Virtualization Can Work Well

This article, stating that many CIO’s are hesitant to deploy virtual environments for mission critical work streams, caught my eye. Done correctly, virtualization can assist in minimizing data leakage and promote IT efficiencies. For a previous employer, I traveled to Switzerland frequently to evaluate our control environment, particularly after the risk environment dramatically changed when governments created a “pink market” (or “white market”, depending on your politics and moral views) in stolen private bank customer data (you can read more here and here).

One of our controls was the deployment of a virtual desktop environment. We didn’t want anyone (employee or third-party) walking off with a hard drive onto which they had downloaded a copy of our Swiss customer list. Everyone had to save their work onto the network drives as there were no local drives on which for them to save files. Also, because of the way virtualization works, we had faster network response time and less crashes due to application conflicts. Operating systems loaded more quickly and are easier to maintain. The virtual environment can usually be moved quite easily from one server to another. Hardware virtualization can be particularly helpful when you need to run legacy applications (and let me tell you about the headaches of legacy applications). It’s a nice option in highly regulated industries such as banking.

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