Symantec is acquiring nSuite Technologies, for an undisclosed price, in order to build out its portfolio of virtualisation security and management technologies.

Privately-held nSuite makes software called PrivacyShell Virtual Workspace Management, which is primarily used by hospitals for secure desktop management on behalf of physicians and medical staff. The nSuite software works to create a container around an individual's authorised applications and data. When a user is authenticated, the user's applications and data can quickly be ported to the Windows-based desktop where the individual is working, and later removed.

With nSuite, "the user space is completely portable," says Ken Berryman, vice president of endpoint virtualisation at Symantec. "It allows this workspace to be moved around."

Berryman says the nSuite functionality reflects the next wave in software virtualisation, which has been around for a few years. "The hypervisors are commoditising, and we view them as a necessary part of the stack," Berryman says. "The focus needs to be on the information that's valuable."

While the nSuite software is not tied directly to use of the popular virtual-machine software packages, such as those from VMware, Microsoft or Citrix XenSource, it provides functions that could be used for managing data in these environments, he says.

After the nSuite acquisition is completed, which is expected this month, Symantec anticipates integrating the nSuite software with its Altiris SVS and AppStream management consoles in the future.