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Securing Your Virtual Infrastructure

August 31, 2011 - 0 Comments

Virtualization provides extraordinary benefits to organizations of all sizes. By moving multiple workloads into one physical server, companies have been able to optimize the usage of their data center infrastructure, minimize procurement and operational costs, and increase the overall efficiency of their operations. The growing number of organizations migrating mission-critical workloads to virtual environments has created a critical need to evolve infrastructure security to include these hybrid environments.

Most security solutions on the market today were built for the physical world, with all of the rules, policy handling, and access privileges that come with it. Some have been retrofitted for the virtual world, but still fall well short of what’s required for relevant security for virtual infrastructures. To complicate matters even more, how many of us have a 100% virtual network? Most of us don’t – we have a hybrid infrastructure, with a mix of physical and virtual devices. As a result, what is really required is a mixed deployment of physical and virtual security appliances that can provide end-to-end security for hybrid infrastructures – without increasing complexity! The solution lies in maintaining consistency across physical and virtual security appliances.

Last year, Cisco introduced the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), which addressed the blind spot created by virtualization to secure intra-tenant VM-VM traffic. Built from the ground up for virtual networks, VSG integrates with Cisco Nexus1000V Series switches to provide granular, zone-based security controls for virtual environments. VSG has proven to be an effective solution for securing virtual environments.

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I now feel compelled to say, “but wait, there’s more!”

At this week’s VMworld conference, Cisco will conduct a technology preview of a new version of Virtual ASA – mainstream ASA security technology optimized to run with Nexus1000V. This new product provides multi-tenant edge security, default gateway functionality, and protection against network-based attacks. Cisco is delivering on the promise of a comprehensive, best-of-breed security solution for hybrid infrastructures.

We will demonstrate how Virtual ASA for Nexus1000V and VSG, both managed by dynamic, template-driven, Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC), work in conjunction with physical ASA appliances to provide end-to-end security for hybrid infrastructures.

If you’re at VMworld, stop by booth #700 to see the demo. Otherwise, stay tuned – Cisco will release more information on the ASA for Nexus1000V in the October timeframe!

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