90% of UK organisations plan to invest in virtualisation

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Research conducted for the upcoming Storage Expo exhibition has revealed that 90% of UK organisations have already migrated - or are planning to migrate - to a virtualised environment.

The figures were revealed when Storage Expo researchers asked the question are your current system management and monitoring tools able to support virtualisation? - of more than 400 IT professionals. 23% responded: yes our current tools will enable us to keep access available. A further 67% responded in the affirmative to the question: we are investing in new tools to enable us to manage virtualised infrastructure.

According to Natalie Booth, event director with Storage Expo, these responses mean that 90% of organisations polled for the survey are using or planning to use some form of virtualisation technology with their IT systems. "Our research also found that, whilst security is holding back (30%) of organisations polled, the majority (60%) plan to invest in new technology to tackle the security problems created by the migration to a virtual environment," she added.

Tony Lock, programme director with Freeform Dynamics, said that virtualisation is adding new challenges all around but the biggest security challenges are matters of process rather than technology fixes. "This, of course, also makes them more difficult to address as one cannot rush out and buy a process fix in the same way one can acquire a new firewall or virus scanner," he said.

According to Mr Lock, several issues must be carefully considered in any virtualisation project. In most organisations that have undertaken such projects, he says, the primary approach has centred upon consolidation projects, which have caused multiple virtual machines - or instances to be run on single server platforms or to create virtualised pools of storage. "By placing multiple applications on a single server or accessing a single resource pool of storage the resiliency of the physical platforms becomes incredibly important," he said.

"In pre-virtualisation days if a single x86 server failed only a single group of users were likely to be affected. If a virtual server dies it can potentially take with it a number of applications and a much higher number of users," he added. It's against this backdrop that Mr Lock advises that good systems monitoring tools and management processes that can be used to keep access available are now essential.

The upcoming Storage Expo event, which takes place at London's Olympia on October 14th and 15th, seeks to answer many of the security challenges that virtualisation causes for hard-press IT managers. Keynote sessions from some of the industry's movers and shakers have been lined up for the event, with a seminar from Mr Lock - together with three IT professionals giving delegates a run-down of what to look for when buying virtualisation solutions.

With the panel for the keynote including Carolyn Bell, Head Of IT Operations with AutoTrader, Dick Cosby, Systems Administrator with Estes Express Lines, and Joe Goodings, Senior Technology Researcher with Greenpeace UK, the event promises to be a resounding success on the education front. With two days of stimulating and thought provoking seminars that reflect the needs of todays data storage professionals and information management experts, Storage Expo 2009 gives you the chance to improve and update your storage and information management strategies

Sessions that focus on Virtualisation include:

Getting The Most From Server Virtualization: Employing Deduplication & Replication For Best Of Breed Data Protection Practices - Iain Davidson, Operations Manager, Information Systems, Generali Worldwide Insurance Company Ltd Speaking on behalf of Data Domain

SAN Optimisation Best Practices: Seeing Through The Clouds Of Virtulisation  - Mike Royle, IT Director, Enterprise Services, Unilever Speaking on behalf of Virtual Instruments

There is also a new Virtualisation Showcase sponsored by VMware, which will demonstrate and showcase key software and hardware vendors who offer products and services which enable:  Server virtualisation; Application virtualisation; Network virtualisation; Desktop virtualisation; and Security virtualisation.  Visitors will not only be able to engage with customers using virtualisation but also take part in the presentation showcase highlighting the virtualisation technologies and tools necessary to deliver asset analysis, virtualisation management and security

 For more on Storage Expo: http://www.storage-expo.com

About Storage Expo

Storage Expo 14th 15th October, Olympia, London, is the UK event for data storage, information and content management and provides visitors with the opportunity to compare the most comprehensive range of solutions and services from many leading suppliers.  The education programme will also enable visitors to learn how to address todays key issues with expert advice from a wide range of industry experts and peers. For further information, please visit www.storage-expo.com

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