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Symantec stumps up $150m for PowerQuest

Data recovery play

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Security for virtualized datacentres

Symantec yesterday announced a deal to acquire storage management and disaster recovery firm PowerQuest Corp in an all-cash deal valued at $150 million.

The acquisition, conditioned upon regulatory go-ahead and PowerQuest shareholder approval, is expected to close by the end of 2003.

Symantec intends to combine PowerQuest’s deployment, imaging, provisioning, storage management, and disaster recovery technologies with Symantec’s existing Ghost line to create a new line in corporate data recovery software. The technology, already christened Active State Management, will “manage, protect and recover” data throughout an enterprise, it promises.

Symantec plans to develop versions of the software for servers, workstations, laptops and handheld devices.

In other Symantec news, the company announced this week that viral data will now be integrated into its early warning system (an obvious move – so why hasn’t Symantec done it before?). Version 5 of Symantec’s DeepSight Threat Management System, due out at the end of the month, will add virus alert data to existing firewall and intrusion detection information in a service that gives firms a heads up on active attacks, vulnerabilities and countermeasures.

Symantec competes in providing security “weather reports” (‘a front of crackers is moving in from the East today, with a light shower of Windows worms expected by mid afternoon’) with TruSecure, which coincidentally also revamped its risk management product this week. TruSecure's Risk Commander promises to combine security data from various sensors across an enterprise into a centralised view.

Support for the “weather report” approach is far from universal across the security market. Companies developing intrusion protection and anti-DDoS technologies that work without signature-updates characterise existing approaches as reactive and incapable of dealing against day-zero exploits. Rather than buying weather reports, these companies suggest users would do better to buy an umbrella from them. ®

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