Yesterday we heard about several purchases within the industry: Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, Symantec’s purchase of Blue Coat, and VMware’s acquisition of Arkin. These are not small purchases. Once integrated, they start the journey to bigger goals and dreams. As some put it on Twitter, “It is a big day in IT.” I would agree. What is the reason for each of these purchases, and why have they been made? The oddest one, which has people scratching their head, is Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn.
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Amazon has made many changes lately to provide encryption for its Relational Database Service (RDS), adding the ability to encrypt existing RDS instances and shared data between partners. Database encryption, specifically for sharing, is very important, as is encryption at rest, which Amazon and other cloud service providers also provide. If you wish to control everything, you can use tools like HyTrust DataControl and other encrypted file systems, services, and storage appliances. So, why is there always a debate about encryption, who controls the keys, and privacy?
There seems to be a new business model appearing: Split the company. Symantec has done this, and now HP. IBM did it by selling off a great chunk of its server line to Lenovo. Cisco did it by divesting itself of ownership of VCE. What is telling is that there is a growing number of large companies splitting rather noisily, all for the same official purpose: to concentrate on core competencies in whatever areas the split resolves into. But this may be a misrepresentation. At least from the outside, it looks like it will be.
Veeam has successfully fended off a patent infringement suit brought by Symantec over how Veeam does its backups. Yet, Symantec did not bring a suit against VMware, which created the underlying technology that Veeam employs for pulling data from a vSphere environment. When you look at the court case, it is about older technology and older patents, not Veeam’s latest innovations. I found this rather interesting—that instead of going after VMware, Symantec tried to sue the little guy out of existence. We all know this is not the first time someone has tried to do that.
Backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity have changed quite a bit over the years, and they will continue to change into the future as more capability, analytics, and functionality are added to the general family of data protection tools. As we launch ourselves into the clouds, we need to perhaps rethink how we do data protection, what tools are available for data protection, and how to use our older tools to accomplish the same goals. We need an integrated data protection plan that not only accounts for cloud or data center failures but also accounts for the need to run within the cloud. There is always the need to get your data there and back again.
Recently I have had the pleasure of discussing security with a number of cloud providers. Specifically, we talked about what security they implement and how they inform their tenants of security-related issues. In other words, do they provide transparency? I have come to an early conclusion that there are two types of clouds out there: those that provide additional security measures and work with their tenants to improve security, and those who do not. On the Virtualization Security podcast we have discussed this many times, with the conclusion being drawn that many clouds do a better job at security than the average organization does, but that there is no way to know what is implemented, as there is no transparency.