Thompson Touts Symantec-Veritas Combination

Speaking at Veritas Vision in San Francisco Wednesday, Thompson used the stage to again espouse his vision of why the two companies should merge. The deal, expected to close by the end of the quarter, has not been met with excitement on Wall Street.

Thompson told the audience comprising mostly Veritas users that "information is in fact the currency of our age and it has become invaluable."

With that in mind, data needs to be both secure and available, he said. "And we are very optimistic and eager about what the combined company will be able to provide."

The Jan. 25, 2003, attack of the Slammer worm prompted Thompson to expand his view of what his company should be providing, he said. The worm, which caused an estimated $1 billion in cleanup costs for companies around the world, was a wake-up call for Symantec, Thompson said.

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"It became clear that companies need a resilient architecture that can bridge the divide" between security device management, storage device management and network management, he said.

As the merger has not been approved, Thompson said engineering teams from both companies have not been able to work together on product development, but they have been able to discuss "the art of the possible."

Thompson said the company is aiming for a system that would spot an external threat, trigger an internal audit to assess vulnerabilities and automatically deploy patches to vulnerable systems. The company is also exploring developing continuous backup, "kind of like a Tivo for your data center," Thompson said. With continuous backup, a company could simply "rewind" to the moment just before an event and be up and running almost instantly, he said.

The combined company will "beef up" its consulting business to help customers achieve converged security and availability, Thompson said, but not to the point of interfering with its partners' business. "We recognize the importance of partners," he said. "They have always been at the core of our business and we will remain committed to them."