The Virtualization Practice

Virtualization Security

Virtualization Security focuses upon end-to-end security, integrity, auditability, and regulatory compliance for virtualization and clouds. Virtualization Security starts where the cloud and virtual environments begin: the end user computing device. ...
We follow the user through the virtual and cloud stacks until they reach the application the user wishes to use to retrieve the data that is important to them. Virtualization and cloud security is implemented where there is an intersection between user, data, and application while maintain strict control of management interfaces. As such virtualization security looks into all aspects of security devices, tools, controls, and guides that impact or can be used to secure virtual and cloud environments.

Get Your OS from VMware: Mobile Virtualization Platform

As a delegate for Tech Field Day 6 in Boston, I was introduced to VMware’s Mobile Virtual Platform (MVP) which allows you to have a single hardened VM running within, currently, very few Android-based devices as such requires a version of Android from VMware for the virtual machine aspect of MVP. The first version of MVP has several interesting security features as well s security issues as you move forward. Given the current spat of Android based malware, it is important to consider the security features of any new product whether it is a version 1.0 or not. Even with these issues, MVP has some very interesting uses outside the realm of a mobile phone platform. I can see this being used on tablets as a way to get a corporate VM.

Centralized RBAC Missing from Virtualization Management Tools

As a delegate for Tech Field Day 6 in Boston, I was introduced to several virtualization and performance management tools from vKernel, NetApp, Solarwinds, Embotics, and a company still in stealth mode. With all these tools and products I noticed that each were not integrated into the roles and permissions of the underlying hypervisor management servers such as VMware vCenter, Citrix XenConsole, or Microsoft System Center. This lack of integration implies that a user with one set of authorizations just needs to switch tools to gain a greater or even lesser set of authorizations. This is not a good security posture and in fact could devolve any security to non-existent.

Since Juniper bought Altor Networks, there has been steady progress to use Altor VF3 (now Juniper vGW, pronounced vee-Gee-W) as a way to extend the functionality of the Juniper SRX Series of Service Gateways into the virtual and cloud environments. Juniper is focusing on the entire security stack from the endpoint to the hypervisor, vGW offers one component of that entire picture. Another component is the Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite which provides Security as a Service for mobile devices. These two components alone are a very powerful set of tools for any Enterprise. When you add in the other components it is a compelling story from network security perspective.

On the 6/2 Virtualization Security Podcast, Rich Mogull, an analyst for Securosis, joined us to discuss his work with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to develop the two day course called the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK). While this course is not about learning all the intricacies of cloud security it is about providing a level set of knowledge required to even begin to talk about cloud security.

EMC & VMware provide 1st Financial Cloud: NYSE Technologies

NYSE Technologies is providing the very first special purpose financial cloud based on VMware and EMC technology to provide new business models where NYSE Technologies provides the plumbing for global capital markets and business agility at lower costs; encouraging brokers, and other financial institutions to build applications and test algorithms within the Capital Markets Community Platform.


There are several new products in the virtualization and cloud security spaces from PacketMotion, MicroSolved, and LynuxWorks. Each of these companies approach virtualization security from uniquely different ways. Unlike the current set we know and use, these tools could be considered adjuncts for general use, or perhaps specific use cases. All provide additions to the End-to-End virtualization security.

In around 2008 Tripwire started making itself known in the virtualization space with the release of two free tools, Tripwire’s ConfigCheck and OpsCheck. By the time 2009 came around, Tripwire was getting itself fully established in the virtual space for the release of its new product, Tripwire’s vWire. vWire was release in the summer of 2009 and then killed by the end of that year as Tripwire shifted its focus to an acquisition it made for log management to expand the capabilities of its flagship product , Tripwire Enterprise.

VMware Buys Shavlik

VMware has acquired one more company: Shavlik. This acquisition did not come as much of a surprise to me but is an interesting purchase for VMware. There are quite a few Security as a Service vendors that would make sense for VMware to purchase and Shavlik is one of them. The difference between the other vendors and Shavlik is that VMware has a existing track record with Shavlik as Shavlik is integral in two of VMware’s existing products: VMware Go and VMware Update Manager. Shavlik provides a very important patch management system for these existing products and is one line of defense in the security space. Are there other plans for Shavlik? Or this is a way to lock in one set of tools?