Symantec sends risk profiles into the cloud

By Stephen Bell, Computerworld New Zealand Online |  On-demand Software, Symantec, veritas

Some datacenter managers will be so concerned to optimize their server and storage efficiency and ensure compliance with policies that they will be willing to trust a "risk profile" outlining crucial features of their configuration to the cloud.

This, at least is the belief of Symantec, which has chosen a risk evaluation and proactive maintenance tool, Veritas Operations Services, as its first venture into cloud computing. VOS is provided free of charge.

Comprising a set of web-based services, it evaluates the configuration of datacenter storage and servers, arriving at a risk profile, which can be evaluated against best practice so recommendations can be made.

The tool is of particular value to installations already running Veritas Cluster Server or Veritas Storage Foundation, but also retains information on widely used operating systems and storage hardware and firmware.

Effective coordination and message-passing among servers and storage units in a large configuration is complex, particularly when different kinds of equipment are involved, says Symantec systems engineering director Paul Lancaster.

Delivery via the cloud allows the best-practice profiles to be kept continuously up to date, Lancaster says. The data is in a proprietary format, is encrypted in transmission and contains no information identifying the particular datacenter, he says.

VOS makes measurements in four categories, Lancaster says: availability, performance, challenges to efficient utilization and comparison with best practice. It will make recommendations for upgrades to improve these measures.

The VOS phase of evaluation is completely automatic, but Lancaster acknowledges it is likely to generate follow-up business for Symantec's consultants.

Symantec took over Veritas in 2004 and appeared at first likely to bury the name, but has kept it for its storage and server products owing to its established reputation, he says.

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