Survey: Network Security Top Reason for Stalled Next-Gen Data Center Deployments

By Vangie Beal (Send Email)
Posted March 27, 2012


New survey results from Crossbeam identify network security as the number one reason IT organizations are stalled in their efforts to transition to cost- and energy-efficient Next Generation Data Centers (NGDCs).

According to the survey, which polled 529 IT professionals within large global enterprises and service provider organizations, 94 percent of respondents cite network security as the top reason why NGDC deployments are stalled, with virtually no progress anticipated in the next 12-18 months.

"NGDCs are an evolution of the data center in which virtualization and other technologies are deployed to create an environment that is more dynamic, efficient and flexible, allowing organizations to easily scale and respond to changing business requirements," said Crossbeam in its survey report. "However, according to survey findings, among the three main technology areas of the data center – application servers, storage infrastructure and network security – network security has not only become the greatest obstacle to the NGDC evolution, it is bringing many NGDC efforts to a halt.

"For all the documented efficiencies and green benefits of the NGDC, virtualized environments are much more fluid by nature, which opens the potential for threats due to the ease with which applications and data can be moved around," said Jim Freeze, chief marketing officer of Crossbeam. "IT organizations realize that bringing network security into the NGDC must be a priority. Yet the survey results reveal a troubling lack of progress."

According to the findings, more than 40 percent of respondents say that network security is the biggest obstacle to the successful deployment of NGDCs. This is compared to storage and application servers, which received merely 15 percent and 14 percent of the responses respectively.

The survey research note explains a key driver behind this problem is that network security technology remains mired in a “last generation data center” approach, due largely to a lack of understanding of how to virtualize network security infrastructure as well as budgetary constraints.

"Organizations need to adopt a virtualization strategy that enables network security infrastructure to be as dynamic as the rest of the environment, or they will wind up with many of the same cost and complexity problems that plague traditional data centers," said Michelle Bailey, research vice president for IDC's Enterprise Platforms and Datacenter Trends. "While virtualizing network security is still a relatively new concept, it is clear that IT organizations need to be making investments in the right expertise and technologies if they want to avoid repeating the security mistakes of the past."

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