A report recently released by Kaspersky Lab has found that the large majority of enterprises utilize third-party providers to host their virtualization servers. IT managers appear to prefer the lower costs offered by third-party providers, as well as the ability to have someone else take care of system maintenance.

The study, which included surveys of more than 2,000 IT professionals who use virtual servers revealed that 67 percent of organizations employ at least a partially hosted system. Firms with smaller IT departments were more likely to implement virtual servers. According to the report, 41 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses reported using a virtualization service.

More than half of survey participants reported housing business-critical applications and core parts of their IT infrastructure in their virtual environments. Of those using virtual servers for important systems, 68 percent stored email and other communication applications, 65 percent hosted database programs and 56 percent used the virtual servers to host accounting packages.

Hosted virtual servers offer enterprises a variety of benefits, including reduced costs and lowered complexity for onsite IT staff. Through the use of server virtualization, capacity can be easily added by third-party service providers and support growing enterprises.

Server virtualization also provides companies with a cost-effective way to detect security breaches, which offers protection for not just servers but an entire network. Virtualized servers are capable of detecting compromised and unstable applications, providing increased malware identification, enabling enterprises to quickly and effectively separate any compromised systems from the rest of the network.

Organizations using virtual servers can easily have systems remotely monitored by administrators in one virtual location, allowing for enhanced visibility of traffic activity and user access. A master image of the server can be created, enabling IT departments to quickly identify abnormal behavior, improving the security posture of the enterprise.