Preparing Your Organization for Virtualization
Numerous security gaps may occur with virtualization, but by using the right tools an organization can overcome them. As with management, the issue of security is something that those new to virtualization may fail to consider.
Many organizations make the mistake of not paying attention to certain nuances that are connected to virtualization, and because of this, they often put themselves in positions where they are less secure than they should be.
There are a number of security issues to consider for virtualization, and enterprises that do not address them are putting themselves at grave risk. The first of these issues are security gaps which are connected to the hypervisor.
Hypervisors are just as vulnerable as other applications. Having this layer compromised is extremely dangerous. The reason for this is because each workload on the server is put at a great deal of risk.
The companies which design hypervisors will typically take the time to patch any vulnerabilities within them, but the downside to this is that the IT departments will typically be lax when it comes to the application of these patches. The best way to solve this problem is to make sure the hypervisor is included within the standard management schedule for the patches.
The next thing that you will want to pay close attention to is the monitoring of traffic which is internal. Standard firewalls which are network based will analyze traffic among devices which are physical, but not for virtual machines.
To take the time to make sure the communications are monitored, you will want to make use of intrusion and firewall applications that are specialized for this purpose. Blue Lane Technologies is known for making these types of tools, along with Reflex Security Inc.
Administrative root control is also important, and should never be taken lightly when it comes to virtualization. When it comes to standard infrastructures, servers will generally carry out one function for each piece. Despite this, when you are dealing with an environment which is virtual, one physical server will generally have a lot of virtual machines.
The problem with this situation is that any individual which has administrative permission for the root is capable of making them all weak. What this basically means is that the IT departments which are responsible for the introduction of virtualization will also need to take the time to create stronger regulations when it comes to who has access to the root.
There are also times when patch management will need to be conducted offline, and this is a great benefit for virtualization since it allows disaster recovery operations to be conducted much faster.
In the most basic sense, virtual machines are little more than large computer files. What this means is that organizations can make copies for various points without a great deal of trouble, and they can then store them in the form of backups.
In the event that the virtual machine is not available, the back up server, in addition to all the software that comes with it. When the virtual machine is not available, the backup can be made available in a few seconds, and this includes much of what comes with it, like the configuration settings and the data.
The danger of this is that a backup server which is restored may reintroduce vulnerabilities with regard to security that was patched earlier. This means that the IT departments will need to be diligent when it comes to the patching of the virtual machines.
While none of these issues should cause you to panic, they are issues that you will want to take the time to address in a manner which is proactive. The best time to spend thinking about the vulnerabilities of virtualization should be in the days, weeks, and months before the infrastructure starts operating.
Once it is operating, it will be too late to take these matters into consideration. There are also challenges that you will face in terms of management. Many IT executives are surprised to learn that despite the fact that virtual environments are difficult to manage, they are difficult to administer.
Virtualizaton Administrations Difficulties
Virtualization can be very challenging to administer, and there are a number of reason for this. First, you must take the time to handle the physical platform itself, and you will then need to take the time to make sure the network is properly managed.
In addition to this, you must still take the time to handle the operating systems as well as the applications. When it comes time to deploy virtualization, the last thing you will want to do is cut back on the administrative staff that you have.
It also is not a bad idea to deploy the virtualization software for management, the software which is specialized for this purpose. The problem with a standard management system is that they are simply not capable of being able to track virtual machines or offer support for them.
Many hypervisor vendors allow for the management of the applications, and this means that the leaders for management tools such as CA Inc, as well as smaller enterprises will be involved with this.
Take the time to deploy a life cycle for the virtual machine is a really wise form of management. These products ensure that maintenance chores are automated, and the best example of this is the management of patches.