As virus hunters spread their focus, many are looking to archiving and secure storage as a new business opportunity. Symantec (news, site) is the latest, taking its existing client services to the clouds.

Storage Solutions 'R' Us

Remember the last big virus outbreak? Nope, neither do we, apart from the Iranian nuclear plague, but that's slightly different. The point being that virus fighters have become so good at their jobs, or the virus writers have changed tack and now concentrate on malware and social scams, but viruses just don't seem big news anymore.

That's why the brigade of antivirus vendors, both big and small, are looking at other opportunities for business. We've already seen AVG offer a consumer archiving service, while Symantec has been offering enterprise storage solutions for some time. 

To the Clouds

Symantec's tools are now being tweaked to offer cloud archiving and storage and will be released later this year in simplified Web versions. Unveiled at the company's Visions 2011 conference in Las Vegas, it started with Backup Exec 2010 -- currently for SMBs running Windows Server, the cloud version will offer improved data continuity, faster recovery times and virtualization.

The update also adds agent-to-server SSL support for improved security for users with WANs or private clouds. The cloud version helps do away with the need for servers and extra software, widening its appeal.

For larger clients, Enterprise is scheduled for a June release and offers the additional security, features and connections that major corporations require. An appliance version will help provide these as a service, reducing install and integration headaches.

Hit 'Em with the V-Ray

Some neat additional technology new from Symantec is V-Ray, which is part of the Backup Exec and Symantec's NetBackup products. This allows admins one view of backups across virtual and physical server environments through one console instance, saving checking across a range of storage locations.

It will speed recovery and allow files to be rescued from virtual machine backups across both physical and virtual machine instead of having to do a restore. Expect the cloud versions in the summer and fall.