Virtualization is a high-tech buzzword in broad use today, but its increasing importance is based on more than just the passing fancy of the crowd. With its potential to reduce capital expenses and energy costs, virtualization presents an attractive solution for enterprises looking to save money and generate value from their IT investments. Virtualization can indeed offer many benefits to enterprises, but the benefits must be weighed against the potential threats to information assets and the business itself. This white paper examines some of the business benefits that accrue to virtualized solutions, identifies security concerns and suggests possible solutions, investigates some change considerations that should be considered before moving to a virtualized environment, and provides practical guidance on auditing a virtualized system.

Virtualization has affected the way enterprises run their IT operations. While virtualization has only recently left “emergent technology” status and become a more common practice, enterprises have already seen benefits to moving to virtualized environments. Those benefits include lower TCO, increased efficiency, positive impacts to sustainable IT plans and increased agility.

However, enterprises must also consider the potential security risks and change implications that accompany moving to a virtualized environment. Mitigating many of these threats and having well-documented business processes and strong audit capabilities will help ensure that enterprises generate the highest possible value from their IT environments.

When a data center is virtualized, the number of physical devices is consolidated to combine the work of multiple servers. This configuration creates an increased demand in CPU, memory and I/O. This utilization of servers increases demand on your physical infrastructure.