According to a recent report by Infonetics Research, security spending for virtualized environments is expected to increase as companies continue to deploy more virtualization solutions.

The study includes responses from end-user companies that have deployed server virtualization and their plans regarding security. The 20-page report includes buyer plans, deployment drivers, budgets and strategies.

The main drivers for deploying security solutions are preventing new and inter-virtual machine threats and maintaining secure configurations. Companies surveyed are expected to spend 51 percent more on security for virtualized environments in 2012 than 2010.

"While the market leader in the data center/cloud security space is at this point undecided, at the center of the leadership puzzle is the emerging segment of security solutions for virtualized environments,” said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for Infonetics Research. “Microsoft, Cisco and VMware lead in brand awareness and strength overall now, but this is only one piece of the virtualization/data center security leadership puzzle.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are also planning to utilize virtualization for their operations. According to a survey of more than 3,000 IT professionals by Spiceworks, 74 percent of SMBs plan to deploy virtualization during the year.

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