Virtualization = High Potential for Network Blind Spots
March 19, 2015

Pete Goldin
APMdigest

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While most companies believe virtualization technology is a strategic priority, there are still clear risks that need to be addressed, according to a new report by Ixia entitled The State of Virtualization for Visibility Architecture 2015. The report indicates that there is a potential for hidden blind spots within the modern enterprise based upon current visibility technology and how it is being used.

Key findings from the survey include:

Virtualization technology could create an environment for hidden dangers within enterprise networks. When asked about top virtualization concerns, over one third of respondents said they were concerned with their ability (or lack thereof) to monitor the virtual environment. In addition, only 37 percent of the respondents noted they are monitoring their virtualized environment in the same manner as their physical environment. This demonstrates that there is insufficient monitoring of virtual environments. At the same time, over two-thirds of the respondents are using virtualization technology for their business-critical applications. Without proper visibility, IT is blind to any business-critical east-west traffic that is being passed between the virtual machines.

There are knowledge gaps regarding the use of visibility technology in virtual environments. Approximately half of the respondents were unfamiliar with common virtualization monitoring technology – such as virtual tap and network packet brokers. This finding indicates an awareness gap about the technology itself and its ability to alleviate concerns around security, performance and compliance issues. Additionally, less than 25 percent have a central group responsible for collecting and monitoring data, which leads to a higher probability for a lack of consistent monitoring and can pose a huge potential for improper monitoring.

Virtualization technology adoption is likely to continue at its current pace for the next two years. Almost 75 percent of businesses are using virtualization technology in their production environment, and 65 percent intend to increase their use of virtualization technology in the next two years.

Visibility and monitoring adoption is likely to continue growing at a consistent pace. The survey found that a large majority (82 percent) agree that monitoring is important. While 31 percent of respondents indicated they plan on maintaining current levels of monitoring capabilities, nearly 38 percent of businesses plan to increase their monitoring capabilities over the next two years.

Methodology: Ixia surveyed more than 430 targeted respondents in South and North America (50 percent), APAC (26 percent) and EMEA (24 percent).

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