Fortinet, McAfee among first to support VMware NSX net virtualization

San Francisco - Even though the NSX network virtualization software VMware is unveiling Monday at the VMworld Conference won't be available until year-end, security vendors such as Fortinet and McAfee are already throwing their weight behind it.

These two security vendors in particular said they are running proof-of-concept demonstrations at the event that show their intrusion-prevention systems and other gear can support NSX software-defined data center software.

[ALSO:5 things to watch for at VMworld]

The Fortinet concept is based on what's equivalent to a software version of its FortiGate functionality that works as a virtual appliance specifically for NSX, says John Maddison, vice president of marketing at Fortinet. The planned enhancements support new NSX APIs from VMware and links into traffic flows that are integrated into vCenter management software as well, he says.

The result, Maddison says, is a deep integration into the software-defined VMware NSX network virtualization platform that will also support other virtualized and more traditional physical servers as well. Fortinet did not say when this specific FortiGate functionality would be available, however.

The virtual appliance McAfee is demoing also supports the NSX APIs, says Rishi Bhargava, vice president of product management, data center and server security.

McAfee is also making several product announcements related to its existing Data Center Server Security Suite. The software, which protects physical and virtual machines in both the private and public cloud, now allows for visibility in both VMware's vCenter management and Amazon Web Services. Other cloud services may be added in the future.

The integration works by bringing in the network credentials used in cloud environments in a way that McAfee's security management platform, ePO, can keep track of corporate virtual machines deployed in cloud environments just as they keep track of their on-premises VMs.

McAfee's Data Center Server Suite includes virtual-machine scanning and other security functions.

McAfee, now part of Intel, also said its MOVE AntiVirus software has new capabilities as well, specific to securing the hypervisor for VMware in certain conditions. "We can tell you if a hypervisor has been compromised," Bhargava says, because of the product's integration with the VMware ESX hypervisor and Intel's Trusted Execution Environment hardware functions. "This is the first time we're securing on the hypervisor layer."

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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