The Virtualization Practice

Tag Archive for Reflex Systems

Christofer Hoff (@Beaker) and I had a short discussion on twitter the other day about the VMware Cloud Director (vCD) security guidance. We both felt it was a bit lite and missed the point of Secure Multi Tenancy. However, I feel even more strongly that people will implement what is in the vCD Guidance, vBlock Security Guidance, and the vSphere Hardening Guidance, and in effect have a completely insecure cloud. These three guides look at the problem as if they were singular entities and not as a whole.

Virtualization Security was one of the BIG Deals at VMworld with several announcements:

* VMware vShield Edge, App, and End Point
* Trend Micro will have the first product making use of vShield End Point
* Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG)
* HyTrust and their growing list of technology partners

But the biggest news is that Virtualization Security is finally on the radar of most if not all C-level as it is now seen as the gate to entering the cloud. But before we can solve the cloud security issue we have to solve the virtualization security issues. VMware’s announcement has the most impact on the virtualization security ecosystem. At once they are competing head-to-head with some vendors while providing a platform to use for other vendors.

Nearly everyone I talked to at VMworld was buzzing in some form about Virtualization Security. Everyone has picked up on the pre-show buzz from VMware, Trend Micro, HyTrust, and every other security vendor. This week will tell. There are announcements about security, keynote sessions that include security, and more than a few sessions about security.

This is also arguably the first VMworld where there are a large number of Virtualization Security sessions and panels at VMworld that are not entirely from VMware. I find involving the industry as they have at this specific conference moves forward the entire virtualization security ecosystem.

The security companies are looking into all aspects of virtual environment introspection to label, tag, or mark all objects for compliance reasons, inspect the contents of virtual machines for asset management (CMDB), and an early form of Root Kit detection.

Virtualization Security is not just about the firewall, it is about the entire ecosystem, auditing, compliance, and object management.

VMware + Ionix Assets – Impact Upon the Configuration Management Ecosystem

This obviously brings to mind the impact that these new product assets has upon VMware’s existing ecosystem of virtualization management and performance management vendors. VMware has a very rich set of vendors that produce value added products for the VMware environment and it is a valid question as to how VMware’s forthcoming management stack will affect these vendors.

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.

Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS) differ quite a bit from Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). An IPS is designed to modify some form of security setting when an intrusion is detected, thereby preventing the intrusion from being successful. An IDS on the other hand is just the detection component used by an IPS. Like all security tools used within a virtual environment there are four major ways to implement such devices. We will discuss later some best practices for managing a security tool. We will look at what is currently shipping over products hinted at for the future such as the OpenVSwitch, Xen Instropection API.

While at VMworld I was suddenly hit with a blast of heat generated by the 40,000 VMs running within the VMworld Datacenter of 150 Cisco UCS blades or so. This got me thinking about how would VMsafe fit into this environment and therefore about real virtualization security within the massive virtual machine possible within a multi-tenant cloud environment. If you use VMsafe within this environment there would be at least 40,000 VMsafe firewalls. If it was expanded to the full load of virtual NICs possible per VM there could be upwards of 400,000 virtual firewalls possible! At this point my head started to spin! I asked this same question on the Virtualization Security Podcast, which I host, and the panel was equally impressed with the numbers. So what is the solution?

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