Symantec shows workflow for Altiris

Altiris division shows off the first fruits of its acquisition after unveiling a workflow tool.

The Altiris Workflow Solution is based on technology bought in from Transparent Logic, said senior product manager Duane Newman. He said that it allows administrators to automate management processes that use tools from Altiris and others.

"There's lots of business process management out there, but I see very little in the systems management space," he claimed.

He continued, "The business processes can be anything from simple information retrieval tasks to complex ones such as adding a new employee to the HR system and assigning them the IT resources they need. The workflow tool is very graphical, so it's pretty much self-documenting."

Altiris has also demonstrated Symantec Endpoint Protection (the new name for Symantec's PC security software) and Backup Exec System Recovery, working with the upcoming version 7 of its management tools (slated for release next year).

These are the first steps towards tying together all the Altiris and Symantec client management and security tools behind a single console, said Altiris division chief Greg Butterfield. Formerly the CEO of Altiris, his division is now responsible for most of Symantec's endpoint technology.

"We are pioneering this area of endpoint management," he said. "We want to close the loop - NAC is part of the process too, but only part. You also need remediation and validation, software discovery and deployment, patch management and so on."

Butterfield claimed that the "integration" of the two companies is going well. He said Altiris was acquired for the client management tools that represented over 70 percent of its business.

In other areas its technology lost out to parallel Symantec technologies -- for example, the CarbonCopy remote control tool has been discontinued in favor of PCAnywhere -- but those are now within the Altiris division, so it has gained staff since the acquisition, not lost them.

"The key benefit is the integration of data production, management and security, with Symantec and Altiris - and Veritas - toolsets working together," he said.

Symantec is also looking to make use of Altiris technology such as SVS, its application virtualization scheme, in other areas of its business, he said. For example, it might decided to deploy its consumer PC tools as virtual layers to minimize software clashes.

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