Our Indian R&D centre is our largest lab worldwide
Anil Chakravarthy, Vice-president, India Technical
Operations, Symantec India, spoke to Dominic K about the innovative work
underway at the company's R&D lab in India.
Dynamic Multi Pathing (DMP) is a technology developed out
of the R&D lab at Pune. What is the concept behind this technology?
Our Indian R&D centre is our largest lab worldwide. DMP, a tool developed
at the Pune Lab, helps administrators by providing alerts for path failure and
recovery. In the old days the administrator had to set a static path to access
data. When this path got bottle-necked, the administrator had to manually reconfigure
another path. All of this was based on trial and error.
Through DMP we have achieved the same dynamically within the data centre. Depending
on the performance of the server as to how fast data is being retrieved, our
software will automatically reconfigure the path that should be taken. In case
the path fails due to a hardware connection error, it will automatically reconfigure
the path. DMP can also provide greater I/O throughput by balancing the I/O load
uniformly across multiple I/O paths to disc storage.
Every OS and application has certain vulnerabilities. How
do Symantecs solutions address this?
People tend to trivialise anti-virus and use it as a sort of vaccination for
data protection. A virus or worm is a piece of code that exploits a vulnerability
that could be anywhere in an OS, database, application or network. I feel that
virus is more a catch-all term. For the piece of code, it is all about exploiting
vulnerabilities. Symantec is conducting research on each of the above mentioned
areas to block vulnerabilities.
For example, Internet Explorer has a lot of application-level vulnerabilities
such as pictures not being scanned for malware. Scanning is limited to text
but not to pictures. Hence, malware gets injected into pictures. Another example
of application-level vulnerability is buffer overflow. Symantec does not distinguish
between the level of vulnerability simply because vulnerability keeps disguising
Products and solutions are available to tackle viruses,
spam, worms and trojans as well as botnets and rootkits. How does Symantec tackle
At the OS level, rootkits are the threat, and they are not easy to develop or
destroy for that matter. It can be in the form of a virus. Then there are blended
threats which combine the characteristics of trojan horses, worms, viruses and
various types of malicious code within themselves to attack server and Internet
In terms of R&D we were one of the first to ship an integrated solution
against viruses, spyware, rootkits and phishing. This solution offers a personal
firewall apart from integrating security.
Symantec tied up with Juniper to offer security in network
devices. Is this a move to expand the market that you address to offer enterprise
solutions in network technology as well? Is the Pune lab contributing on this
We have realised that network-level security must be provided through custom
hardware and customised chips (ASIC), otherwise network traffic will slow down.
Today, traffic moves at gigabit speed. At this speed, the network hardware devices
need to detect or allow a packet in real-time, not slow down the system to inspect
some data packets in the stream.
We are not into manufacturing or fabricating security boxes, hence we decided
to collaborate with Juniper to offer our security solution software in Junipers
network devices. Our software module can be inserted as a blade module.