A startup is looking to make virtual environments a little more secure and more manageable.
HyTrust launched April 7 with a policy-based management appliance designed to ensure security and compliance in environments running VMware's ESX servers and VirtualCenter management platform.
HyTrust founder and CEO Eric Chiu said that while virtualization technology has brought a host of benefits, from cost reduction to greater agility in the data center, it also has brought greater complexity and manageability issues. A key concern is ensuring IT administrators have control over their growing virtualized environments and that those environments are in compliance not only with the policies of the particular businesses, but also with such regulations as the federal Sarbanes Oxley Act and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
The use of virtualization technology will only grow as more businesses and IT departments are pressed to reduce costs, he said.
"Without control, [virtualized environments] can ultimately cost you more," Chiu said.
The HyTrust Appliance is designed to increase that control and compliance, he said. The product, which can be sold as a 1U appliance or as software to run on the customer's hardware, offers a centralized way to control and automate such tasks as virtual machine provisioning, authentication and secure configuration.
User activity and the security of the hypervisor also are logged, and the logs can be audited if necessary.
The goal is to enable businesses to feel more comfortable running mission-critical and sensitive tasks on virtual machines, which in turn will help them grow their virtualized environments.
"It lets you scale the use of virtualization," Chiu said.
HyTrust currently manages VMware environments, and policy-based management capabilities for Citrix Systems' Xen hypervisor will come later in the year, he said. The company also is working on products to support infrastructures using Microsoft's Hyper-V technology.
The HyTrust Appliance currently is available in a high-end Enterprise Edition, with support for hundreds of ESX or hypervisor hosts, Chiu said. Later this month, a Community Edition will be released that will support up to three hosts.
Along with announcing the company and product, Chiu also said that HyTrust recently completed its first round of Series A funding, garnering $5.5 million from Trident Capital and Epic Ventures.
Among the company's partners are VMware, Citrix, Cisco Systems and Symantec.