VMworld Brings Out Virtual Security Products

Several security vendors are clamoring for attention with new products at the VMworld conference in Las Vegas. Security vendors big and small, from McAfee to Catbird to Sourcefire, are showcasing technologies for securing and monitoring virtual environments at the week-long virtualization industry event.

The buzz about the need for virtualization security products is getting louder, with several vendors showcasing approaches to securing virtual environments at the VMworld conference in Las Vegas.

VMworld kicked off Sept. 15 alongside announcements from security players such as McAfee and smaller, virtualization-focused vendors like Catbird Networks. McAfee announced McAfee Total Protection for Virtualization, a security suite that includes the company's anti-virus, anti-spyware and intrusion prevention technologies optimized for VMware.

The suite primarily bundles together a number of pre-existing McAfee products and prices them per physical server. McAfee has however added a new server-based product called McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Offline Virtual Images that scans, cleans and updates offline virtual machines without bringing them online. The suite is slated to be available in the fourth quarter.

Smaller vendors have big plans as well. Catbird launched V-Security 2.0, a cloud-based security service for virtual and physical networks. The service includes rogue virtual-device monitoring, IPS (intrusion prevention systems), compliance reports and enforcement. Using Catbird's TrustZones feature, customers can also create logical groups of virtual machines on which sets of specific policies are applied.

Sourcefire pulled the covers off its RNA (Real-time Network Awareness) Virtual Appliance as part of its road map for expanding the Sourcefire 3D system to cover both physical and virtual machines. The tool is meant to add visibility by identifying physical systems and VMware-based virtual machines as they are added to the network. The tool will be available in the final quarter of 2008.

"Over the next five years, more than half of server workloads will be virtualized, but awareness of server virtualization risks remains low," Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald said in a statement tied to the McAfee release. "Security must be incorporated into virtual systems from their inception-not addressed later as an afterthought."