Symantec Opens Up Its Services To Enterprise Apps

Symantec has launched a Web services-based way of getting its vulnerability assessment and backup and recovery services to developers of new applications.
Symantec, the security and storage management vendor, is adopting a collaborative, open architecture so its products, including its antivirus and anti-intrusion applications, can be added as services to enterprise applications.

The company launched Tuesday what it's calling Open Collaborative Architecture, a Web services-based way of getting existing Symantec products to provide services to a new application, whether developed inside the enterprise or supplied by an independent software vendor.

"It's not a product. It's more of a strategic direction that Symantec is taking," said Christine Ewing, director of product marketing, endpoint management.

The Open Collaborative Architecture is a way to open up the vulnerability assessment, backup and recovery, and services management that came out of Symantec's acquisition of Altiris 18 months ago. The Altiris product set has become the Symantec Management Platform, and Symantec's Open Collaborative Architecture is a way for outsiders to make use of that management platform as a set of Web services.

Dell has decided to align itself with the Symantec move. It uses the Symantec Management Platform as the basis for the Dell Management Console that it supplies with its enterprise products. It will use the platform to manage PowerEdge servers and blades, Dell Latitude laptops, Dell Precision workstations and Dell OptiPlex desktops.

The Symantec Management Platform can tap the services of Symantec End Point Protection products to supply antivirus protection for end-user computers. Other products, such as Symantec Backup Exec can be used to restore failed Windows desktops or Exchange Servers or SQL Servers. Data loss prevention, a way of protecting data that's being transferred between applications or from one point to another is another service of the management platform.

Ewing said Symantec is relying on simple, open Web service standards to achieve the integration between the services supplied by its products and the enterprise or third-party applications that need them. "We supply an agent that can pull in information from (an Exchange Server or SQL Server database)," without enterprise developers or third-party software makers needing to learn a proprietary Symantec API, she said.

"We're trying to reduce the overall management footprint," she said. Instead of proliferating management consoles, many parties will be able to supply security and other services and provide a management console through the Symantec management platform, she said.

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