Enterprise IT Watch Blog

May 31 2010   4:41AM GMT

Is there a branch office virtualization crisis coming?

Kevin Beaver Kevin Beaver Profile: Kevin Beaver

This recent post from Michael Vizard hits some good points about virtualization and the branch office. Apparently Blue Coat Systems determined that 59% of IT managers surveyed have deployed virtual servers in branch offices. Big deal, you say. Well, as Michael points, out more virtual servers means more network traffic. Not a problem on the LAN but potentially a big problem on the WAN. Where’s that bandwidth going to come from? Who’s going to manage it? Who’s going to pay for it?

Another point Michael made is something I’ve seen ever since I started working in this field:

But more often than not, the folks in the branch office tend to do what they please when it comes to servers. It’s only when that activity starts having a negative impact on the network that corporate IT takes any notice of what’s happening in the branch office.

In other words, the typical branch office is often ignored – sometimes forgotten about – when it comes to computing resources. I don’t know if this is a flaw of a centralized IT management model or just a sign that the average network manager is too overwhelmed. Regardless, it’s a problem that cannot be ignored if you’re going to manage IT and, more specifically, virtualization and network bandwidth at remote offices. Perhaps an impending “virtualization management crisis” is indeed on the horizon?

Certainly something to think about.

Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, keynote speaker, and expert witness with Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog.

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