Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Craig Lowell, Pat Romanski, AppNeta Blog, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Containers Expo Blog

Agile Computing: Article

Virtualization Security: VMware Crosses the Rubicon

Will The Netsec Industry Finally Wake Up to the Potential of Virtsec?

While the press and blogs are buzzing about cloud computing, VMware has made probably one of the most significant cloud-related announcements ever made; and with : vShield Zones has added even more distance between rivals when it comes to data center and cloud security.

Last year at VMworld in Cannes, VMware announced the VMsafe VMware security partner ecosystem. The virtualization security "industry" had been notably silent (other than a colorful row between security blogger/expert Chris Hoff and Citrix CTO Simon Crosby) for the rest of 2008. Virtualization expert Rich Miller even mentioned the sound of security silence at VMworld Las Vegas in September:

The theme I noted most at VMworld 2007 a year ago was "security."  This year, it seemed noticeably absent.  My sense is that the industry has yet to catch up and capitalize on VMsafe. Because all of the "next generation" of offerings from VMware and the independent providers are still in development, no one made too much of security issues.

The contrast between the Cannes security ecosystem exuberance and VMware crossing the Rubicon at VMworld Cannes 2009 marked a stunning and much needed shift in the virtualization space. It was the first serious step by any vendor towards a real solution for securing the cloud and moving data center virtualization deployments from virtualization-lite (hypervisor VLANs) to "rack and stack" cloud environments.

While Microsoft and Citrix make price adjustments VMware launches genuine innovation that could significantly change the economics of IT in production environments. Security is a critical differentiator when it comes to deploying virtualization in production data centers and creating cloud environments.

This move is not without risk, as VMware had invested great effort in lining up a security partner ecosystem which was kicked off the year before in Cannes, which I celebrated via an interview with Tarry Singh during my recent tenure at Blue Lane (which was acquired by VMware in 2008).

If the Blue Lane acquisition didn't send a chill down the spine of the network security industry, this announcement should. It signals a new era in security introduced, ironically, by a virtualization vendor. Despite the virtsec exuberance and optimism introduced by the new and novel security requirements, much of the network security industry was caught flat-footed. And that still seems to be the case.

Gartner VP Neil MacDonald summed it up with his recent blog about the traditional security vendors:

Many are clinging to business models based on their overpriced hardware-based solutions and not offering virtualized versions of their solutions. They are afraid of the inevitable disruption (and potential cannibalization) that virtualization will create.

The writing is on the wall for network security vendors who have elected to wait and see if the "cloud computing hype" is just a passing fad or are clinging to obsolete technology or business models. The vShield announcement could also a double-edged sword for the virtsec startup vendors: 1) who could be more isolated than ever from the virtsec momentum within VMware and yet 2) possibly more strategic now that VMware has played a real security card in the marketing battle.

With the VMware vShield Zones announcement, any vendor who thinks that virtualization and security are two separate and distinct matters is headed for the distinctive Club Maginot school of static security expertise. They are about to relive the fates of French officers watching German planes fly over the massive, integrated and ambitious French defense investment at one of its strongest points (in Belgium). The wall was designed for WW1 and was partly responsible for a rapid German conquest of France in early WW2.

Virtualization and cloud are introducing new demands on security, because they are introducing new, unprecedented levels of mobility and automation for systems and endpoints. The economic payoffs are so promising that cloud promises to have a substantial impact on the computing era. The question is, are those who think in terms of static networks (whether they are security or network vendors or pros) fully prepared for the requirements of Infrastructure 2.0?

Yet the increased velocity of change is also making the network itself more strategic and yet more challenged. This collision between automated systems and manually managed networks will produce significant opportunities for networking vendors and professionals who understand the power and opportunity of automation; and significant risks for those still riding the "kludge train" of manual reactions to the automation revolution now proliferating within the bowels of IT.

I am a senior director at Infoblox. You can follow my comments in real time at www.twitter.com/archimedius.

 

More Stories By Greg Ness

Greg Ness is a Silicon Valley marketing veteran with background in networking, security, virtualization and cloud computing. He is VP Marketing at CloudVelocity. Formerly at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox, Blue Lane Technologies, Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, McAfee, IntruVerofficer at Networks and ShoreTel. He is one of the world's top cloud bloggers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, discussed key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the age ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...