Cloud
Commentary
4/24/2007
03:28 PM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
Commentary
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Symantec Introduces SAAS-Based Security Network

Last week Symantec announced Symantec Protection Network, a software as a service (SaaS) platform designed to deliver easy-to-use security and availability offerings to small and mid-sized businesses... This is one in a long line of what I call "infrastructure on-demand products," and it's one of the most exciting areas of SaaS, if you ask me.

Last week Symantec announced Symantec Protection Network, a software as a service (SaaS) platform. The press release states that the service is designed to deliver easy-to-use security and availability offerings to small and mid-sized businesses using the same pay-as-you-go model of existing SaaS players.

"The first SaaS offering from Symantec, Symantec Protection Network - Online Backup Service will enable cost-effective, reliable backup and restoration of business-critical data from the convenience of a Web browser. Today marks the beta launch of Symantec Protection Network - Online Backup Service, scheduled to become available later this year."While this seems new, there are already a few companies that do this, such as Carbonite.com and others. Clearly Symantec is aiming up-market to the SMB side of things, versus the personal back-up market that competes with $100 USB drives.

I think this is a pretty good play for Symantec, considering its name in the industry and the fact that small and mid-sized businesses typically can't afford a data protection service (other than infrequent backups). Many of these businesses are at risk, with little protection these days.

"Symantec's initial SaaS offering, Symantec Protection Network - Online Backup Service, addresses one of the most immediate and pressing problems for small and mid-sized businesses today: disaster recovery... [the] service provides a low-cost way for small and mid-sized businesses to get their critical data stored offsite in Symantec's state-of-the-art data centers."

In other words, you set it up and forget it (hopefully), and as long as you pay your subscription costs, you're protected.

Clearly, this is one in a long line of what I call "infrastructure on-demand SaaS products," providing everything from back-up and recovery services, such as Symantec, to entire platforms on-demand, such as Salesforce.com's Apex. This is one of the most exciting areas of SaaS, if you ask me, and it should allow many enterprises out there to save tons of dollars by outsourcing things they need but don't yet have or things they are paying too much money for currently.

Other areas where we'll see expanded use of SaaS will include SaaS-delivered database services, SaaS-delivered network monitoring, SaaS-delivered user support, etc... Sooner, or later, we could find that almost all of IT could be outsourced in some situations, and those running IT will be more about managing SLAs versus managing a small army of people. Scary for some, but good for business, all things considered.

Application integration and service oriented architecture expert David Linthicum heads the product development, implementation and strategy consulting firm The Linthicum Group. Write him at david@linthicumgroup.com.Last week Symantec announced Symantec Protection Network, a software as a service (SaaS) platform designed to deliver easy-to-use security and availability offerings to small and mid-sized businesses... This is one in a long line of what I call "infrastructure on-demand products," and it's one of the most exciting areas of SaaS, if you ask me.

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