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1/29/2010
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New Initiative A Good Sign For Virtualization Security

A recent agreement involving three major IT vendors is good news for companies with lingering concerns about virtualization security.

A recent agreement involving three major IT vendors is good news for companies with lingering concerns about virtualization security.The initiative involves Cisco, NetApp, and VMware. It is designed to enable companies that use the three companies' products in tandem to deploy virtualized applications safely and to offer a cooperative support model: Although this announcement does not include any new technology, representatives of the vendors said it can be difficult for customers to link the Cisco, NetApp and VMware products together in a way that protects them from dangers that crop up in multi-tenant environments. If configured properly, applications and associated data can be isolated between business units, customers, departments or specified "security zones."

"We see this as applicable for both enterprises and cloud service providers," says NetApp chief marketing officer Jay Kidd. Any IT shop building a highly virtualized, shared infrastructure at a large scale wants to isolate applications from each other to limit security risks and downtime, he said. What makes this effort especially notable is the fact that NetApp competes directly against EMC, which is VMware's parent company. It's a sure sign that these companies recognize just how important it is to address virutalization security concerns before they hinder the growth of a red-hot, highly profitable market.

Don't Miss: NEW! Virtualization How-To Center

Many companies still don't associate virtualization projects with unique security challenges, but that situation is changing. Vendors have been slow to adapt their virtualization solutions to employ a robust, flexible security model, but this announcement is a good sign that they are prepared to get ahead of the issue.

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