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Virtualization adopters face security challenges

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Virtualization is moving into the mainstream with 50% of IT professionals already using this new technology, or planning to do so within the next 18 months, reveals a survey conducted by email research specialists, emedia, using its RapidResearch service.

The survey also indicates that over half (52%) of respondents are saying virtualization systems introduce some new security challenges. The main ones amongst those mentioned, include consideration for patching and update (32%), guest-to-guest attacks (27%), and the addition of new host software (22%).

Interestingly, the later the implementation of the technology is scheduled for, the more apprehensive IT professionals seems to be. emedia’s survey shows that 51% of current users think that virtualization poses some new risks, rising to 57% amongst those planning to use the new solution within the next 6 months and 66% amongst those adopting it within the next 6 to 18 months.

However, system vulnerability does not seem to be the main hurdle for non-adopters at that stage. Obstacles to virtualization expansion for non-users include the lack of a compelling business case for total cost of ownership and return on investment (20%), priority given to other network upgrade projects (19%), cost/budget constraints (18%), insufficient staff expertise (15%) and security (9%).

IT professionals believe they can overcome these threats by taking various safety measures such as staff training/improving understanding (51%), patching/updating/hardening servers (38%), using firewalls (30%), and separating networks/subnetting/routing (25%).

When purchasing a virtualization solution, the most important criteria respondents look for are server/physical space consolidation (64%), disaster recovery (54%), and reduced cost of ownership (49%), speed performance (48%) and ease of use (43%).

David Clark, managing director at emedia, concludes, “The advantages of virtualization appear to be tantalising but it seems that IT managers approach it with caution.”

emedia’s online surveys quickly and effectively measure responses at a point in time and the same survey may, when executed at a different time, yield different results. Rate of change will vary according to whether the responses are based on knowledge, fashion, attitude or value, ordered by decreasing rate of change. Emedia surveys attract sufficient responses to be statistically representative and prove to be useful for later comparison.

Read the original, here.

Published Thursday, June 21, 2007 5:48 AM by David Marshall
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