Security and virtualization are top priorities: Now how do you do both with long-term cost savings?


Security and virtualization are top priorities: Now how do you do both with long-term cost savings?

Out of necessity, user mobility and cyber security have been the major focus in the IT world lately. Users are on the move, and IT must adapt accordingly. But even more importantly, hackers are moving quickly, and IT must adapt even faster — or face disastrous consequences. 

And, as I discussed in my post on the 2013 ESG report, cyber security is the top concern among IT execs. The confidentiality, integrity and availability of data needs to be protected. 22 percent of those surveyed also said desktop virtualization was a top priority this year, and 19 percent listed “mobile workforce enablement” a top priority. But how can agencies address these urgent needs when funding is so tight? The answer is that they need to adopt technologies that make them safer and more able to do their jobs while also managing the things that drive costs up such as data growth, lost productivity and data loss.

Securing, protecting and virtualizing IT assets while saving on costs

Not only do IT execs see information security as their number-one priority, but also 32 percent of them are making security and risk management a top business or mission priority this year. And I’m sure it’s no surprise that survey respondents — and just about every IT admin I talk to — are looking to reduce IT costs, especially in government where agencies are under the threat of sequester-level funding. Fortunately, VDI meets that cost-reduction need in the long term.

First, productivity increases as a result of VDI’s added mobility, even at 10 percent, could save the government $2.6 billion each year. Secondly, VDI addresses trending needs to manage data growth. By building VDI on NetApp, you gain instant flexibility for growth. Data growth is controlled through deduplication and compression that comes with NetApp’s Data ONTAP operating system, which also deduplicates backup and archival data.

Cyber security for the mobile user

VDI eases the pain for admins dealing with a ridiculous amount of security patches regularly. For one, it centralizes management of those systems that are constantly under attack. But now VDI doesn’t just apply do your desktops — it’s the future for mobile devices as well.

VMware’s Horizon Mobile is a VDI-type solution for tablets and smartphones. It creates a separate enterprise workspace out of which data cannot be moved. This prevents data from being compromised by users’ rogue apps and lax security tendencies. The Horizon Mobile workspace can be remotely managed back at the data center by the admins just like a VDI solution. The best news is that the data is encrypted, so if the device is lost, there is no risk of security breach. Admittedly, the whole thing is a bit Inception-like because you’ve got a phone inside your phone.

This is a significant improvement over typical mobile device management (MDM) solutions that agencies are grappling with to solve mobile security problems. Not only are most of those solutions point products that introduce complexity, they are not future-proofed (but they are administration-cost heavy).

There are other competing technologies that also create an enterprise workspace, but they are all point products, meaning they only solve one problem. VMware’s Horizon Mobile solution is an extension of its current Horizon Application Manager and is being rolled into the Horizon Suite, which includes several administrative solutions, such as View. That one-console solution simplifies the lives of administrators and allows them to secure both desktops and mobile devices.

Because we’re the Data Performance Architects, we’re experts at building VDI solutions. And now that comes with even more peace of mind from our robust data protection knowledge. To learn more about how SwishData approaches VDI security and other technologies to serve government agencies’ IT needs better, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.

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