Security within the Virtual Environment

Organisations that leverage virtual security appliances as part of their overall consolidation and security strategy will be better equipped to reduce  the cost of hardware, power and cooling requirements without any compromise to security. A side effect of leveraging this approach is that it allows for the possibility of re deploying assets to strengthen capacity requirements at no additional cost for existing investments.

Convincing  savvy technical teams  of the importance of robust IT security such as dual firewalls and intrusion protection systems is not difficult. The impact on the business of a security breach is potentially very high.

The cost and effort of installing and maintaining a secure environment can be equated to the premium for an insurance policy. It protects against what might happen and as such, is difficult to apply typical measures of Return on Investment. IT security isn't a platform for producing measurable business outcomes; rather it secures the services being delivered. With the current cost conscious environment this means IT security projects are often hard to justify to the business executive responsible for managing costs across the organisation.

This situation is set to change with the introduction of the latest security tools which leverage virtualised environments. Organisations may be able to "have their cake and eat it"!

Previously, the lack of security within virtualised environments meant companies had to enforce physical separation policies, because there is no physical firewall within the server chassis itself. Now virtualisation means you can add  virtual firewall software  at the blade level. With the release of products such as the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) for data centre networks and cloud providers, security can be applied at the level of the virtual machine. Additionally, VSG is hardware "agnostic" and can run across servers from different hardware suppliers.

This provides some significant cost saving opportunities. Companies can consolidate their assets. It removes the need to have a sparsely populated blade server for each security zone. This is the case in a lot of environments, particularly where regulatory compliance is a necessity. It is now possible to use a single chassis with virtual security applied at the virtual machine level, increasing security but crucially, allowing consolidation of expensive devices.

The savings that come from the reduction in costs for equipment, rack space, power, cooling and management can be significant, but only if the planning and design is done properly.

Read about how Brisconnections saved over $250,000 through a virtual security solution in our latest case study.

David Murray is a Solutions Architect based in Logicalis’ Brisbane office, and has expertise in security, routing & switching and wireless infrastructure. He'd love to talk to you over a coffee about the business benefits we can deliver through virtual security.

Tags Digital Transformation


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