This week: On-site coverage from Symantec ManageFusion 09 in Las Vegas.

Symantec bought Altiris in January 2007, AppStream in last April, and connection broker maker nSuite last August.

Symantec bought Altiris in January 2007, AppStream in last April, and connection broker maker nSuite last August. It seemed that they were on the path to becoming a “real” player in the desktop virtualization space, although we hadn’t really heard too much from them in the last six months. And quite honestly, Symantec has a reputation not really integrating the companies that they buy. (I can’t tell you how many Symantec people introduced themselves from “Veritas” at VMworld Cannes last month. Come on people. That was five years ago!)

So on the one hand, I’m looking forward to another major player in the desktop virtualization space. (The more competition, the better it is for customers.) But I’m also a bit worried about whether Symantec can “pull it off.”

To that end, Symantec’s endpoint management conference called “ManageFusion” is taking place this week in Las Vegas. I’ve never been to ManageFusion in the past since it focused more on traditional management, but given Symantec’s recent foray into the desktop virtualization space (or “endpoint virtualization",” as they’re calling it), I figured that it would be worth attending just once.

Symantec actually announced a new product line last month called the “Symantec Endpoint Virtualization Suite (EVS).” This is the new and integrated name for the Altiris SVS application virtualization platform combined with the AppStream application streaming product and the nSuite connection broker. In other words, this “EVS” product looks to be something that we need to pay attention to.

In fact, there’s an interesting quote in the press release about profile management too, reading “Symantec Workspace Profiles is scheduled to offer mobile personality capabilities which record configuration changes to a central repository. Changes are designed to be applied contextually to desktops, workspaces and applications to provide a consistent, portable user experience across multiple environment types.” As of right now, Symantec doesn’t have a profile management product, so I’m curious to find out what the story is there.

But if this EVS thing turns out to be decent, and it combines app virtualization, streaming, connection brokering, and profile management, then it could be a serious tool in the “layering” approach we need in Windows to get to that VDI 2010 vision. (You know, where every user starts with the same base instance of Windows, and then their apps, data, and settings are ‘layered’ on top..)

So really, I have a few goals for this week:

  • Attend ManageFusion and see if it’s worth attending in the future.
  • Try to understand Symantec’s message, both from the desktop virtualization space as well as what they’re doing around desktops in general.
  • Talk to as many folks as I can and record some cool stuff for this week’s “Brian Madden TV” show which will be all about ManageFusion.

What else should I be looking out for this week? Do you have any questions that I should ask the technical and product folks from Symantec?

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Can you get more information regarding the integration of AppStream into their new Notification Server 7 platform.  In NS6 the AppStream component was very much a plugin that really didn't inter operate with some of the native NS 6 components.  Also, Symantec was charging a premium for the streaming feature...even for those that already had paid the premium for this still true?