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Loop holes of virtualization and FAQs on virtualization

Nikhil Singh ParmarLast Seen: Mar 18, 2024 @ 6:32pm 18MarUTC
Nikhil Singh Parmar
@Nikhil-Singh-Parmar

3rd March 2024 | 4 Views

Disclaimer from Creator: The introduction part of virtualization is from geeksforgeeks and you can refer to their articles for more topics

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Introduction

Virtualization is a technique how to separate a service from the underlying physical delivery of that service. It is the process of creating a virtual version of something like computer hardware. It was initially developed during the mainframe era. It involves using specialized software to create a virtual or software-created version of a computing resource rather than the actual version of the same resource. With the help of Virtualization, multiple operating systems and applications can run on the same machine and its same hardware at the same time, increasing the utilization and flexibility of hardware.

In other words, one of the main cost-effective, hardware-reducing, and energy-saving techniques used by cloud providers is Virtualization. Virtualization allows sharing of a single physical instance of a resource or an application among multiple customers and organizations at one time. It does this by assigning a logical name to physical storage and providing a pointer to that physical resource on demand. The term virtualization is often synonymous with hardware virtualization, which plays a fundamental role in efficiently delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions for cloud computing. Moreover, virtualization technologies provide a virtual environment for not only executing applications but also for storage, memory, and networking. For knowing more about virtualization refer to https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/virtualization-cloud-computing-types

Drawbacks of adopting Virtualization

Below mentioned are some of the most common issues which occur while adopting virtualization that every organization must consider.

Detection

You can’t manage what you can’t see! IT departments are often unprepared for the complexity associated with understanding what VMs (virtual machines)exist and which are active or inactive. To overcome these challenges, discovery tools need to extend to the virtual world by identifying Virtual Machine Disk Format (.vmdk) files and how many exist within the environment. This will identify both active and inactive VM’s.

Correlation

Difficulty in understanding which VMs are on which hosts and identifying which business critical functions are supported by each VM is a common and largely unforeseen problem encountered by IT departments employing virtualization. Mapping guest to host relationships and grouping the VM’s by criticality & application is a best practice when implementing virtualization.

Configuration management

Ensuring VMs are configured properly is crucial in preventing performance bottlenecks and security vulnerabilities. Complexities in VM provisioning and offline VM patching is a frequent issue for IT departments. A Technical Controls configuration management database (CMDB) is critical to understanding the configurations of VM’s especially dormant ones. The CMDB will provide the current state of a VM even if it is dormant, allowing a technician to update the configuration by auditing and making changes to the template.

Additional security considerations

If a host is vulnerable, all associated guest VMs and the business applications on those VMs are also at risk. This could lead to far more reaching impact than the same exploit on a single physical server. Treat a Virtual Machine just like any other system and enforce security policies and compliance. Also, use an application that dynamically maps guest-to-host relationships and tracks guest VM’s as they move from host to host .

VM identity management issues

Virtualization introduces complexities that often lead to issues surrounding separation of duties. Who manages these machines? Do application owners have visibility into changes being made? Identify roles and criticality and put them through the same processes you leverage for physical devices including change management, release management and hardening guidelines.

VM network configuration control

With multiple operating systems sharing a single IP address behind a NAT, network access control becomes much more complex in a virtual network. To address this use AD, DNS and NetBIOS to identify bridged VM’s. IP sweeps in most cases will not pick these up.

Identifying and controlling VM proliferation

VM’s can pop up and move to any location in an instant. To manage this potential issue, you must establish and enforce a process for Virtual Machine deployment.

VM host capacity planning

Virtualization can make understanding what applications are running and how many resources are being leveraged much more difficult. To better deal with this issue, organizations must track how many guest to host relationships exist and the configuration of the VM’s.

ESX host driver and ACL information

How is the ESX System itself configured? Does it meet your PCI requirements? Who has permissions to the system? Does it meet your regulatory compliance needs? Organizations must proactively manage ESX machines by tracking and trending their security configurations over time to make sure they don’t “drift” from corporate standards.

ESX host configuration management

If a guest is infected with a worm or virus it will attack the other local VMs. If that image is moved to another host, it will continue to do damage across the organization. Do you have visibility into guest to host relationships and their configurations? Guest to host mapping and their configuration history is critical to the success of managing virtual machines.

Intellectual property

Virtualization makes it more difficult to know who has what information. How do you know your VMs are not walking out the door with critical information and data? Verifying encrypted data and historical information on your guest VMs can help manage and secure intellectual property.

FAQs on Drawbacks of adopting Virtualization

What are the main drawbacks of virtualization technology?

The main drawbacks of virtualization include potential performance overhead, security concerns, increased complexity in management, and possible vendor lock-in

Does virtualization impact performance?

Yes, virtualization can introduce performance overhead due to the additional layer of abstraction between virtual machines and physical hardware. However, this impact is often minimal and can be mitigated with proper resource management.

Does virtualization lead to resource contention?

Yes, virtualization can lead to resource contention when multiple virtual machines compete for CPU, memory, or storage resources on the same physical host. Resource management and monitoring are essential to prevent contention issues.

Nikhil Singh ParmarLast Seen: Mar 18, 2024 @ 6:32pm 18MarUTC

Nikhil Singh Parmar

@Nikhil-Singh-Parmar

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