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VMware unveils vCloud Networking and Security

Marcia Savage

SAN FRANCISCO -- VMware Inc. Monday introduced a new package of capabilities designed to ease implementation of security features as companies move IT workloads to virtualized and cloud environments.

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It's not clear to me that this is more than a packaging exercise of technologies they had last year.

Paula Musich,
principal analyst, Current Analysis

The new vCloud Networking and Security offering is part of VMware's vCloud Suite, a management platform unveiled at VMworld 2012. VMware executives touted vCloud Suite, which includes new versions of VMware's vSphere virtualization platform and vCloud Director provisioning services, as the first holistic, integrated suite for building private or public clouds.

vCloud Networking and Security includes the existing vShield Edge (firewall and other secure gateway services) and the vShield App (application-level firewall) in addition to VXLAN, an encapsulation protocol for enabling movement of workloads in the data center, said Jonathan Gohstand, director of product marketing for networking and security at Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware, in an interview with SearchCloudSecurity.com.

Gohstand said the new package does not include vShield Endpoint, which enables agentless security such as antivirus; that function has moved into the hypervisor and is no longer sold under a separate SKU.

Improvements with vShield Edge include a rule table that's easier to use and a high-availability firewall option, Gohstand said. vCloud Networking and Security, which also includes support for integration of third-party security technologies, is available as a standalone product or as part of the vCloud Suite.

"We're trying to grease the skids," Gohstand said. "We don't want security and compliance to inhibit people's move to virtualization and cloud computing."

Security and compliance requirements have become more pressing as organizations look to move mission-critical applications to virtualized and cloud environments, he said.

In a keynote Monday, incoming VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said networking and security are two aspects of the data center that require manual processes; VMware's goal is to automate them via vCloud Suite and the creation of the "software-defined data center."

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Paula Musich, principal analyst with Washington D.C.-based research firm Current Analysis Inc., said VMware on Monday was short on details with vCloud Networking and Security.

"What they've said about it so far is all very vague," she said in an email. "It's not clear to me that this is more than a packaging exercise of technologies (vShield Edge virtual appliance and VXLAN) they had last year that they've bundled together and added integration with vCenter and vCloud Director."

Gohstand said the framework for third-party integration in vCloud Networking and Security involves the new VMware Ready for Networking and Security program, which the vendor announced last week. The program, which provides partners with APIs and best practices, replaces the old VMware VMsafe partner program, he said. The program supports integration via in-guest introspection to eliminate agents and via new APIs, network-level flow integration.

Partner products that pass formal testing criteria will receive a VMware Ready certification and logo. Final certification for partners is scheduled for mid-2013.


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