VMware announced plans for the vShield Zones appliance at the VMworld Europe 2009 conference. The appliance is designed to protect virtual data centers by enabling enterprises to better enforce security policies as virtual machines migrate dynamically between hardware and devices.
VMware is launching a new appliance to protect the growing number of virtual
data centers in the enterprise.
Dubbed VMware vShield Zones
appliance is aimed at helping enterprises maintain strict compliance with
security policies as they pursue cloud computing with virtual environments.
The company announced plans for the appliance Feb. 24 at VMworld Europe 2009
and is tying
it into its strategy
for the Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS).
Slated for a beta release next month, VMware vShield Zones will broaden
the VMware portfolio of application services with network zoning and
segmentation capabilities, officials explained.
The appliance tackles a key problem in virtual environments. According to
officials at VMware, companies virtualizing security-sensitive
applications have traditionally been forced to choose between enforcing
security policies and leveraging virtualization capabilities such as live
To solve that dilemma, many customers ended up dividing their virtual
environments into smaller, less efficient clusters for areas such as their
Internet-facing demilitarized zones (DMZs) or consumer credit data processing
systems subject to Payment Card Industry regulations.
With VMware vShield Zones, customers will be able to create logical zones in
the virtual data center that span all of the shared physical resources, with
each zone representing a distinct level of trust and confidential. The idea,
officials said, is to allow security policies to be enforced even as virtual
machines dynamically migrate between hardware devices.
"VMware virtualization solutions have enabled companies to pool their
computing resources and deliver IT as a dynamic, shared service," said Raghu
Raghuram, vice president of the server business unit at VMware, in a statement.
"VMware vShield Zones enhances this architecture by enabling customers to
segment and isolate their application traffic in a shared environment, thereby
delivering new security benefits and making VMware Infrastructure a safe place
to run business critical applications."
The device includes built-in auditing capabilities and can be centrally
managed through integration with VMware vCenter Server. Built-in auditing
capabilities make compliance straightforward and verifiable, officials added.
Pricing and packaging of VMware vShield Zones will be announced later in