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Symantec completes Altiris acquisition

Security vendor Symantec took another big gulp. This time it swallowed systems management and virtualization software player Altiris.

Symantec Corp. has acquired Altiris Inc. in a deal that may help IT shops pull together their security with systems management functions more easily.

Symantec, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., said late last week that it had completed its acquisition of systems management software manufacturer Altiris, based in Lindon, Utah. The deal is valued at $830 million.

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Symantec acquiring Altiris for $830 million

Although both companies sell security tools, software from Altiris emphasizes systems management features. Symantec is also heavily invested in backup software through its earlier acquisition of Veritas. Altiris will reportedly remain intact as a separate operating unit within Symantec.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an IT consultant firm in San Jose, Calif., said that customers will eventually be able to have products that include system management and security, without the two interfering with each other. "Symantec, which has been a security company, will now move solidly into the systems management space, and it implies that security should be a part of management," Enderle said."

When Symantec announced its intention to buy Altiris in January, analysts said it would help the company compete against rivals such as McAfee Inc. and Trend Micro Inc., as well as Microsoft.

Symantec's chief executive officer John Thompson has said that revenue from Altiris will not only help Symantec's bottom line, but that it will also aid it in entering the services market. Last year, Altiris revenues were about $230 million, and about half of that -- more than $100 million -- is from services, according to analysts.

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