As traditional data centers evolve to virtualized and cloud computing environments, they pose significant new security challenges that need to be addressed
Data centers have evolved significantly to keep pace with growing business demands. Operators in these centers are under immense pressure to roll out new applications and services faster than ever before. As a result, organizations are consolidating data centers and adopting technologies like virtualization, software-defined networking, and cloud computing.
Virtualization enables organizations to utilize their data center hardware infrastructure effectively, leading to reduction in costs, and improvements in operational efficiencies. As traditional data centers evolve to virtualized and cloud computing environments, they pose significant new security challenges that need to be addressed.
The majority of organizations are still using the same tools for their virtualized environments—such as antivirus and firewalls—as they did for their in-house physical machine set-ups. However, existing security solutions in the data center fail to address the dynamic nature of the virtualized environment, and cannot track policies to virtual machine creation or movement.
This approach is leaving organizations open to risk of cyberattacks and loss of critical business data. There is an emerging need for “virtualization-aware” security solutions that monitor intra-server communications flows and protect virtual resources.
Next-generation firewalls (NGFW) have emerged as the security solution of choice for many virtualized data centers as they provide a security architecture that can protect, scale, and evolve with virtualization needs.
ABI Research believes that there is a niche market for NGWF for virtualized data centers, valued at US$375,000 in 2014. “NGFWs deliver much more granular control than traditional firewalls by being application and user aware, which in turn ensures better security without impacting user productivity,” says Monolina Sen, ABI Research’s Senior Analyst in Cybersecurity. Players like Trend Micro, Cisco, Imperva, NTT Com Security, Centrify, Veeam Software, and others offer innovative and interesting offerings in the data-center virtualization security market.