The Virtualization Practice

Author Archive for Edward Haletky

Edward Haletky
Edward HaletkyEdward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is the author of VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment as well as VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment of Virtualization Servers, 2nd Edition. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and The Virtualization Practice where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization. [All Papers/Publications...]

While at RSA Conference I visited the RSA Innovation Sandbox and noticed that three out of ten virtualization security vendors were finalists:

* Altor Networks
* Catbird Security
* HyTrust

Alto Networks won the Innovation Sandbox contest and all that goes with it. Congratulations to them, but Altor’s win is actually a win for all virtualization security players. It shows that virtualization security is extremely important to the data center as well as moving forward to the cloud.

The Cisco-VMware-NetApp (CVN) was discussed on the Virtualization Security Podcast as it pertains to Secure Multi-Tenancy (SMT). This is a major concern that was also discussed at RSA Conference 2010 within the Cloud Security Alliance Summit. The question still remains how to achieve this goal however. CVN is a very good start, but as we discussed on the podcast is missing some key elements.

HyTrust has announced Series B Financing in the amount of $10.5 Million with participation from Cisco, Granite Ventures as well as existing investors Trident Capital and Epic Ventures. This is very good news for HyTrust. While the Series B Funding was not much of a surprise given that HyTrust fits into the Virtualizaiton Security within its own niche. What is surprising is that Cisco is one of the backers of this innovative product.

When I first interviewed Reflex System’s CEO he had a desire for the vTrustTM VMsafe-Net driver be the defacto standard for all such VMsafe-Net drivers. While others may not agree with this desire and will create their own VMsafe-Net drivers, TippingPoint is the first to integrate into Reflex’s VMC product to leverage the vTrust VMsafe-Net Driver and puts Reflex System’s on the second step of the path for vTrustTM to be the defacto standard. At the same time TippingPoint adds an Intrusion Protection System to the Reflex System VMC family of products with Tipping Point vController.

Aimed for those who use medium sized storage for virtualization loads, Virsto will add quite a bit of needed functionality to Hyper-V to reduce disk space requirements, improve general disk IO performance, as well as provide faster high availability failover. The disk space saving Linked Clone technology available for VMware ESX and ESXi has been missing from Hyper-V, Virsto provides this.

Rethinking vNetwork Security

Brad Hedlund of Cisco asked the question, should the physical network security policy be different than the virtual network security policy? The answer is obviously no, but why are they treated separately? I and other have pushed the concept that to gain performance, redundancy, and security that you should use multiple network links to your virtualization host to separate traffic. However, does this really give you security?

I had an interesting conversation with Vizioncore yesterday about how backup is not as much a decision about what software to use but what process to use. In addition, this process needs to be considered from the very beginning of your virtualization architecture. With the quantity of virtual machines being used today by the SMB and Enterprise customers, the backup window has grown to nearly an all day event. What you say? An all day event? My backups happen with the window I set.

There are two key features missing from Virtualization and Cloud Computing. Those are auditing and forensics. The A6 project aims to fix this problem for auditing, but there is only some research into forensics. The issue is about discovering who did what when, where, how, and hopefully why. Auditing plays into this for Compliancy but also for forensics. Forensics has two major components in its arsenal: Audit Trails, and Disk Images.

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