At a time where the first generation of virtualised IT infrastructures are being prepared for renewal and the shift from virtualisation to private Cloud continues, well-planned risk management has become a critical measure in avoiding vulnerabilities in security, power, data management, and disaster recovery, according to a panel of Australian industry experts.
The forum, held earlier this week in Sydney, was moderated by Telsyte senior analyst, Rodney Gedda, and consisted of Eaton managing director A/NZ, Richard Jeman, Kroll Ontrack general manager APAC, Adrian Briscoe, Tecala sales and marketing director, Pieter DeGunst, and WatchGuard Technologies channels and alliances vice-president APAC, Scott Robertson.
Telsyte predicts that the existing focus on hardware footprint through consolidation of computer room servers, easier hardware administration, more efficient use of floor space, and enhanced system availability will expand to include private Clouds in 2012.
“Virtualisation on its own can facilitate improved server economics, but it also creates a new set of challenges, not least a greater overhead in systems management brought about by virtual server ‘sprawl’,” Gedda said.
“One answer to this management overhead is with so-called private Clouds which can automate management tasks and respond to business demands in a way previously too cumbersome for physical infrastructure.”
The move to private Cloud is well under way, with nearly 20 per cent of organisations building a private Cloud using virtual server management software, according to Telsyte.
In this process, some organisations are placing too much faith in virtualised infrastructure and are cutting back on essentials while attempting to maximise IT cost savings.
“In the past, organisations had one server per application. If a server went down, you lost that application,” Jenman said. “In the virtual environment this has changed, so that if one server goes down it could take up to fifty applications with it.”
“Protecting physical hardware from outages and failures has become more critical than ever before,” he said, cautioning organisations’ cost reduction strategies.
A key problem, according to Briscoe, is the mentality that virtualised and Cloud environments ensure data loss will not occur. He points to the struggle in finding a comfort level in ensuring data protection, particularly with the impact of unstructured data, bring your own device (BYOD), and regulations requiring organisations to hold electronics for longer.
A Kroll Ontrack survey of over 700 IT professionals confirmed this, unveiling that 69 per cent of organisations had experienced data loss within a virtual environment within the past 12 months.
The panel predicts that there will be a further increase in the adoption of private Cloud solutions throughout the next 12 months as virtual infrastructures are being reviewed.
It also predicts that there will be an increase in medium to large companies selecting hybrid virtual and private Cloud solutions, and that vendors will be releasing an array of products and tools to assist in managing the virtual environment.