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VMware Ecosystem Gets Busy

Virtualization is important to everyone in the enterprise software business. VMware may be credited with popularizing the concept, but others are eager to cash in on the idea.

Case in point: Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), which introduced its Virtual Network Link (VN-Link) technology designed to help enterprises manage their virtual hardware as easily as they manage their physical hardware.

Spokespeople for the networking giant told InternetNews.com in an e-mail that "Vitualization is a key part of Cisco's networking strategy. The first product containing the technology is the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, which is to be resold by VMware (NYSE: VMW) along with vSphere 4.0. Expected pricing is $695 per processor.

The two companies will collaborate to develop online training and channel partner support for the Cisco Nexus product.

All of this doesn't mean that Cisco will work exclusively with VMware on virtualization, but the two companies do have a good partnership. "Cisco has a standards-based/open strategy when it comes to our datacenter partners and we are working with many vendors across the virtualization," Cisco said.

RSA, EMC's security unit, is another key element in the launch, with it and VMware this week announcing the first steps in a broad partnership. So far, the only specific product announcement is a proof-of-concept demo at the conference in which RSA's new data loss prevention (DLP) product uses VMware's vShield Zones software to deliver DLP in virtual networks.

But the ambitions are broad and clear. "RSA and VMware are in a unique position to capitalize on the intersection of virtualization and security," Art Coviello, RSA's president, said in a statement. "The very dynamics of a virtual environment -- where classic perimeters and boundaries no longer exist -- strengthens the case for our information-centric, contextual, risk-based approach to security."

"We believe this combined approach will empower organizations to accelerate their journey towards a 100 percent virtual infrastructure with confidence in the security of their environment," he said.

Brad Davenport, RSA's solutions marketing manager, disclosed a few of the products on the road map. He told InternetNews.com that RSA SecurID will be integrated with VMware's ESX hypervisor to control authentication, and RSA's SIM product , enVision, will deliver monitoring and reporting for vSphere.

The company is working to deliver hardware as software in a manner similar to Cisco's 1000LV announcement. "RSA is also qualifying multiple RSA products to be deployed as virtual machines," Davenport said.

RSA and VMware are collaborating to address additional virtualization security issues, Davenport added.


Storage solution specialist Adaptec announced native vSphere support in its latest RAID controller family, the Series 5.

"Virtualization and cloud computing environments are constantly changing and adapting to meet the demands of growing enterprises, and VMware vSphere provides the most feature-rich solution available today to meet and exceed these growing needs," said Scott Cleland, Adaptec's director of marketing, in a statement.

Storage area network (SAN) provider Compellent (NYSE: CML) announced that its Compellent Storage Center, a SAN solution comprised of hardware and software, has been certified compatible with vSphere 4.0.

Certification was no simple task, said Steve Anderson, Compellent director of alliance marketing, in an e-mail to InternetNews.com. "To help ensure testing was completed by the launch of vSphere 4.0, Compellent's engineering team aggressively worked with VMware and a third-party lab, Cognizant Technologies, to validate Compellent's Storage Center SAN. In fact, Compellent was the first VMware storage partner to complete and submit the iSCSI hardware and software certification for the company's storage solution. Compellent Storage Center has completed the VMware Hardware Certification Program testing criteria for use with VMware vSphere and is now listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide to ensure supportability."

Anderson said that putting the virtual environment on a SAN delivers added benefits to flexibility, backup and recovery, and costs. "By pairing the Compellent SAN with VMware vSphere, enterprises can optimize their infrastructure to achieve the flexibility for business change and, ultimately, reduce floor space and costs," he said.


This week, virtualization management software provider Reflex Systems will announce that the Reflex vTrust policy enforcement component of its Virtualization Management Center (VMC) uses the VMsafe component of vSphere 4.0 to provide enforcement at the kernel level of the hypervisor.

"Virtual environments are dynamic by nature, and policy management solutions must adapt elastically to infrastructure changes" Reflex CEO Pete Privateer said in a statement.

End users are all too aware that virtualization security now involves external networks as well as the datacenter.

"Due to the nature of [virtual machines], virtual infrastructure environments can change quite often, several times a day," Ken Owens, technical vice president of security and server technologies at Internet provider Savvis, said in a statement. "Traditional security and policy enforcement techniques are challenging to apply under these conditions."

"The addition of the VMSafe program is crucial to VMware's virtualization initiative because it enables solutions like Reflex's vTrust to give us the technology to properly enforce policies in such a dynamic environment, whether the virtual environment is local or in the cloud."