Symantec Reaches Into Data Center With Relicore Acquisition

The Burlington, Mass. based Relicore's flagship product, Relicore Clarity, competes head to head against enterprise data center offerings like IBM's Collation software, which IBM acquired last November, and Mercury Interactive's data center change offerings.

If everything goes as planned and the deal is closed in mid-February, Relicore Clarity will be available as a stand-alone offering through Symantec's direct sales force and channel partners in early April. Up until now, about 90 percent of the 50-employee Relicore's sales have come from its small direct sales team and a handful of channel partners.

Relicore's Clarity product discovers all applications running on managed servers, tracks key configuration information, maps the dependencies of those servers and applications, and keeps all of that information up to date on a real-time basis.

"This really establishes Symantec as the standard for data center management with an offering that cuts across every server OS and every storage platform," said Kris Hagerman, senior vice president of the Server and Storage Management Group, Symantec. "For a channel partner, what it means is they can work with a single partner in Symantec and provide a comprehensive solution for any customer running more than 50 servers."

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Firdaus Bhathena, the founder of Relicore and vice president of product strategy for the company, said he was excited about the prospect of rolling out Clarity to Symantec channel partners. "This is a marriage of a great product and technology from a leader in an emerging space with the field presence and support capabilities of Symantec. This is really a winning combination."

Bhathena said the average Relicore deal runs from $150,000 to $200,000.

Hagerman said the data center opportunity is enormous for Symantec enterprise-focused VARs. "Any sizable data center has got to have the ability to understand what is going on with its servers," he said. "Very few enterprise data centers have this capability today. We feel very strongly that every one of the Global 5,000 shuold have this capability."

Despite increasing competition with industry giants such as IBM and Hewlett Packard, Symantec said it plans to continue, and to expand Relicore's partnerships with third-party software vendors such as those Relicore had announced with IBM Tivoli, HP OpenView, and Peregrine.

Rory Sanchez, president of SL Powers, a Symantec and EMC solution provider and managed service provider based in West Palm Beach, Fla., said he is looking forward to evaluating the new Relicore offering. "We will absolutely look at this," he said. "Symantec has always been a strong channel player."

Sanchez said he sees Symantec building out its storage footprint with additional acquisitions in the wake of its blockbuster Veritas acquisition last year. He compared the Symantec storage acquisition march to the one the company made in the security market. "Veritas is a strong company by itself but a big player like Symantec is going to look at what does it take to be the premier player in storage. They are going to create a robust offering. I wouldn&'t be surprised to see other acquisitions."

Sanchez, for his part, sees Symantec increasingly going head to head against EMC.

"Symantec and EMC are on a collision course," he said. "We are definitely going to look at both players. EMC has been a very good partner and we've been a partner with Symantec for a very long time."

Darren McBride, president of Sierra Computers and Training, a Reno, Nev., Symantec solution provider, said the Relicore offering will not likely touch VARs serving small and midsize businesses. He said Sierra continues to use Symantec's Norton Enterprise product as its lead antivirus offering and Veritas Backup Exec as one of his primary storage backup offerings. He said he was impressed with Symantec's ability to follow through on the Veritas acquisition without a falloff in support. "It is pretty much status quo," he said. "It's great that they were able to take over Veritas Backup Exec product and not have support slip."