SPN Walkthrough

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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SPN Walkthrough:

Channel Insider, with the help of Christopher A. Furey, managing director of Imaginamics, took SPN for a test drive to see if Symantec’s venture into SAAS is all it’s cracked up to be. To get started with SPN, users will need a valid account and access rights to the service. The initial setup of the product occurs by using a Web-based portal to access the client installation software. The first step is to download the agent installer, which took about three minutes on our broadband connection. The actual install, which consisted of launching the downloaded client applications, took about seven minutes to complete and required a reboot. For the first part of our tests, we used a Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop and installed version of the SPN agent.

Installers will need to keep in mind that SPN uses port 443 to authenticate between the agent on the PC and the portal server, and may have to make changes to firewalls or other security devices to ensure that the application works.

SPN installs as three windows services on the desktop PC, the SPN Backup Agent, the SPN Communications Manager and, if you're an administrator, it also installs the SPN Platform Agent Administrator. The Backup Agent sits in the system tray to let windows users know that the service is running and offers some minimal status reporting.

The SPN service, though agent-based, is completely operated from the online Web portal. The service supports multiple users and multiple systems, so an administrator has a convenient single tabbed interface to keep an eye on users, assets and reports. The SPN portal also provides access to the Backup Exec Online functions if you're authorized to use that feature. (BE is now configurable to point erstwhile tape-bound data to the SPN portal, extending the BE functions into offsite data vaulting while still supporting the enterprise customer's investment in BE software and licenses.)

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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