktop or Backup Exec Retrieve. The Backup Exec System Recovery Exchange Retrieve Option simplifies Exchange recovery, providing fast and easy recovery not only of the entire Exchange server but also of individual messages, attachments, folders and mailboxes.
This announcement puts Symantec/Altiris on a course to collide with other players in the industry who have, up until now, been in a totally different market segment. Organizations, such as Scalent Systems, Cassatt, and even PlateSpin have spoken about the ability to orchestrate the movement of applications and application components from one virtual system to another, from a physical system to a virtual system or from a virtual system to a physical system.
The established players in that segment have well-defined stories (and the technology to back up those stories) about management of virtual resources and policy-driven orchestration of physical and virtual resources. These players don't have a strong backup/archival storage story.
Symantec/Altiris has a strong backup/archival storage story but, doesn't have a strong orchestration story.
It appears that this is a time for these players to get together for the benefit of their customers and put together a strong joint story.
If you're not familiar with Altiris's application virtualization story, I'd suggest that you learn more. I'll focus some attention on that in a future post.