Virtualisation being driven by IT departments

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More education still needed in boardroom.

The adoption of virtualisation is being driven by technical-level employees rather than the boardroom.

Speaking at a roundtable event in London hosted by Sourcefire, Stuart Brameld, technical manager at Nebulas Solutions, claimed that virtualisation is "more driven by IT" who are "far more aware of benefits".

Brameld said: “The use of virtual machines began in lab and test environments, it is them who really have sold it to the boardroom.”

Commenting, Dominic Storey, technical director for Sourcefire, said: “When it comes into the boardroom it is when you think about security from a CIA perspective: confidentiality, integrity and availability, and it is the 'availability' message that reaches home.

“It is all about making sure that your services are highly available and scalable. That is what will interest the board, from a business continuity aspect.”

Earlier, Graham Titterington, principal analyst at Ovum, claimed that the biggest drivers are "energy savings, space saving, money saving, perhaps carbon emission saving that comes with other factors".

Titterington said: “Perhaps the biggest pay off, and one of the main reasons for doing it in the first place, is the convenience model and doing it elsewhere and using a computer with the appropriate hyper visor which is a lot easier than in the physical world. So everybody is doing it a bit, but the bandwagon has an awful lot further to roll and there is plenty of scope for further roll out for using it more widely.

“The problems will be with the management, where they create their virtual machines and then find that they are lying around and are difficult to manage and it is difficult to manage the security risk, so I think we will see a dose of realism but I am sure the basic technology will gain a lot of popularity over the year.”

Brameld further claimed that there had been large adoption so people are aware of the benefits, but from a security point of view people are not seeing it with trust zones. Storey commented that if he were a customer, he would not virtualise the trust zones.

Meanwhile Leon Ward, security engineer at Sourcefire, said that he had seen many examples where trust zones are leaked into one virtual bubble. Titterington further commented that one of the problems is ignorance about where trust zones are.

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