A short while ago, I had a wonderful conversation with Edmundo Costa, CEO, and Tamar Newberger, VP of marketing, of Catbird , about a new product they were launching. Since I've spoken with them many times in the past when they were associated with Tarantella and the Santa Cruz Operation, it was a chance to catch up with old friends as well as an opportunity to see the first entry in what might be a new product category, a security solution for virtualized networks.
Quick summary of Catbird's V-agentHere's how Catbird describes their new product V-agent™:
The new Catbird V-Agent™ delivers broad hacker protection to virtual networks - for the first time enabling rogue virtual-device monitoring; Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS); security compliance; and vulnerability monitoring to servers running multiple virtual machines based on VMware. The Catbird V-Agent can monitor virtual segments within a host as well as physical network segments connected to the host.
The VMware-certified Catbird V-Agent virtual appliance is available for download and free trial via this link: http://www.catbird.com/vagent.
Snapshot analysisWhat's so interesting about V-Agent? I'm glad you asked. Catbird has taken a new approach to providing security. The agent can be deployed inside of a virtual machine on all of the industry standard servers in the network along side of other workloads. Here are the high points of the discussion about V-agent:
- The virtual appliance is being made available at no cost
- The agent is designed to be stateless making it very adaptable to your network. The data it collects is stored in a web-accessible security portal so that data remains current even though machines have been shut down, restarted, moved to another physical system or if the virtual machine is restored to an earlier state after an update.
- V-agent is monitoring and controlling network access, assessing vulnerability in real time, monitoring policy compliance and provides internal and external intrusion detection for every subnet- virtual or physical
- V-agent, being stateless, is a "load and go" software product. This provides organizations with a mechanism to add security to virtual subnets as fast as virtual machines are deployed
- Although pricing has not yet been announced, Catbird is planning to offer this using a "Software-As-A-Service" model to provide organizations with a predictable cost to simplify their planning and budgeting process.
Catbird faces a challenge from the large management and security framework suppliers. They would say that their products already do most of this in a different way. In short, they would say "we've got this covered."
The key issue is that deploying a stateless, no cost agent in a virtual machine is a new approach that would be much more attractive to medium and small companies than a heavy, costly management and security agent. So, Catbird has an opportunity to help these organizations.
They also have an opportunity to partner with suppliers such as Cassatt, DataSynapse and many others who are offering application virtualiztion, processing virtualization and the like.
About Catbird:Catbird, Inc. is a privately held company from Scotts Valley, CA. This new product is an addition to Catbird's other products that include:
- Website Security - a product designed to protect websites from several security issues including pharming attacks, defacement and sluggish performance. This product monitors Website uptime and availability of both the website and web-based applications. It also detects email performance problems and checks overall health and security of external network connections.
- Network Admissions Control (NAC) - a product designed to protect the LAN from access by unauthorized users, internal attacks, out-of-compliance resources, IDS/IPS
- Intelligent Vulnerability Monitoring - a product providing continuous monitoring for latest vulnerabilities on external and internal assets.
Would your organization be interested in adopting a set of tools to better manage and secure their increasingly virtualized environment?