Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Mark Ross-Smith, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Larry Alton

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
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of C...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
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.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.