Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Security Concerns Easing For Cloud Deployment 

Promoters of software-defined datacenters insist this is year that the IT strategy gains traction and, according to one upbeat survey, becomes a fixture in U.S. enterprises. A key reason is that a growing percentage of tech executives believe security will be less of an obstacle to wider adoption of software-defined infrastructure.

Nevertheless, a survey by cloud security specialist HyTrust Inc. found that security remains at the top of the list of reasons why enterprises have so far resisted virtualizing applications, especially mission critical apps. More than 45 percent of respondents identified security as their top concern when deploying software-defined cloud infrastructure.

HyTrust, Mountain View, Calif., also reported that 70 percent of those polled believe data breaches and other security risks are becoming less of an obstacle to cloud deployment. That finding, it asserts, underscores that momentum toward increased adoption beginning this year.

The survey of about 500 business and technology executives found that two-thirds foresee increased adoption of software-defined infrastructure this year while a roughly equal number predict "faster deployment." Just under half of those polled said adoption of network virtualization also would gain momentum in 2016 while 45 percent forecast greater adoption of public cloud infrastructure.

The latter prediction correlates with a steady enterprise shift to hybrid cloud architectures as adopters seek to leverage the flexibility of elastic computing and storage while retaining mission-critical workloads in their own datacenters.

Indeed, the HyTrust survey found greater use of public clouds, with 38 percent of respondents predicted adoption for workloads "traversing" hybrid clouds, while nearly as many cited the rise of hyper-converged infrastructure. "On a particularly optimistic note, 41 percent now expect better alignment of security strategies specifically to address" software-defined datacenters, HyTrust noted.

Among the keys to hybrid cloud deployment was an overwhelming consensus uncovered by the survey for "enforcing consistent policies aligned to meet compliance, security and business needs." More than 90 percent of executives polled agreed or strongly agreed with that premise as they shift operations to the cloud.

There was also a consensus around the notion of "effective automation" as a way of reducing manual processes while still ensuring security. The automation push can best be seen in ongoing efforts to free DevOps teams from infrastructure management so they can instead focus on developing and deploying enterprise applications faster.

While security remains a top concern when virtualizing infrastructure, IT budget restraints are becoming less of a concern, with only 20 percent of respondents identifying cost as a major concern. In another indication that software-defined technologies may be ready for primetime in the datacenter, only about 15 percent of those surveyed cited cloud performance as a barrier to adoption.

Meanwhile, more than half predicted greater use of storage virtualization.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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