"It's just like we're putting up another server," he says. "Some people may be scared to virtualize, but it's more fear of the unknown. We don't treat the virtualization servers any different than the physical servers when it comes to security. We treat them the same. Security is security."
VIRTUAL REALITY Adoption of virtualization is continuing – with caveats, says Guy Buzzelli, CIO of Delray Beach, Fla. Dan Kaplan reports. P 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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