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VMworld survey reveals security as primary business objective

MicrosoftAltor Networks and Juniper Networks recently announced the results of a jointly conducted survey at the VMworld show floor. The survey, which garnered responses from the representatives of over 200 firms at San Francisco’s Moscone-hosted VMworld 2010, found over 77% of respondents have security intensive environments with over 90% of workloads requiring protection.

Despite moving forward with virtualisation, survey participants acknowledged they are mixing workloads of varying importance on the same virtual machine hosts and that their efforts to secure them would benefit greatly from solutions that bridge the gap between physical and virtual security.

Over 70% of respondents are mixing workloads on the same hosts and well over a third believe that the best way to secure them is with solutions that unify physical and virtual network management constructs into a single view.

The survey participants were also asked about how often changes like VM additions or deletions take place in their virtual networks with over 55% reporting changes occurring multiple times a day. This rate of change far exceeds what is possible in a physical network and clearly points to the need for automation in the monitoring and controlling of virtualized network security and compliance.

Around 40% of respondents cited time to deployment and cost as leading considerations in the virtualisation of their critical workloads; 86% of companies consolidate mixed workloads (e.g. Web, App, DB) and notice amplified security risks, as a result. About 63% of respondents stated that their virtual infrastructure administrators or network operations staff, not security, is responsible for security and 34% ranked unified management for physical and virtual network security as the most important security concern in their virtual and cloud infrastructure.

“We’re seeing the majority of enterprises virtualizing their mission-critical workloads concurrently with efforts to find the best way to secure them,” said Johnnie Konstantas, vice president of marketing, Altor. “The survey reveals the real struggle of today’s IT personnel to meet business objectives for increasing operational efficiency while maintaining or fortifying security. The responses are at times surprising in that they reveal workloads at great risk as a result of virtualisation and organisations earnest in mitigating that risk as soon as possible.”

“The survey results reflect the reality in today’s IT environments: economic conditions are pushing organisations toward virtualising ahead of risk mitigation considerations as a result of a cost cutting mindset,” said Avishai Avivi, senior director, Strategic Alliances, Juniper Networks. “Our technology and integration efforts with Altor address a very imminent need to implement virtual network protections within a familiar and pervasive construct – the physical network security architecture. This is the fastest and safest way for organisations to ameliorate risk and virtualise comprehensively.”

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