Security spending rising sharply for enterprise data centers, say analysts

Infonetics Research survey says enterprises will increase data center security spending by 58% in 2012.

Market research firm Infonetics Research has released excerpts from a recent North American enterprise survey regarding data center security strategies and vendor appeal. The firm reports that enterprises participating in the study said they plan to increase spending by an average of 58% in 2012 vs. 2011 on security products for the data center, including three main types of solutions: hardware appliances, virtual appliances, server software.

"Last year we predicted that the confluence of media hype, maturing product offerings, and strong buyer interest would make 2011 the year of establishing brand leadership and mindshare for data center security, and that 2012 would be a year of breakout spending -- and enterprises we recently interviewed agree," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research.

The study confirmed that the the most significant transformation affecting enterprise data centers today is the adoption of server virtualization technology. Rolling out virtualized servers will consequently require enterprises to invest in new security solutions in the data center, notes Infonetics. 68% of the firm's survey respondents named protecting virtualized servers as an important driver. The firm also expects consolidation in the data center security space in the form of partnerships and M&A among key players, as vendors push to provide integrated offerings combining all three types of aforementioned security products.

"Buyers plan to turn to trusted names, and will look for solutions that improve the level of security in the data center, deliver security for their virtualized environments, help them secure the private/public cloud transition, and meet their new network performance requirements," added Infonetics' Wilson. "Vendors who did not focus during 2011 on developing the brand and products that will be required to feed the hungry market in 2012 will have a hard time catching up."

For the survey, Infonetics interviewed purchase-decision makers at 101 North American companies that are in the process of building or re-building their data centers. The enterprises were asked about drivers for buying data center security solutions, including hardware security appliances, virtual security appliances, per-VM (virtual machine) security software; security technologies (firewall, IPSec/SSL VPN, mail/messaging security, web security, AV/anti-malware, DLP, IPS, DDoS prevention, access control/authentication, web application firewall, and DNS security); network interface speeds required (1G Ethernet, 10G Ethernet, 40G Ethernet, 100G Ethernet); and current and future expenditures.

Enterprises also named the vendors they consider to be the top 3 data center security suppliers, rated their familiarity with 21 suppliers, named the suppliers they use now and are evaluating for future purchases, and rated 10 data center security suppliers (Arbor Networks, Check Point, Cisco, F5 Networks, Fortinet, HP, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Trend Micro, WatchGuard) on 10 criteria: technology, security, management, price-to-performance ratio (value), pricing, financial stability, service and support, product roadmap, reliability, and environmental product design.

When enterprises were asked an open-ended question by Infonetics as to who they consider to be the top 3 security solution suppliers for data centers, IBM received the most votes, reflecting strong brand visibility. Additionally, Cisco, McAfee, HP, Juniper and Trend Micro topped enterprise rankings of data center security suppliers on a variety of criteria, including technology, security, pricing, and environmental product design.

Learn more about Infonetics' Data Center Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey.

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