[NOTE: This Post was continued from Part 1 at VMware SMB Blog]
According to Gartner, midsize businesses account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. server sales. Unlike large enterprises, these organizations have fewer resources to support the deployment and maintenance of new servers in existing IT environments. With the goal of optimizing their entire IT infrastructure, midsize businesses are turning to virtualization.
No longer limited to enterprises with big IT budgets, virtualization has proven to lower IT costs while improving IT agility. Yet, as midsize organizations embrace virtualization, they must also be prepared to address specific IT risks, challenges and opportunities, such as manageability, protection against attacks and unpatched vulnerability exploits in virtualized environments.
In this two-part series, executives from VMware, the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions, and Trend Micro, the global cloud security leader, address how midsize businesses can overcome common IT management and security challenges associated with newly virtualized environments.
Brandon Sweeney is Vice President of U.S. Mid-Market and Small Business for VMware.
Dave Asprey is Vice President of Cloud Security at Trend Micro.
Q: How do virtualization and security solutions for midsize businesses differ from those for large enterprises?
A: Asprey, Trend Micro: The truth is, they don’t very much in capabilities, but they do vary in size. We put together offerings that are scaled specifically for midsize businesses. As those organizations leverage the power of IT to grow, they often become larger companies, and along the way, they can scale their virtualization and security. One of the benefits of virtualization [ng1] is that you can add more power to a virtual machine as needed, or you can add virtual machines when you need them. This lets midsize businesses get enterprise-grade performance, availability and security, but purchase it as they need it.
Sweeney, VMware: Whether a business is booming or just starting out, technology can be a tremendous differentiator. Midsize businesses want and need the same availability, performance and security for their IT infrastructure as their enterprise peers, but they don’t necessarily need the same scale, and their systems must be easy to manage. Getting enterprise quality at SMB scale is important, which is why we provide solutions that help midsize businesses keep IT up and running, securely, while enabling them to better balance IT resources with demand and increase agility to quickly respond to new business requirements. And we offer our solutions in easier-to-deploy-and-manage configurations.
Q: What is one piece of advice that you would give to midsize businesses considering virtualization?
A: Asprey, Trend Micro: Do it right the first time, with full realization that once you virtualize with VMware and Trend Micro, [ng2] you’ll easily be able to add layers of automation and security that put you on the path to creating a very secure private cloud, and it sets you up for using public clouds safely when you decide to do that.
A: Sweeney, VMware: Deploy a proven solution that doesn’t lock you in. A flexible and scalable solution will provide you with the foundation you need today and give you freedom of choice if and when you decide to extend your IT infrastructure to the cloud. The right solution will better protect your business while helping you simplify IT and save. And work with industry leaders that partner to provide you with
Q: What advice would you give midsize businesses that have already begun to virtualize their environments?
A: Sweeney, VMware: Look beyond cost savings and server consolidation. Take a comprehensive look at virtualizing your infrastructure and applications—including security and management—to increase IT efficiency and agility. Check out the first security and operations management bundle for virtualized environments. This joint solution for midsize businesses is the gold standard for virtualization. Offered from VMware and Trend Micro, it provides best-in-class virtualization performance and capacity management together with a next-generation server security platform designed for virtual environments. The benefits: faster management, better security with less risk, and more uptime with fewer outages.
A: Asprey, Trend Micro: Don’t stop. Adding virtualization is just the beginning. As you increase your use of virtualization, your business agility will increase. You can get more done in less time, and IT cycles become shorter, which leads to increased demand for your IT department to enable projects that do more than just support the business. Along the way, as you keep building security in to your virtualization strategy, you’ll find it’s a natural evolution to start using the cloud.
 Defined here as companies with 100-999 employees.
 Gartner. “Market Essentials Report,” February 2012.