Oracle and VMware have both been busy with their respective desktop-focused type II hypervisors, with each vendor releasing updates in the last month. Focus on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 and Windows server 2012 is inevitable, but that aside both vendors continue to drive their respective products in clearly defined directions with no real regard for competition. Oracle’s updates to VirtualBox have added significantly to its appeal, but leave it trailing behind VMware Workstation in both its finish and feature count. While VMware has done much to optimize Workstation to work with the forthcoming Windows 8, many of the other updates that VMware has released could be thought of as gilding the lily, offering features such as Thumbnail Actions that allow virtual machine power state to be controlled from the taskbar.
In the article End-to-End Virtual Machine Backup I mentioned the new VMware Workstation 7.0 feature that creates an encrypted disk but in reality it is an encrypted virtual machine, which also implies encrypting the virtual disk. This one option to VMware Workstation is something that is needed within VMware vSphere as well as the other hypervisors. Encrypting virtual disk data can add to the overall security stance based on the encryption technology employed. So what do we need with virtual disk encryption?