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Aug 29 2017

Security at Hypervisor Level: VMware Introduces AppDefense

A fairytale is about to turn into data center reality: VMware has successfully turned its former Project Goldilocks into a production-ready SaaS (Software-, or in this case rather Security-as-a-Service) offering and presented it during the U.S. leg of its annual VMworld inhouse trade show.

The official product page bills AppDefense as a "data center endpoint security product that protects applications running in virtualized environments." The software uses "contextual intelligence" gleaned from the operations of the vSphere hypervisor to determine how said endpoints are expected to behave and immediately spot when they leave those routines, i.e. something fishy could be going on. If something is wrong, AppDefense will trigger the appropriate mechanisms in vSphere and VMware NSX to properly respond and either block process communication, suspend or shut down suspicious endpoints or take a snapshot for further forensic analysis. According to VMware, the software can distinguish legit changes from real threats, so the risk of unwanted interference is kept at the lowest possible level. For users, the key advantage of the new security function is that it resides directly inside the hypervisor – that is, within a protected environment that is hard to tamper with – from where it can permanently check on endpoints' health.

VMware AppDefense is one of six new SaaS offerings the company introduced at its inhouse fair and which will be available through AWS US West. The others are:

  • Cost Insight – a cost monitoring and optimization service that compares AWS, Azure and Google cloud service price lists and makes cost saving recommendations;
  • Discovery – a management and orchestration tool that can determine which services a company is running in which cloud and arrange them into logical groups;
  • NSX Cloud and Network Insight – a combination of NSX-as-a-Service with network and security analysis functions that build on NSX; and finally
  • Wavefront – a performance monitoring service for "native" cloud applications.

To learn more, please check out VMware's cloud blog or read Simon Sharwood's VMworld Report over at The Register.


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