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Symantec, Veritas Merger Approved 88

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the come-together dept.
stuuf writes "Shareholders today voted to approve a merger between Symantec and Veritas. The deal, announced last December, was valued at $13.5 billion. However, some of Symantec's investors have backed off since then, and the merger, expected to close on July 2, is now valued at only $11 billion. Many of Symantec's products have been losing popularity recently; the merger may be good news for Veritas's competitors."
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Symantec, Veritas Merger Approved

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  • Maby i'm just very thick... but... why would these two companies merge ? (is it a really merger btw, or really one company buying out the other?)

    A large storage company, and a maker of security software? Where's the "synergy" ? Maby i'm missing a concept or two...

    What will the merger offer.. "virus protected databases" ?
    Someone please clue me in here....
    • The both sell corporate computer services, that's all the overlap you need to worry about.
      • Re:Huh ? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cyberfunk2 (656339)
        Yea, but so does Microsoft and Symantec, and you dont see Microsoft buying up... oh wait...

        Seriously though, two companies selling computer services to corporations does not really qualify as enough overlap, there's gotta be something more to make a merger like this work.
        • Why? They have the same target customers, therefore combining their sales forces alone will guarentee an increase in sales and therefore increase shareholder value. It's a no brainer. The fact that the merger was allowed to go ahead was the only thing in question.
        • Re:Huh ? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by wideBlueSkies (618979) * on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:18AM (#12909060) Journal
          >> Yea, but so does Microsoft and Symantec, and you dont see Microsoft buying up... oh wait...

          The current rumor, according to the Veritas technician who has been helping us with the i3 product, is that IBM is looking at Symantec.

          It makes more sense than Microsoft. IBM can easily brand Symantec's desktop products as a side business, but the real meat of the deal is 2 things:

          1. Veritas clustering and related enterprise level stuff. Goes along with IBM's enterprise services vision, as well as affording tighter integration with IBM products, like MQ and Websphere to provide more robust and highly available solutions.

          2. i3 kicks major ass as a montitoring tool for j2ee and database based applications. Apparently, tighter integration with Websphere is on their minds...which would kind of be a blow to BEA (weblogic).

          I also work with guys from IBM pretty regularly, and they hear the rumors on their side as well.

          The hard core, enterprise level stuff has never really been a Microsoft area of business. They see happy with just taking over the desktop, and providing small to mid-range business solutions. At least that's my take on it....

          wbs.
          • The current rumor, according to the Veritas technician who has been helping us with the i3 product, is that IBM is looking at Symantec.

            That's interesting, for several reasons. One is that I've heard that the guys who founded Veritas were ex-IBMer's, who also designed AIX's LVM. Oddly, besides LVM, AIX has kernel-level support for Veritas. Based on my discussions with people who have used Veritas in conjunction with HACMP, Veritas actually works with it better than LVM.

            Also, as of Veritas 4.2, if you're
            • Re:Huh ? (Score:1, Troll)

              Veritas is so 90s. Vxvm is extremely overrated with features that cannot possibly be deployed in a mission critical environment. If you stick to your regular mirrors, stripes, raids... you mind as well use the FREE Aix LVM or Solaris VM. Which I swear are simpler and better nowadays.

              Not to mention Veritas has by far the worst licensing hassle I have ever seen among any vendor. If you're not buying 30 licenses at a time, with already a sales guy contact, forget about it. Try buying just 2 licenses.

              The
              • Re:Huh ? (Score:3, Insightful)

                Veritas is so 90s. Vxvm is extremely overrated with features that cannot possibly be deployed in a mission critical environment. If you stick to your regular mirrors, stripes, raids... you mind as well use the FREE Aix LVM or Solaris VM. Which I swear are simpler and better nowadays.

                That's not entirely true. For example, LVM relies on volume definitions in the ODM, which in a clustered environment, can easily get out of sync on one of your servers with the definitions in the VGDA if a logical volume has
                • That's crazy that you bring up ODM. These stay on AIX boxes better than Veritas GAB on cxfs. Which Veritas try too hard to port over to every unix with any clustering.

                  About getting ODM out of sync... this really comes down to an admin level procedure. Which I can promise you Veritas requires far more steps in recovery.

                  Like I said in the 90s Veritas was special and one of a kind. There are plenty of freebie and opensource solutions that rival the overpriced vxvm and cxfs nowadays. People who marked m
          • Re:Huh ? (Score:2, Interesting)

            by jarkko (40871)
            IBM would sort of make sense here. IBM entered a joint venture with veritas (El Reg [theregister.co.uk]) to bundle Veritas Cluster & Storage Foundation with their kit, in some form anyway.

            Veritas also has products that possibly could provide some of the missing pieces from IBMs linux solutions (VxFS, VxVM, Cluster ...)

            But Veritas & Symantec ? Doesn't make any sense to me at all.
          • Funny, I used to use IBM's own AV software. I'm not sure if it was publicly available or sold, but I was a son of an IBM employee. They were great about releasing updates.

            After a while they decided to get out of that business and as I recall they sold all their technology for AV to Symantec.

            So IBM could be reclaiming *and* renaming some of the technology from Symantec.
    • Re:Huh ? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      lol. You came partway to answering you own question:
      "virus protected databases"
      Um, as a matter a fact, yes, corporate customer are very concerned about their data, and would like it protected..
      Essentially, you need to look at it from the customer's perspective (i.e the business solution they're solving, not from the geek classification of the company). That is, symantec is interested in deploying mid to enterprise level solutions that solve the problem of how to gurantee data and systems integrity. IDS's, a
    • Maby i'm just very thick... but... why would these two companies merge ? (is it a really merger btw, or really one company buying out the other?)

      A large storage company, and a maker of security software? Where's the "synergy" ? Maby i'm missing a concept or two...


      Symantec doesn't just provide security software, it provides security services as well.

      Their combined forces will be able to offer customers complete data security, from protected machines all the way to secure backups.

      Symantec has been integ
    • What will the merger offer.. "virus protected databases" ?

      Such a feature can be very helpful for the profitability of a company, since it would be a great way of increasing sales to paranoid PHBs who would believe what their salesman told them.
  • .. that veritas backupexec doesn't end up as direly pitiful as Symantec Antivirus. That would be real shame as BE is a great product.
    • Re:I hope .. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515)
      You're a real glass half empty guy aint ya. Maybe the Veritas dudes will take over the development of NAV and the thing will get better :)
    • I was thinking the same thing. We stopped using Symantec products a few years ago because they have become just as bloated as a large software company that will remain nameless and slowed our systems way down.

      Once we removed the Symantec products things worked much better. There are better alternatives out there and it's too bad Veritas had to be sucked in like PowerQuest was. Symantec will probably destroy that program just like they did Norton Utilities and ServerMagic.

      • I dunno. I run IT at a mid-sized software company, and I find Symantec Security Console relatively intuitive. Moreso than Veritas's backup suite which we use for our servers. Not that Veritas' is totally terrible, but it would be great if we got a better GUI for Veritas out of this.
    • That would be real shame as BE is a great product

      Not really. Its a fine product if you have one server to protect. It's an adequate product if you have 10 servers to protect. With version 10 it could even be argued that its ok for a SLIGHTLY larger implementation.

      But if you have any significant number of servers to protect it doesn't scale worth a damn. There are a number of far superior backup solutions out there. My preference is CommVault galaxy, but Legato, Tivoli, CA and even Veritas all make bet
      • I hear the "Their support sucks" argument a lot, but that has not been my experience. We have 26 Netbackup systems throughout our company and they all work very well. When there are problems, (usually hardware related) the Veritas support group is always willing to work to find the problem. I have had nothing but good support from this company with Netbackup. An I have probably open abouit 25 calls with them over two years (with the problem being hardware 95% of the time, STK SUCKS!) I have used all sort
        • Re:I hope .... not really (Score:1) I hear the "Their support sucks" argument a lot, but that has not been my experience. We have 26 Netbackup systems throughout our company and they all work very well.

          Yes, but thats the point. Netbackup is not backupexec and neither is the support. NB support is based in the US and the support is pretty good. And while I would personally still use Galaxy, NB is a decent product.

          OTOH BE support is based in Pakistan and is abysmally bad. Once you overcome the languag
      • Backup Exec does in fact have an image option (it costs extra) and perfectly fine support for tape libraries, including FC-attached libraries, below the $300k silo level. There are also damn good MS SQL and Exchange agents. Microsoft's IT center uses Backup Exec for thousands of servers, so presumably it scales better than you think if you buy the correct option for that as well.

        Perhaps you're thinking of just what you get for the base price? Even with all the options they sell, Backup Exec is still 1/3
        • Backup Exec does in fact have an image option (it costs extra)

          You're right, it does. It just doesn't work worth a damn.

          and perfectly fine support for tape libraries, including FC-attached libraries, below the $300k silo level.

          Perhaps support wasn't the word I should have chosen.Optimization is probably a better choice. While it does support those bigger libraries too many drives are idle for too long too often. The only cure for this is tedious, and repeated job manipulation. In addition the I/
      • "Not really. Its a fine product if you have one server to protect. It's an adequate product if you have 10 servers to protect. With version 10 it could even be argued that its ok for a SLIGHTLY larger implementation. "

        Use the right tool for the job. BE was designed for small workgroups/businesses. If you want to backup an entire enterprise, use NetBackup. It works great.
  • Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    • No.

      Any other questions?
    • When Mac users actually have security issues Symantec will start writing security products for them. You can't expect the AV companies to provide the viruses as well as the AV software. That'd be unethical, or something, and as we know, corporations never do anything unethicial.
    • Best. Meme. Ever.

      The funny thing about this meme is that there are always clueless replies from people who think the OP was serious... Only on /.

    • Symantec has Mac offerings [symantec.com], at least in the consumer realm. However, Symantec doesn't believe there are such things as Macs in the enterprise, so I doubt it.

      I doubt there are any Linux plans. Last I knew, Symantec was tied around Microsoft's little finger. But I left a few years ago, before Microsoft started it's AV thingie. But when I left, they didn't anything beyond a Microsoft world in the corporation. I believe they used to have server security software for Solaris, but dropped it.
  • "It's so forward-thinking and so bold, I would say in two years you will be able to evaluate if this was the right move strategically and financially," ...

    It is indeed for forward-thinking, that many of us don't seem to get why these two companies should be merging. That is: it seems their fields hardly overlap at all, so I'm curious where the common strategy is.
    • by Uber Banker (655221) * on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:04AM (#12909013)
      From TFA:

      The marriage of a security company and a storage company is a move that tells both industries that systems management and security should be managed as one, Sidders said, noting that if the Symantec-Veritas merger is successful, it may lead to other similar deals [com.com].

      • It makes as much sense as Sun buying StorageTek, or NetApp buying Decru (a storage company buying a security company in that case). Other similar deals already seem to be popular (which, of course, means nothing as to how much sense it makes).
    • I bet its so they can provide more uniform support and expand marketshare..

      "end to end" mentality.

    • When I ask my Veritas guy why this is happening, he says that he's not sure himself.

      I think that there is a strategy there, and he just can't talk about it. He's a pretty senior guy, and seems well informed of other goings on in the business.

      Desktop and security services combined with enterprise management, backup and monitoring.

      I don't get it either.

      wbs.
    • Silly slashdot reader, why don't you see it? People need a good backup system to save their important stuff for restoration after Norton AV blows it up big time!
  • Seems to me like there a trend for companies to merge/buy just som company that seems "good enough" without there having to ge a focus.

    The goal seems to just have a big enough total size, to "be counted as big player". So it really does not really matter what you buy.

  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:19AM (#12909065)
    It's been my experience that:
    • It doesn't catch as high a percentage of viruses as its major competitors.
    • The Symantec Server Console doesn't accurately reflect the state of the clients it is supposedly monitoring.
    • Symantec AV will crash a moderately loaded file server in several different common situations.
    • The Symantec Client causes many application problems on workstations - including with Outlook, which you'd expect to be the first app properly tested for compatibility.

    The only reason I work with it is that many PHBs seem to have IBM syndrome - "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM".

    And now we can look forward to that 'expertise' being brought to a backup solution. WHEE!

    • If the AV guys took over Backup Exec it would be a real problem. I don't think anyone's that stupid, however - and this was pitched as a merger, not a takeover. Of course, you never know when it comes to corporate execs.
      • I tend not to blame the coders for a certain level of bug content - you can only test so much before you're spending so much on testing that you'll never turn a reasonable profit selling the final product.

        Management, however, gets to decide what constitutes 'reasonable', and in my opinion the standard for Symantec products allows too many bugs to get through. The attitudes that permit this are what I would expect to see brought to the Veritas.
  • Seems like it was only yesterday that he was a second-rate chat show host and now he is merging with Symantec. Veritas [veritasparty.co.uk]
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:28AM (#12909101)
    Symantec C++ was an amazing compiler and development environment for the Mac, DOS and Windows during the 1990s. Now it lives on as DMC++ from http://www.digitalmars.com/ [digitalmars.com] .

    It was one of the products from Symantec's golden age, when they provided useful services and software. I remember those days fondly: one could even be proud to say he or she was using Symantec software. These days the Symantec name has become a joke, associated with half assed "security" software that often fails miserably. How things change in a short decade!
    • Having used Symantec C++ 7 and 8 back in my Mac days, I would say...

      Version 7 was good. Needed a few improvements.

      Version 8 bites. (I would say sucks, but I consider that a good thing.)

      Symantec C++ 8 was the beginning of the downhill slide of Symantec.

      Symantec C++ 8 was so bad that I vowed I would never buy their C++ again. Its been so long that I don't remember all of the particular problems I had with it, but it was very bad. Basically unusable. I remember my reaction to it.

      I switched
  • by kingsqueak (18917) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:40AM (#12909149)
    Two companies, both extensively utilizing undocumented error codes in their products, both of whom don't make available any updates to software without a support contract. Both vendors sell you shrink-wrap with long out of date releases that are totally broken upon install without the updates.

    It's a match made in heaven. Now Veritas can supply phone support via unskilled, scripted foreigners to complete the integration of the value-added services Symantec offers.

    Put a fork in them, they're done.
  • Symantec (Score:5, Informative)

    by Himring (646324) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:42AM (#12909156) Homepage Journal
    Symantec's mainstays -- PCAnywhere & the old Norton Antivirus -- are simply being eclipsed. Dameware and remote desktop (the latter free with Windows) nullifies PCAnywhere. Dameware is a far more versatile solution than PCA and did I mention the other is free? Unless you're running a shop with Windows95 boxes there's not much need for PCA and Dameware can handle 95 too.

    Enterprise AV is also being handled by better products such as TrendMicro's solution which is far more suited for the administrator than SAVCE (Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition). Trend's is far more a server/client solution providing tons of data on the nodes and good reporting for PHBs. SAV has its pluses, but fewer, and it has always suffered from incompatibility between its retail and enterprise solutions (Trend does a better job of uninstalling Symantec retail AVs than SAV itself).

    Other than that, there is a myriad of other products and solutions Symantec offers from SSL to proxies to content filtering for Internet and email, etc. but all of these are arguably solved by other companies who, from my experience, do a better job anyhow. Symantec is a bloated company who buy up smaller companies that offer singular solutions and then do not much, if nothing at all, to move the products they've attained forward. To supplement they try to be an all-in-one solution provider and/or offer consulting, but that only goes so far. A savey administrator can find means and methods to solve the problems Symantec promises to resolve without tossing green stuff at such a company. Lock down root on the workstations, update patches everyday outloud and use Firefox instead of IE and you've eliminated 99.9% (heck, all) malware issues. You can solve email content filtering with linux/OSS solutions and then purchase a couple of other individual products to handle SSLVPN, IDS/IPS, etc. and you're done.

    Symantec would have PHBs believe the tons of money chucked into their feeding trough is a good business decision. In the end, it is not. IMO, they have seen their better days....

    • Well said. Ever since my friend's computer was made useless by Norton Internet Security, I knew that Symantec was a dying company. How long will they be successful selling "security" software that simply cannot work well in any situation and causes more harm to a machine than most real viruses?
      • True. I was amazed that NIS managed to completely block the ISDN card, become unkillable and let the systray vanish. All because we rejumpered the card's IRQ (as was standard error management procedure with that particular card).
        I don't even know how we managed to get the box back into shape without reinstalling Windows, but I think it involved booting off a CD and manually cleaning up the mess.

        It's kind of sad... I can still remember when Norton Antivirus was a really good virus scanner.
    • Don't forget about Ghost. I have no idea what Ghost does for Symantec revenue-wise, but it's still a damn useful product, not ruined yet!

    • Funny, Trend calls Symantec uninstaller (uninstallshield) so I'm not sure how that's possible. SAV has always set the bar. Spyware, Tamper protections, email heuristics. These are all innovative concepts that other vendors have copied. The only thing Trend is known for of late is problems - April 25th pattern update for example that slowed down 1000's of systems - 99% CPU utilization. Yeah buddy, I want to put that on MY server. :-)
      • To each his own. We encountered massive problems using SAV's uninstall on Symantec's retail versions. We ended up spending tons of man hours writing our own scripts since what Symantec gave us sucked -- even working with their internal teams. We never did 100% eliminate the issue. We've piloted Trend and been happy with it. The only catch was we would have needed to run a web server on all of our NT4 sites which would have been a pain. I'm not certain regarding your information on who did what first,
  • Relative (Score:3, Funny)

    by ZZeta (743322) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:52AM (#12909194)

    "...the merger, expected to close on July 2, is now valued at only $11 billion..."

    Interesting how relative money is. Most days, $11 billion would seem like an awful lot of money to me ;)

  • SAV (Score:5, Informative)

    by retro128 (318602) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @11:14AM (#12909284)
    Symantec's products have been losing popularity recently

    I hear that. Could be because Symantec AntiVirus HAS PROBLEMS SNAGGING VIRUSES.

    I just switched my company to McAfee Corporate after I found MyDoom lurking on my boss' computer even though he was running the client and had the latest patterns. His system was running very strangely, so I went to TrendMicro's online scan and it picked up all kinds of weird stuff, the biggest standout being MyDoom.

    When I got my license renewal for SAV I told them to shove it and went to McAfee. The startup cost per license is higher than SAV, but the renewal is about half the cost compared to what Symantec wanted. When I deployed it at my company, it picked up some remenants of Nachi, a bunch of web scripting attacks and a few spyware apps. Another nice feature is that McAfee also uses a network driver to look for worm buffer overflow attacks and stop them before the files can even jump on your system. Overall, I'd have to say it is a much better value than what Symantec offers.

  • My experience is that Symantec managers do not know how to run a technical company. I've had so many problems with Symantec products that I no longer have any involvement with them.

    Whenever I've had to call Symantec for customer service or technical support, I've found them to be extremely aggressive and abusive and also close to worthless.

    In my experience, stories like this one from Slashdot yesterday are typical: Symantec's AntiVirus 10 Deployment Woes? [slashdot.org]
  • I know that on the Apple platform, Symantec was the defacto solution. However, for the last 5-6 years they completely abandoned the Mac. The last thing you want are zealots speaking against you.
  • by xeno (2667) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @06:06PM (#12911063)
    Symantec is confused. The buying spree for small companies such as Riptech, @stake, and Lyric all seemed to make basic sense for a security-focused company -- however badly it's been integrated -- but the Veritas merger is an odd broadening of coverage. (Disclaimer: my company was acquired by Symantec last year, and I quit recently because I could discern no coherent strategy.)

    At first blush, it seemed inspired. Working in security consulting, I spend all day talking to people about security as an integral business requirement for systems and processes, as opposed to applying security as a blanket (extra processes or un-integrated technologies) over unknown or messed-up business processes. So the idea of data management and protection being rolled up together with C-I-A requirements in products and services that average-joe can comprehend seemed all goodness.

    But really? Inspiration is a tall order for John Thompson, who can't even maintain an appropriate filter between brain and mouth long enough to avoid pissing off major clients, much less describe what the new company's strategy is. That man's head is solid bone. And the rest of the exec team isn't much better. Charlie (EVP Services) is a spluttering angry midget who can't manage to talk about the new company without devolving into his "sugar-high speech" about how we'll all re-live the glory days and get rich by frightening our clients into buying more product and services. Seriously. He's done that repeatedly. And what the hell does "Security + Availability = Information Integrity" mean? (Does Integrity - Availability = Security?) Utter nonsense; a marketing word-salad. It's embarrassing, really.

    Now, if the SymExecs had their collective shit together, they would do a reset and realize that from the current position they could easily become a serious MS-contender by merging with a company that has platform/productivity apps. (Think Novell/Suse or Sun.) That would give them a basic platform or two, data storage, db/management, data protection, application dev platform, secure networking, client services, independent client productivity apps, profesional services at multiple levels, etc etc. But that ain't gonna happen. Maybe that would exceed "bold" and reach "foolish" but without some boldness, Symantec is going to suffocate under its own weight. Quoth Fast Company magazine a few years ago: "Size is not a strategy."

    J
  • Run away (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    We use Brightmail at work (over 200,000 users) and since they were bought by Symantic they have gone right downhill. The website to report problems is unusable (even with IE running on XP) and calls to the callcenter get people who havn't even heard of Brightmail.

    I'd advise any Veritas to switch ASAP to another provider before they get stuck with half supported Veritas or (almost as bad) Symantec's actual anti-virus product.
  • This is a marriage made in heaven!

    Now, you can backup your data with backup exec BEFORE symantec's antivirus misses a big virus (cough cough spybot cough cough) that trashes your hard drive!

    Genius, I tell you.

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