Suncorp signs Symantec to protect 20,000 XP PCs

Suncorp signs Symantec to protect 20,000 XP PCs

Summary: Suncorp has signed a three-year security and archiving contract with Symantec to protect 20,000 "locked down" Windows XP desktops and servers.

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Suncorp has signed a three-year security and archiving contract with Symantec to protect 20,000 "locked down" Windows XP desktops and servers.

The deal is a key part of Suncorp's integration program with its 2006 acquisition of Promina, according to Paul Cameron, Suncorp's executive general manager for business technology infrastructure.

"[The deal] is a key part of the whole integration of the Promina and Suncorp businesses... It's not an easy job. We embarked on a big desktop and server rationalisation project that we're rolling out through the merged entities," Cameron told ZDNet.com.au.

Efforts to cut costs have focused on minimising the number of suppliers and systems for the business, he said. Four security vendors have been ousted as a result of the deal with Symantec, however, Cameron declined to divulge the companies names or disclose the sum of the deal.

Cameron called Suncorp's security model "simple, but very effective". Symantec's antivirus software will be deployed across all 20,000 Windows XP machines as well as its Windows servers in Australia and New Zealand.

"The architecture of the desktop is locked down to restrict anything coming from the desktop and perimeter security and minimises stuff coming from the outside. Still, things can get on the desktop, but we didn't need the full bells and whistles.

"Now we have a desktop environment where you can log in from Australia or New Zealand, and have all the resources you need and know that you're fully protected," he said.

Cameron expects to complete the integration of Suncorp and Promina's "foundation technologies" by the end of the year, by which time Suncorp's Polaris datacentre in Springfield, Queensland should be open.

"We're about halfway through the integration program for our foundation technologies, where the old world and new world are moving to one common technology platform, across desktops, storage and the datacentre. It's like a big mist that's moving across the former Promina organisation," he said.

Promina's Sydney-based mainframe as well as its IBM AS/400 servers have been moved to Suncorp's Brisbane datacentre. "That's happening as we integrate the technologies of the two entities. We've also been very aggressively virtualising our servers."

The deal also covers email archiving using Symantec's Enterprise Vault. "That's for unstructured data which we put in to a cheap near-line storage environment, which is an inexpensive disk that doesn't get accessed very often," he said.

Topics: Symantec, Data Centers, Security, Virtualization

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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