Security Connected

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore—VMs on the Move

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By on Sep 03, 2013

Like a whirlwind, my ‘DorothyandToto’ application and the server running it dynamically moved from its original location within a Kansas data center to an entirely new virtual infrastructure in an unknown land now controlled by Oz. He’s a busy man and can’t tell me if protections are in place to ensure the flying monkey malware can be thwarted, or if the infrastructure meets the compliance standards set by the Yellow Brick Road Council. I feel like lying down in the poppy field and going to sleep, but then something red flashes by and the fog lifts. Now I can see this server and others in my McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator® (McAfee ePO™) system tree. 

Hey, we’re not in Kansas anymore. But that’s okay because it’s too hot there and the loads were struggling. My application is happy in its new home, I’ve got controls against any monkey malware attacks, and my compliance auditor is giving my department the gold seal of approval.

No, I’m not dreaming. But it is hard to believe that just a decade ago I was having conversations with customers regarding their concerns about difficulty touching the servers within the data centers due to being too far away in case something happened. Here we are today with a much more complex set of concerns—geo-location of computer systems, robustness of data centers, the hypervisor clusters, the resource pools, and then finally, the VMs that support the server loads and their applications.

In the new world of elastic computing—with private, public, and hybrid clouds—there are questions that security professionals need to ask:

  • Where are my servers? Akin to past concerns, taking inventory is just as important, especially as elasticity could send compute loads into territories where that complicate our ability to address the extensive compliance and privacy policies.
  • What are my VMs running on and can the hypervisor be trusted?
  • When are the VMs on or offline? And when they spin up, what default policies are applied for security?

This information needs to be easily obtained without any help from an army of lollipop kids or asking the wicked witch for vCenter access. Because you know she’s not about to give up control of her kingdom.

For future postings on how McAfee is addressing security for the data center, follow @McAfeeBusiness on Twitter and my regular blog posts. McAfee gives you options to discover and secure your data center, and the freedom to grow without reservations.

 -Kim Singletary

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