This year’s theme at VMworld is “Right here. Right now.” This call to action encourages participants to enter the new cloud era. Certainly there is room for this encouragement as many companies are yet to move to the cloud. In a recent 2012 Cloud Security Survey by Trend Micro, respondents provided the following implementation information for virtualization and cloud infrastructure actually in production:
- Server Virtualization 43% (another 18% in pilot)
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 35% (another 18% in pilot)
- Private Clouds 30% (another 18% in pilot)
- Public Clouds 30% (another 18% in pilot)
The respondents consisted of 1,400 respondents in seven countries around the globe and were all purchase decisions makers or key influencers for one or more of the above technologies. Yet less than half have server virtualization in production and less than a third are using a private cloud or public cloud.
The survey results also show that companies with server virtualization in production or pilot are more likely to have deployed cloud computing:
- 65% have Private Cloud Computing in production/pilot
- 62% have Public Cloud Computing in production/pilot
Although the cloud exalts benefits of cost savings, agility, and freedom to innovate, perhaps our focus should be more on the 50% of companies that have not yet virtualized their data centers, or towards helping those that want to further virtualize, including more mission-critical systems. With a solid virtual environment in the data center, companies seem more prepared to take the next step to cloud computing.
Even if companies are currently focused solely on virtualization, they need to ensure that the virtual foundation they are establishing will support a move to the cloud when they are ready to take that step. One of the key elements of this foundation is security. Many organizations are deploying traditional physical endpoint security solutions on virtual machines and finding that these solutions do not provide adequate protection for the security challenges in virtualization environment and raise new operational issues such as degradation of performance and resources.
Similarly, when considering cloud deployments, security and performance are also top concerns; they are picked as the two top risks / barriers to adopting cloud computing services.
- Concerns over security (of data or cloud infrastructure) 54%
- Performance / Availability of cloud service 50%
With virtualization as the infrastructure foundation of cloud computing, there is certainly overlap with the types of security that support protection and performance in both virtual and cloud environments. However, the cloud introduces new security considerations. As organizations look for the right security solution for their virtual environments, they should also look ahead and ensure that this solution can also address the security issues unique to the cloud, or they will be looking for yet another security point product when they delve into cloud computing. Instead, companies should look for solutions that are architected for both virtualization and cloud environments and allow users to manage both of these environments from the same console—unifying management and enabling consistent security policies across the data center and cloud.
The Global Cloud Security Survey contains additional survey results around cloud computing adoption and security. For information on Trend Micro’s virtualization and cloud security solutions, visit us at our VMworld booth #1123 or on the web at www.trendmicro.com/cloud.
Instead of “right here, right now,” companies might instead “consider the future” as they look to establishing a virtual environment that will eventually support and secure cloud computing for their organization.