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New firewall appliance combines Palo Alto's Panorama central management platform with ESXi VMs by plugging into the NSX virtual network controller.

Kurt Marko

November 25, 2013

1 Min Read

When VMware launched NSX earlier this year, it promised a network controller -- extensible using published APIs -- that allows higher level network services such as firewalls, load balancers and application accelerators to plug in at any point in a virtual network. VMware touted more than 20 partners working on NSX integration. The vision sounded great, but given VMware's inclusion of several network services in NSX including firewall, load balancing and VPN termination, it was easy to assume that the promised virtual ecosystem was DOA.

Palo Alto Networks has countered that assumption with its firewall appliance for NSX. Selling optional services against a built-in feature is never an easy task, but Palo Alto has taken up the challenge.

The new appliance marries Palo Alto's next-generation firewall, in virtual appliance form, and Panorama central management platform with ESXi VMs by plugging into the NSX virtual network controller. It's a logical extension of Palo Alto's existing VM-Series by moving the virtual firewall from the VM to the hypervisor, plugging directly into the NSX vSwitch to access all hosts on a given system.

According to Danelle Au, solutions marketing director at Palo Alto Networks, tighter integration into the network control plane via NSX allows better tracking of VM movement, more granular control and easier service insertion to existing VMware infrastructure.

Read the rest of this story at Network Computing.

About the Author(s)

Kurt Marko

Contributing Editor

Kurt Marko is an InformationWeek and Network Computing contributor and IT industry veteran, pursuing his passion for communications after a varied career that has spanned virtually the entire high-tech food chain from chips to systems. Upon graduating from Stanford University with a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering, Kurt spent several years as a semiconductor device physicist, doing process design, modeling and testing. He then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a memory chip designer and CAD and simulation developer.Moving to Hewlett-Packard, Kurt started in the laser printer R&D lab doing electrophotography development, for which he earned a patent, but his love of computers eventually led him to join HP’s nascent technical IT group. He spent 15 years as an IT engineer and was a lead architect for several enterprisewide infrastructure projects at HP, including the Windows domain infrastructure, remote access service, Exchange e-mail infrastructure and managed Web services.

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