Virtualization is a hot topic in business IT these days and it can be difficult to keep track of all the latest trends and stories. To help you stay on the front foot, here’s our summary of some of the latest research, news and important issues being discussed in the world of virtualization in July 2011.
Upping the Ante
Virtualization is going from strength to strength - and it’s getting serious. On July 12th both Microsoft and VMWare announced their latest products for full server virtualization. These releases, Windows Server 8 and vSphere 5, seem to be focused on addressing many of the widespread concerns which are preventing many people from deploying virtualization as a business IT solution - namely security, performance and ease of implementation. Other than that, there seems to be a slight divergence in approach. In terms of power, it seems that VMWare has the edge, with each virtual machine supporting 32 virtual CPUs. Windows Server 8, on the other hand, will allow over 16, although more exact numbers have not been released. Still, it’s early days yet. Many may think that VMWare will be the obvious winner, with the their established place as a virtualization leader. In other news, however, Microsoft are actually closing the gap in terms of market share, with only a 6% difference between VMWare and Hyper-V. So, let’s wait to see which one has the edge with IT departments.
Go Go Gadget Security
Smartphones, tablets and laptops mean that lots of people now have the chance to bring their own device to work, giving access to apps for social networks, emails, documents stored on a cloud - you name it, and you can probably get it on your iOS or Android device. And everyone’s over the moon about it. Everyone, that is, except IT departments. For them, it creates a whole new set of security issues, as employees are connecting loads of new devices to the company network. Not only could these unmanaged devices be a gateway for malicious software to infect the company network, it also gives lots of people potential access to sensitive information and files. But recently, a number of writers have pointed out a way round this: virtualization. This allows access to the internet and the ability to use personal devices on the company network, while give IT departments the kind of control they need to maintain necessary security. If you want to read a bit more about this, check out these great posts from Eric Savitz at Forbes, Mike Lennon at SecurityWeek, and Dale Fuller at TechNewsWorld.
Virtualization on the Up
As Dell has reported recently [NB: PDF link], IDG Research has conducted a survey of Computerworld readers. The study questioned those readers who have a say in establishing IT systems, and asked them about the extent to which they have deployed virtualization. A staggering 87% have virtualized some of the servers in their company. Breaking down this figure, 31% of those survey had deployed virtualization of over half of all their firm’s servers; 24% had implemented some sort of virtualization on between a quarter and a half of their machines; the final 32% had virtualized less than a quarter. The 13% who had not yet virtualized any of their machines were either in the evaluation stage or considering this option, or were already running pilot projects. Good news for virtualization proponents! We really would recommend reading this report in detail if you’re in the industry, as it contains some fantastic figures and insights. In particular, it highlights those areas in which virtualization is not being used to its full potential - many current deployments do not seem to take advantage of the most unique and useful features, including the great benefits of scalability. Vendors should also take a look, as it highlights some of the top concerns which are currently dissuading IT managers from either implementing or expanding virtualization solutions. What were your top virtualization stories from July? What do you think of these developments? If you want to discuss it with us, leave a comment below, or for more information on Symantec’s virtualization services, click here.