New research from Kaspersky Lab has shown that the vast majority of businesses don't keep their virtualisation servers on-premise and managed by internal IT staff.
In fact, according to the over 2,000 IT professionals surveyed who use virtual servers, just 29 per cent said that the machines in question were situated within the walls of their office.
Indeed, 17 per cent of respondents rely completely on third-party contractors to both house and perform maintenance on their virtual servers. 50 per cent said they use a mix of third-party hosting and maintenance.
It seems offloading the responsibility of maintenance and running virtual servers, and making cost savings with third-party services is a tempting proposition for IT managers. The research found, unsurprisingly, that smaller firms with fewer IT staff were more likely to use a third-party solution when it came to virtualisation – 41 per cent of SMBs said they used a third-party service for their off-site virtual servers, compared to 26 per cent of enterprises.
And again, the percentage was much higher when SMBs and enterprises were asked about maintenance of virtual servers, with 33 per cent of small businesses relying totally on their provider, compared to 18 per cent of enterprises.
As to what's being stored externally, 52 per cent of those questioned admitted that core elements of business IT infrastructure were being housed in virtual environments. To break that down in terms of apps, email and communications applications were being put out to virtual pastures in 68 per cent of cases, with database programs using virtual infrastructure in 65 per cent of cases. CRM apps saw a 65 per cent figure also, with accounting packages hitting 56 per cent.
That's a lot of sensitive data in the hands of others, of course, and potential security risks therein.