Jason Puig, Manager of Cloud Services in Symantec Labs, took the time to discuss this decision. In Symantec's words, "Symantec’s overall goal is to enable people, businesses and countries to focus their energies and time on achieving aspirations, instead of worrying about their digital lives—the company calls it “Symantec 4.0.”
While that catchphrase laden statement didn't impress me all that much, I could understand the need to find ways to better utilize the company's industry standard (X86-based) systems and the related storage and networks to address quickly business requirements as they come up and move on to the next issue.
Symantec realized that the traditional approach of assembling a data center by purchasing a number of different systems, software, storage and networking elements -- each configured to address a needs of a single task --tends to result in over provisioning, increased levels of complexity and the creation of a data center that is largely locked in place.
The promise of using virtualization technology at all levels of the operation of a data center, typically called "a software defined data center," makes it possible for a configuration to be used for many different tasks and move from one task to another quickly.
When asked why choose VMware over all of the other technology suppliers that are offering a collection of virtualization tools (such as Citrix, IBM, Microsoft or Oracle), Puig pointed out that Symantec and VMware are long-time partners on a number of fronts. VMware already offered tools that helped create virtual environments using products from Symantec's chosen systems, software, storage and networks suppliers. Puig pointed out that Symantec didn't want to build up a software defined data center from a patchwork quilt of independent pieces. The company, he pointed out, wanted tools that "were already baked and ready to use."
VMware, he pointed out, was the one company that was offering pre-baked, ready-to-use tools.
The next question was: Why go to this effort? Puig pointed out that to achieve the optimal levels of flexibility, staff needed to be empowered to quickly mimic customer environments to offer better levels of support and demonstrate configurations so customers can actually see a Symantec solution in place. In Puig's view, the key thing is sharing of the data center's resources to reduce redundancy, enhance collaboration among groups and, of course, to reduce costs.