Symantec COO Aims To Balance Data Security, Availability

Schwarz, in a speech Monday at the Veritas Vision conference in San Francisco, told a roomful of storage professionals that achieving both data security and availability isn't a mutually exclusive affair, though sometimes it may seem that way. "It's often a conflict," he said. "If it's secure, it's not available. If it's available, it's not secure."

Part of the answer lies in the integration of security and storage functions with specific applications, a move that will be possible with the Symantec-Veritas merger, Schwarz said. To that end, it's important to keep protection tied as tightly to an application as possible, he noted.

"For instance, a SQL operation might look for all records that start with the letter 'A.' In a library, it might be a list of all books whose authors' names start with the letter 'A.' But in a bank, if someone asks for a list of customers whose names start with 'A,' the application needs to look at the policy to see who is authorized," he said.

The combined Symantec-Veritas will give customers the ability to set the balance, according to Schwarz. "If it's the library application, you want to set the balance more toward availability," he said. "If it's a bank, you can move the balance more toward security."

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Kevin Harris, an official with Posetiv, a London-based enterprise storage solution provider, said the channel should heed Schwarz's message about integrating storage and security. "It's something storage people should know about but probably don't know about," he said.

The convergence of storage and security creates a huge opportunity--and promises improved margins--for solution providers, Harris said. "As we join in the convergence, it gives us something to sell, something unique. Not a lot of people understand that," he said. "People understand storage issues, and they understand security issues. Now they need to understand the convergence."