Industry rhetoric suggests that server virtualization is a critical component in an ongoing progression from internal IT to cloud computing. Over the long term this may be true, but ESG research indicates that most organizations are just getting started with advanced server virtualization functionality like virtual machine mobility and will likely take a measured approach toward increased utilization over time. ESG believes that the gap between industry vision and market reality could be harmful to all parties involved. To get more out of server virtualization investments, users must bolster IT training and vendors must sell products and services that fit market needs rather than marketing vision.
ESG research indicates that most midmarket and enterprise organizations will increase security spending in 2011. While spending in traditional areas like network security, desktop security, and web/messaging security will remain dominant, ESG also sees pockets of spending for mobile security, identity and access management, and information assurance. Many organizations want to add security staff within IT, but will likely find a shortage of available talent, opening the market for managed security services. Beyond these mainstream areas, creative vendors will find opportunities in server virtualization security, risk management, and security automation.
According to ESG’s 2011 IT spending intentions survey, nearly half of all organizations will increase networking spending in 2011—good news for networking companies like Blue Coat, Cisco, Extreme Networks, F5, HP, Juniper Networks, and Riverbed. Survey respondents’ highest spending priority is network security, followed by network management, WLAN, and IP telephony. Aside from increasing spending on networking technologies, one-third of organizations adding IT staff in 2011 also plan to hire additional network administrators, making networking one of the top five areas of IT hiring need in 2011.
Many large organizations are consolidating IT infrastructure into massive data centers to lower costs, but what about application availability and performance? Massive consolidation can lead to single points of failure which could interrupt service of critical applications. ESG believes that this risk should be addressed by building applications on a Wide Area Application Architecture (WAAA) foundation, spreading applications across multiple data centers. F5 Networks has already built an enterprise-class WAAA implementation for Exchange 2010 to combine consolidation benefits with high performance and availability.
Jon Oltsik is an ESG senior principal analyst and the founder of the firm’s information security service. With over 25 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of information security and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Recently, Jon has been an active participant with cybersecurity issues, legislation, and technology within the U.S. federal government.
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