Data is getting bigger, virtualization is expanding, and data protection applications are ill-prepared to deal with it. This much we can all agree on. But Symantec’s introduction of “V-Ray,” which the company describes as “X-Ray vision into … virtual environments” has just left me puzzled. Is this “marketecture” or some sort of technology or product?
Symantec’s V-Ray Vision
As discussed at Symantec Vision 2011, there is a distinct need within virtualized environments to improve visibility and transparency. As additional layers are added, each is obscures those below it. Virtual machines simply lack the level of visibility seen in physical environments.
The solution, we are told, is “V-Ray.” It “provides transparency of backup images across physical and virtual environments,” which certainly sounds like a positive goal. And Symantec can leverage its “intellectual property around file systems, security, and storage.” But what exactly is Symantec doing here?
I had numerous discussions with Symantec folks at Vision 2011, and it turns out that V-Ray is, in fact, a term for a number of technological features common to many products. First delivered in NetBackup and Backup Exec, the technology known as V-Ray allows these products to identify files within virtual machine images, enabling file-level recovery. It will also be leveraged by Symantec’s Endpoint Protection security products, allowing quicker scanning when the product “knows” which files have already been scanned and which have changed.
Put together, these features will allow these products to interact more efficiently and completely, sharing configuration information and other metadata. The V-Ray concept will extend into management applications and across Symantec’s software portfolio.
Symantec also made this clever video. Too bad it doesn’t say what exactly V-Ray is!
Anything that enables better management of virtual machines is a win in my book, but I wish this “V-Ray” idea wasn’t so opaque. I’d love a single page specifying exactly which technologies fall under this umbrella and that this “deep technology” really does.
Symantec has great IP for managing storage and applications as well as protecting data, but they haven’t always been able to leverage and communicate this technology. V-Ray is a step in the right direction conceptually, merging their storage, backup, and security smarts and spreading the result far and wide. But right now it appears to be more “marketecture” than real substance. Here’s hoping it matures into some solid, useful offerings in time for Symantec Vision 2012!
Disclosure: Symantec paid my expenses to attend Symantec Vision 2011 and has repeatedly sponsored Tech Field Day and other activities I am involved with. I am under no obligation to the company to write about their products, positive or negative.
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