Editorial: Putting virtual security on the table

In the first of ARN’s Market Guide series for the New Year, we’ve tackled two of the hottest IT topics around: Security and virtualisation.

Virtualisation has come a long way in the last few years, initially taking over server platforms and now driving into storage, applications, networks and the desktop. As virtual environments become commonplace in all facets of computing and the datacentre, industry advisors are urging channel players to be alert to securing them.

The argument is two-fold: On the one hand, a virtual infrastructure faces the same security risks as a physical one. These range from individuals abusing access and privileges internally through to Web-based security threats, malware, viruses and data violations. In addition, implementing virtualisation technology alters a customer’s broader IT architecture, potentially leaving it vulnerable to all sorts of nasties. On the flip side, virtualisation has its own set of security issues which need to be addressed, such as protecting the hypervisor, or host, layer. Virtual server sprawl is another area where security practices can lapse and breaches occur.

In this guide on securing virtual environments, we look at ways to ensure you don’t expose customers to risk. Key tips include undertaking a fresh analysis of an organisation’s overall security set-up, as well as ensuring best practices across virtual deployments.

At a broader level, the economic slowdown is also expected to change how customers perceive their IT infrastructure. As more and more organisations look to save money, the temptation to cut spending on anything not deemed “critical” will be significant. Integrators and service providers will need to make sure customers don’t implement virtualisation to the detriment of security.

Alongside our tips and tricks on securing different virtual environments, we’ve included a case study on how local integrator, Sonnet, assisted one digital media company to improve its IT infrastructure and customer coverage using a secure virtualisation platform.

We’ve also listed a range of products aimed at securing physical and non-physical IT scenarios.

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