Symantec Expands Data Center Foundation Family


Storage Foundation 5.0 and Veritas Cluster Server 5.0 are the latest additions to the Symantec Data Center Foundation family of products, which allows users to standardize on a single layer of infrastructure software across the data center, regardless of the brands of hardware running on the back end.

"The core theme is helping customer reduce the complexity in the data center," said Kris Hagerman, senior vice president of Symantec's Data Center Management Group. "Every data center has multiple vendors for every piece of hardware in place, and each vendor delivers [application management] tools that only work with their piece...Any amount of variety [in hardware], and the tools to make the data center function [multiply] out of control."

Storage Foundation 5.0 provides centralized control over the data center's entire storage environment. It features Storage Foundation Basic, a free, downloadable version of 5.0 for such edge-tier workloads as Web, application, infrastructure and test/development servers; and Storage Foundation Management Server, which centralizes multihost management capabilities across Unix, Linux and Windows operating systems. This capability reduces the time required for standard maintenance, with a firmware upgrade taking only five of six clicks to complete.

On the server maintenance side of things, Veritas Cluster Server 5.0 reduces downtime by linking multiple servers in a data center environment to act as an instant backup/recovery system. eBay, for one, implemented the solution about three years ago and has not experienced an outage since, Hagerman said. Also included with the latest release is Fire Drill, a tool that automates disaster-recovery testing without impacting production systems.

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Tampa, Fla.-based NCI Information Systems recently implemented the Storage Foundation and Cluster Server offerings at five U.S. Special Operations Command locations as part of the agency's continuity of operations solution. The systems integrator initially focused on ensuring data availability of a cluster of Exchange servers. When the agency experienced a temporary failure due to overheating, NCI was able to switch to backup systems at a different location in less than 10 minutes, while other enterprise applications were down for more than a day.

In addition to the Data Center Foundation products, Symantec announced plans to release its Database Security Audit tool by year's end, allowing commercial and public-sector customers to monitor how data is being accessed and transferred by those within the organization.

"The tool will identify how individuals risk causing an internal breach by not following protocol," said Ajei Gopal, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Symantec.

The tool, which sits in front of a database server, will monitor and report activity in real time, with auditing and fraud-detection capabilities. In the wake of the Department of Veterans Affairs debacle, which involved a stolen laptop containing sensitive information, such monitoring capability is in high demand at all levels of government. Symantec has been working with customers in the financial and manufacturing sectors, as well as in education, to test the beta version of the product, and currently monitors its own database servers with the tool.

"Others may eat their dog food, but we like to say that we drink our own champagne," Gopal said.