VMware revealed Symantec SASE integration plan before Broadcom finished buying it

Still no word on when the deal will happen, or what’s holding it up

Two weeks past the expected close of Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware and neither party has yet explained what’s holding up the deal, or detailed when it might close. But at last week’s VMware Explore event in Barcelona, VMware offered a teaser of how the two companies’ wares might integrate.

That teaser came in the form of an announcement that VMware’s software-defined WAN tech will integrate with Symantec’s Enterprise Cloud. Symantec was acquired by Broadcom in 2019 and forms part of the Broadcom Software business unit that will be renamed VMware if the Broadcom/Virtzilla deal drops.

VMware has billed this integration (which it described elsewhere as an “initial integration”) as likely to accelerate adoption of the secure access service edge – aka SASE, a term coined by analyst firm Gartner to describe numerous security technologies delivered consistently as-a-service across multiple and/or hybrid networks.

Once Gartner defined the term, vendors – including VMware – rushed to assemble their products into SASE-shaped bundles.

Symantec’s Enterprise Cloud includes data loss prevention tools, plus threat protection to identify and mitigate attacks.

The integrated offering VMware plans will see data emerging from one of its SD-WAN points of presence and then being routed into the Symantec Enterprise Cloud. Doing so, VMware wrote, will bring “management flexibility to enforce internet access by device, user, app, and location; detection and blocking of malware hidden in encrypted traffic, applying real-time threat intelligence, risk-level ratings, deep file inspection and sandboxing; and blocking of threats with Symantec’s innovative web isolation technology.”

All of which is hard not to like.

However, some of those functions are already possible with VMware’s portfolio, albeit not quite in the same SaaS-y way Symantec offers.

Which may fuel speculation that VMware plans to eject some of its less-prominent products, such as the Carbon Black security range that overlaps substantially with Symantec.

But with the deal not yet done and Broadcom not officially in charge there’s no word on what comes next.

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan made a brief appearance at VMware Explore last week and re-stated his plans to boost R&D spending, invest more in the VMware ecosystem, and make Virtzilla’s products easier to use.

But he offered no further detail about how the deal is progressing.

The Register has read accounts from VMware staff of being offered Broadcom employment contracts, sometimes on terms that differ markedly to their gigs at Virtzilla. Others are waiting – fretfully and with increasing anger – to learn of Broadcom’s plans. ®

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