Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Melissa Cromwell who works as an IT specialist at Trend Micro. She graduated at the top of her class in computer science. She has recently been blogging about cloud virtualization by Trend Micro resources. You can follow her on Google Plus here.

Most companies today use a combination of server types to maintain corporate communications, data storage and transfer. However, companies are increasingly moving to virtualized server environments to take advantage of smart devices, remote workforces and other newer business tools. Many companies are concerned that moving to an increasingly virtualized data center system can significantly impact data security needs. Learn how to improve performance, reduce costs, reduce threats and improve compliance by selecting the right virtual security solution for your company’s needs.

Understanding Virtual Terminology

Virtualization is a term used to describe what happens when many different applications interact through one server system. In previous decades, when hardware-based server systems were the norm, each physical server was only expected to handle one application per server. Today, virtual server systems are expected to handle the full traffic of all designated applications. This is called virtual machine (VM) density.

How VM Density Affects Performance and Cost

Depending on your company’s degree of virtualization, your VM density capacity may be high or low. A higher VM density capacity allows you to handle more applications per virtual server without performance issues. Achieving a higher VM density can become problematic when your server platform suffers speed and storage issues. Adding more virtual servers to increase storage space and data transfer efficiency will solve these problems. This increases costs on all fronts, from software licenses to power usage. Ideally, you’ll want to select a host that can handle the largest VM density capacity possible.

Pairing Virtual Security With a Virtual Server System

Companies that opt for a virtualized server system often do so with savings in mind. However, if you’re still running a security system that was designed for use with a physical server, you may wonder whether the switch to virtualization was worth it. Before you can realize the benefits of virtualization you must also install a virtual security system to effectively monitor your new virtual system. These are a few of the benefits you get when your security system is properly configured to work in a virtual environment:

  • Protection against malware. Malware protection can be conformed to a physical agent or a fully virtualized agentless protection system. Whether your company is still running physical servers or is fully virtual or cloud-based, a virtual security system gives you total malware protection.
  • Repel Web threats. Known malicious URLs are flagged, and users are prevented from accessing them.
  • Comprehensive vulnerability protection. Also called integrity monitoring, vulnerability protection offers protection from known and unknown threats and attacks. The best systems can detect, log and deploy defenses against zero-day threats for an unlimited number of servers without a server reboot.
  • Centralized firewall. With a centralized firewall, the attack surface that hackers, spammers or criminals can use to access your data is severely limited, which also minimizes threats from any future attempts.
  • Continuous threat logging. With this feature you never have to worry that a significant threat is buried somewhere in the threat logging reports. You can also configure the logs to automatically forward all threats to a central site for investigation and cataloging.

The 4 Benefits of Virtual Security

With a virtual security system paired to your virtualized server system, your company can enjoy these four benefits of virtualization:

  • Improved employee productivity. An effective virtual security system frees up IT staff and improves performance by minimizing threat-related workforce downtime.
  • Cost reductions. Moving to a virtualized environment allows you to reduce hardware and software licensing costs, reduce IT staffing needs and minimize downtime due to security patching.
  • Prevents data breaches. Rapid threat-detection and response prevents sensitive data from being accessed.
  • Improves compliance. Threat logging reports can be used to achieve compliance with regulating agencies and during audits.

When you fully understand the benefits of pairing the right virtual security system with your virtual server, you can maximize all of the benefits of virtualization.