Whether you’re planning to adopt a cloud-based infrastructure for your business or to simply espouse a virtualized IT environment, you need to deploy virtual servers. In this technologically progressive era, virtualization is inevitable. In fact, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) just signed a 10-year contract with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a private cloud infrastructure to help the agency improve its operations. According to a Gartner study, 27% of organizations are either using or planning to use cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings to expand their core business intelligence (BI) functions, while 17% indicate that they are currently replacing some of their on-premise BI systems with dynamic cloud services.
But, while cost-effective, this growing trend presents a set of complex security and management risks that can hinder your business from having a smooth transition from a physical environment to a virtualized network. To help you make the shift, here are 5 trade secrets to successful virtualization:
Keep a close eye on all hardware and software adjustments.
Identify every element that needs to be changed to fit the virtualization model, however small they are. You are about to disrupt a deeply ingrained system status quo, so you have to know every detail and the possible impacts of altering each tiny configuration. Take your time in determining these structural changes, because one wrong move can destroy the foundations of your current ecosystem. Don’t rush your virtualization process, as the key to a smooth desktop virtualization is a carefully planned transition.
Ensure infrastructure compliance.
There are government rules and regulations for desktop virtualization and virtual offices that were crafted based on legal and industry standards. Generally, compliance to these is pricey; but they are worth every cent, for they guarantee the legitimacy of your company’s operations and may even boost your brand’s reputation. Get a hold of this set of policies and faithfully comply with them. Your business might face legal issues if you don’t.
Deploy a holistic security solution that caters to hybrid IT environments.
One of the challenges of virtualization is fighting the new threats and vulnerabilities springing from this new platform. Because of budget issues and lack of awareness, most companies protect themselves using old enterprise security systems that prove to be ineffective in resisting the advanced threats and sophisticated malware cybercriminals use today. New hazards need new solutions. Look for an advanced defense against these emerging risks, defense built for IT environments that are in the process of going virtual.
Educate and train your employees about the new system.
It’s not easy to understand the concept of virtualization, but you have to make your employees aware of its basic principles. At the very least, tell them how the new transformation will affect operations. Will the change add or remove steps in current processes? How big is the modification’s impact on the office workflow? How should your employees prepare for the threats this change brings? Ultimately, it’s best to share with them some best practices to help them walk their way through the new structure.
Consult with experts.
Unless your company provides virtualization services like VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS), seek expert consultation from a pundit on the field. Working with an authority will give you the certainty that your new system will be functional and stable. There are actually some companies that prefer to hire specialists to do the work for them. However, since every company is unique, it’s still best to let your IT team craft the strategy because they are more familiar with the nature of your enterprise.
Virtualization becomes more complex and more important as we move toward 2014. Following the secrets divulged above will help you cut through the complexities and risks that can disrupt your company’s journey to virtualization.
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