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Symantec: Challenges in virtualization

Posted on: February 24, 2009

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 09:55:00 11/05/2008

Filed Under: Technology (general), Software, Computing & Information Technology

MAKATI CITY, Philippines — Virtualization adoption across regions and industries is maturing, posing strong growth and influencing information technology infrastructure.

In Asia-Pacific, server virtualization posted 22 percent growth rate for the past two years, as Springboard Research predicted virtualization software and services market in the region to hit $1.35 billion with compounded annual growth rate of 42 percent by 2010.

Based on Symantec’s “State of the Data Center Report” published in December 2007, data center managers worldwide said that server virtualization and consolidation are considered as the “top cost containment” strategies.

Most of the companies are using virtualization if not considering its deployment.

“Server virtualization is dubbed as the most influential technology for businesses today in terms of the benefits it offers — savings, infrastructure flexibility and better server provisioning,” said Suzie Tan, Symantec country manager for Philippines.

As organizations increasingly leverage virtualization to deliver applications to endpoint devices, management and protection of endpoints, whether physical, virtual or hybrid become top concerns.

“Virtualization reduces everything to data, so data protection is everything,” said Raymond Goh, Symantec regional director for system engineering in Asia South.

“Virtualization increases complexity, which in turn amplifies challenges of resources management,” he said.

If virtualization technology is deployed without an effective management strategy in mind, the complexity will amplify a set of new challenges, Tan said. “They must know how they want to leverage and use the virtualized platform,” she said.

These challenges include application and data availability, managing virtual and physical server sprawl, optimizing resource utilization, desktop/application management and security, Tan said.

In response to this, Symantec released the Veritas Virtual Infrastructure (VxVI), dubbed as the industry’s first x86 virtualization solution to enable enterprise dynamic datacenter.

VxVI uses a new distributed volume manager to provide operational management of the entire virtual environment: both servers and storage, said Goh.

Symantec added to the VxVI solution two technologies: presentation virtualization and connection brokering technologies, both from its nSuite acquistion.

Presentation virtualization allows dynamic allocation of traditional and virtual computing resources like information, user profiles and applications to the endpoint, regardless of the device. This brings “personalization” to virtualization users

Presentation virtualization allows users to view and interact with applications running remotely on a server. With this, users can run high-memory applications without overworking their local devices since the processing happens in the remote server, said Goh.

Another addition to Symantec’s technology portfolio is the Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Professional software that isolates applications and data from the base operating system, allowing users to add, remove or reset applications on a Windows desktop. The software includes technology from Altiris and Appstream, said Goh.

Symantec is bullish about the adoption of its tools, as industries realize the benefits of virtualization in terms of cost savings, especially during the current economic slump. High growth markets include banking and finance and telecommunications, said Tan.

For future innovation of its tools, Goh said that Symantec is currently working on increasing the security of offline application images on the virtual space.

As applications go offline for a while or are offloaded from the virtual network system, administrators need to make sure that when they are to be used and must be made online on the servers, they have patch and anti-virus updates.

Goh said that Symantec is partnering with VMWare on its VMSafe API integration for this project.


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