Google Ogles the Security Market

As if Symantec didn't have enough to worry about with Microsoft appearing hell-bent on yanking away some of its share in the security market, another billion-dollar player now appears intent on doing the same: Google.

Earlier this month Google spent some $625 million to acquire Postini, a company specializing in Internet-based security software for e-mailing and messaging. Google has also purchased GreenBorder Technologies, which has an offering of security capabilities that look a lot like Symantec's best-selling line of Norton software.

With both these companies now in hand, Google, some believe, will present end user companies with an independently secured version of its Google Apps product, which is a collection of hosted office tools that includes a spreadsheet and e-mail program. Given that Google is a faster moving company than Microsoft, Symantec should probably be paying close attention.

John W. Thompson, chairman and CEO of Symantec, said in a recent interview with Redmond magazine that he was impressed with Google so far.

"They [Google] have done a terrific job. I was over there just last week and I was amazed. They had a group of summer interns, three or four of these kids who were Ph.D.s in mathematics and physics, who were interning at Google. That feels to me what Microsoft was like 20 years ago," Thompson said.

Well, the environment may "feel" like Microsoft's did 20 years ago, but -- and maybe more importantly, Mr. Thompson -- Google is looking and feeling more like Microsoft today in terms of being another major competitor in your back yard.

Symantec officials just this week said they plan to deliver their first hosted security product, namely a data back-up application, by the end of this year, which will be sold on a subscription basis. This, of course, is a model that Google helped make popular.

VMware Stays Hot
Things are heating up at VMware. Just this week, company executives said they're hosting meetings with investors as they get ready to take the virtualization software maker through its initial public offering -- an offering that's probably the most anticipated one of the year.

Why? Well, the company's revenues are growing at an annual rate of 100 percent a year, a clear indication that the broad-based market is finally locking into the real purpose and value of virtualization software.

Perhaps another reason is that VMware has been a sterling example of how to stand up and fight against Microsoft -- without leaving the ring feet-first -- in a burgeoning market that Redmond seems very interested in.

For some time now, both developers and IT shops have been saying they prefer VMware over the offerings of its three top competitors -- which include Microsoft, Virtual Iron and XenWorks -- because the virtual machines they can build with VMware programs can be moved much faster from one server to another, and because many feel some of VMware's technology is a good year or two ahead of the competitors'.

Developers and users aren't the only ones who believe VMware is hot, hot, hot right now. VMware just recently announced that both Intel and Cisco Systems plan to invest in the company through private placements.

VMware's IPO road show, which started early this week, will continue for another couple of weeks. Company officials are not talking about when the IPO will close.

Apparently, Exchange Recovery Can Be a Real Pain
Well, it appears the psychical pain of carrying out the backup and recovery of Exchange can actually be quantified. FalconStor Software, working jointly with Osterman Research, recently surveyed IT professionals about problems with Exchange data protection, with a focus on recovery in particular. About half of the IT admins surveyed who carry out Exchange recovery said the procedure is almost as stressful as being stuck in traffic when they're late for a meeting, or having a cavity filled by the dentist.

Some of the survey's other findings -- probably not as colorful but perhaps more useful -- about backup and recovery include:

  • Most companies surveyed took more than two days to recover from an Exchange system failure
  • Some 77 percent say they need a simpler solution for recovery than what they're currently using
  • 70 percent of companies that responded said it takes them four hours a day to do backups, with approximately 15 percent taking up to 12 hours a day
  • Most organizations are backing up more than a terabyte of data a night
  • Some 97 percent of IT admins want to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to do Exchange backups despite the fact they are already using DISK for backup.

Another fun fact to emerge was that 78 percent of respondents already back up to disk or VTL.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.

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