"It's a natural synergy," said Steve Hunt, analyst at Forrester Research. "It made so much sense for both of them for very different reasons."
Storage giant Veritas had been searching for a way to enter the security space, he said: "In security, there is a tremendous need for data management, backup, and archiving of millions of security events that need to be stored and investigated, not to mention all the ways storage is used for compliance to regulations."
Meanwhile, Symantec needed to follow through on its Information Integrity Strategy, which promises to keep customers' businesses up and running, no matter what happens.
"That's a big promise and data management is a big part of that," Hunt said.
Symantec also wanted to make a bigger push into the enterprise, which Veritas provides. "It's a way for Symantec to build out its portfolio of enterprise scale products and to make the better case that it's a big-time player."
Andrew Braunberg, analyst at Current Analysis, said Symantec's vision of integrating security and data protection has a lot of potential. One obvious area would be to provide threat-based data backup as part of a more comprehensive protection strategy, he said.
Such integration will become increasingly attractive as companies face the pressure of compliancy requirements, Braunberg said.
"Realistically, though, a merger of this size is a huge challenge from a cultural, sales, product, and channel perspective," he added.
With more and more companies designating a chief risk officer who is responsible for security, data protection, and disaster recovery, Symantec is well positioned with its acquisition of Veritas, according to Jon Oltsik, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
"As this trend propagates across industries, Symantec's Information Integrity theme will move from vision to common sense and the combined company will be in the cat bird's seat to take a leadership position," he said.