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Adoption of virtualization is continuing – with caveats, says
Guy Buzzelli, CIO of Delray Beach, Fla. Dan Kaplan reports.

        lease forgive Guy Buzzelli if he        were used for testing and development        how humans behave, they sort of imple-
        sounds a little too matter-of-fact      scenarios. Now, many organizations           ment now and worry about it later,” says
        when discussing virtualization.         leverage virtualization – known for its      Steve Lafferty, vice president of market-
The CIO of the city of Delray Beach,            speed, efficiency and agility in produc-      ing at Prism Microsystems. “That’s kind
Fla., a 65,000-person beach town about          tion environments – to deploy mission-       of what’s happening with virtualization.
an hour’s drive north of Miami, says the        critical workloads.                          Nobody is saying that you have to put
process of migrating from a traditional            But it is also a technology nascent       this much money aside for security.”
IT environment to one powered by                enough that its security ramifications           Complicating the picture even fur-
virtual machines (VMs) has gone about           have taken a backseat, in many organiza-     ther, vendors have been slow to develop
as smoothly as possible.                        tions, to the immediate and significant       solutions that allow organizations to
   In other words, there were no frantic        cost savings, disaster recovery benefits      effectively secure and manage these
screams emanating from Buzzelli’s               and resource utilization that server con-    unique environments.
11-member department, which over-               solidation reaps.                               “Research shows that customers’
sees IT for Delray Beach’s 750 public              There also is an issue of buy-in and      number one concern [around virtual-
employees, when it downsized 42 physi-          governance. According to an April report     ization] is security,” says Frank Gens,
cal servers to five, and replaced them           from Prism Microsystems that studied         senior vice president and chief analyst of
with 45 VMs.                                    the state of virtualization and security,    IDC, in a December research note. “As
   “It’s just like we’re putting up another     85 percent of respondents said they          IT resources are shared in a virtualized
server,” he says. “Some people may be           have adopted the technology “to some         or cloud environment, customers worry
scared to virtualize, but it’s more fear        degree.” However, the 302 IT managers        about whether their applications and
of the unknown. We don’t treat the              who responded cited a lack of budget and     data will be more vulnerable to tamper-
virtualization servers any different than       staff expertise as the major inhibitors to   ing, theft or loss.”
the physical servers when it comes to           safeguarding their virtual environments.        But nothing about virtualization
security. We treat them the same. Secu-            Budget decision-makers certainly like     makes it necessarily more risky than the
rity is security.”                              the cost benefits and productivity gains      traditional IT layer, say experts, even
   Most organizations, large and small,         that virtualization presents, but they are   though through 2012, 60 percent of vir-
have accepted virtualization as the future      not necessarily thinking about the need      tualized servers will be less secure than
of their data centers. Earlier p
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