SMB Organizations Discover Wonders and Perils of Virtualization

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Virtualization Interest Grows Among SMBs

SMB interest in virtualization is high, but the actual progress of adoption has been somewhat slow.

While it's pretty evident that interest in virtualization among small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) is on the rise, most of them are still in the relatively early stages of development.

A new survey from Symantec finds that while a huge percentage of the respondents are gearing up to deploy virtual machines, progress has been relatively slow. Perhaps what's even more troubling, says Kevin Rowney, director of marketing for virtualization at Symantec, is the simple fact that backup and recovery and security issues associated with virtualization are pretty much an afterthought. That could be a significant problem, says Rowney, because there is a lot of unappreciated complexity associated with those activities in virtual environments.

Specifically, each virtual machine environment has its own unique approach to managing storage and in terms of security, each guest operating system running on top of the virtual machine still needs to be patched and protected. There's a tendency, says Rowney, to think that because the hypervisor is secure that everything running on top of it has somehow been magically made secure.

It will also be interesting to see who will dominate the virtualization category as SMBs get more involved. It's a customer segment that has long favored Microsoft, which has been gaining a lot of ground on VMware lately.

Ultimately, Rowney notes that most IT organizations will be dealing with a heterogeneous virtualization environment, which of course will introduce even more complexity into the overall IT environment.

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