Virtual server protection takes on new importance
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Virtual server protection takes on new importance

Moving toward expanded cloud functionality may pique corporate interest in virtualized storage and networking solutions, tools that make use of existing infrastructure by providing broadcasting of server access anywhere it's needed. Remote office and on-the-go and employees will be able to interact in real time with personnel at the business as well as those at a third-party location, even if it's not a professional setting. Microsoft is making inroads in this department, but the overall feeling among IT experts is that more firms need to make themselves aware of the intricacies of these solutions in order to implement them compliantly.

Tracking current trends
ZDNet reported that Microsoft's Drawbridge service will provide a link to virtualized server solutions in tandem to its Windows Azure resource. The combination of cloud and virtual deployments is one that many companies may find appealing, as these two technologies add diversity to backup and continuity portfolios. Unlike the cloud, which is entirely online and hosted primarily by third-party vendors, virtualized servers like Drawbridge create a digital copy of physical hard drive or tape assets in an online setting, allowing for cloud-like access without relying on another entity to protect and govern assets.

Drawbridge will work with Azure to provide more open roaming for corporate clients trying to go farther from the office without putting files at risk in a cloud landscape. More control and tracking capabilities means firms won't have to worry as much about whether best security practices are being enforced, and they'll still be able to benefit from real-time file retrieval.

This is an increasingly appealing option for corporate leaders, according to an InformationWeek report. a study of virtualized server management found that over half of the responding companies were already using some devices in this category, while almost half of those not currently using them indicated that their businesses would be transitioning to these systems by the end of 2013. Companies like Microsoft are gearing up production on tools that facilitate these changes, because firms are most interested in moving in this direction, so finding resources that promote better governance and security is key. Though virtualized servers rely on internal corporate hardware, protection of physical assets is just as critical as safeguarding digital copies and the services used to store and transfer them.

Addressing the issues
Integration Developer News wrote that this importance, coupled with the overall desire to adopt these solutions despite the risk, will make virtualization one of the primary drivers of IT innovation and spending this year. Among the reasons for this, the source stated, is the increased implementation of bring-your-own-device and mobile programs among the workforce. These devices make completing tasks much easier and more fluid in terms of regular workflow. For those working on the go, handling work-related issues in a format they are familiar with and in many aspects prefer to traditional computers will encourage staff members to get their jobs done no matter where they are.

Another factor adding to the difficulty of these deployments, Enterprise Storage Forum wrote, is the complexity of file systems in general. Adding more flexibility and access points can overwhelm IT personnel, let alone the systems they're tasked with maintaining, so coming up with adequate solutions to begin with could be strenuous and expensive for the average company. Finding a way to balance all these aspects will be a primary goal for many major corporations this year, experts believe, and tools like Microsoft Drawbridge could be essential in reaching these aspirations.