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Cloud Computing Will Make Hardware Security Obsolete

Cloud computing offerings will render hardware security appliances all but functionally obsolete by the end of 2011

Security at Cloud Expo

SpamTitan Technologies, the makers of powerful yet easy-to-manage spam and web filtering software, today predicted that virtualized-driven, cloud computing offerings will render hardware security appliances all but functionally obsolete by the end of 2011. SpamTitan cited sales evidence to show that mounting pressure to cut hardware ownership costs and the ready availability of a growing number of easy-to-use and affordable virtual security appliances are rapidly changing buying habits in the IT security market.

According to SpamTitan CEO Ronan Kavanagh, the security landscape has changed completely with virtual appliances becoming an unstoppable force.

"In the past 3 years, we have seen user demand completely transformed. Where once there was near universal demand for security hardware systems there is now an overriding preference for virtual appliances. This dramatic customer shift away from physical appliances can be put down to the cost advantage and easy management of virtual appliances and fatigue with the high cost and management overheads associated with physical appliances."

The trend towards software and virtual appliances is a win-win for vendors and customers alike. For vendors, it is cheaper not to have to integrate software onto hardware platforms that require upgrading at regular intervals which can, on occasion, fail altogether. For customers, deploying and managing virtual appliances software is straightforward and allows them greater economic and administrative flexibility.

Kavanagh adds, "Where physical appliances previously addressed the critical security needs of office servers, they also introduced further complexities and management difficulties - including appliance overload, set up difficulties and SLA problems. Virtual appliances avoid all these issues while offering the added benefits of fast testing and deployment - as well as real scalability and mobility. Our sales figures point emphatically to a future dominated by virtualisation and cloud computing. It is difficult to see where and how traditional security hardware point solutions can survive."

In 2004 all of SpamTitan customers were using the hardware appliance option, in 2006 30% choose the virtual appliance. 2009 has seen a total reversal of these numbers - with over 90% opting for the virtual appliance model.

In view of this SpamTitan Technologies recently caused a stir in the industry with its decision not to launch a physical appliance version of its new WebTitan web filter.

Concluded Kavanagh, "The prevailing trend we've seen in product deployment, combined with significant customer feedback, convinced us not to make a hardware appliance version of our newest product (WebTitan). . Our customers have overwhelmingly embraced the virtual appliance model."

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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