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Innovation

Altor Networks Altor VF 3.0: VMsafe Virtual Firewall

Security in virtual environments can be a challenging area because there are so many different entities needing protection. In a virtual server environment, layers of security are needed for the underlying hypervisor and for each of the virtual servers.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Security in virtual environments can be a challenging area because there are so many different entities needing protection. In a virtual server environment, layers of security are needed for the underlying hypervisor and for each of the virtual servers. If not implemented correctly, security could become an awful load for the environment. Altor Networks has recently begun to offer a new product, Altor VF 3.0: VMsafe Virtual Firewall with Intrusion Detection, designed to help. Their approach appears to offer an interesting solution to the problem of providing enough protection while also minimizing the overhead.

Here's what Altor Networks has to say about VF 3.0

Altor Networks, provider of best-in-class virtualization and cloud security solutions, today announced the Altor VF 3.0 virtual firewall with integrated intrusion detection. Developed using VMsafe APIs, the Altor VF offers robust defense-in-depth virtualization security with mission critical reliability and value through breakthrough fast-path performance.

The Altor VF is the first product to be integrated with VMware (NASDAQ: VMW) VMsafe network APIs in fast-path mode, where security inspections are processed in the hypervisor kernel.  As a result, customers deploying the Altor VF will benefit from increased performance, achieving approximately ten times greater throughput than virtual firewalls running in a Virtual Machine (i.e., bridge mode), as well as greater security and reduced complexity.

Security policy is applied at an individual-VM level and enforcement of this policy occurs within the Kernel. VMs are protected without requiring security agents on the guest, complicated network reconfigurations, or performance degrading remapping of network flows.

The Altor VF delivers defense-in-depth with virtual-aware intrusion detection for up-to-date protection against emerging threats with a security-signature update service.  Purpose-built for the virtual environment, the Altor VF enables secure usage of unique virtualization features, such as vMotion, and provides ease of administration and tight integration with vCenter.

  • Altor VF 3.0 Best in Class Virtualization Security:
  • Defense-In-Depth
  • Integrated Intrusion Detection
  • Hypervisor Monitoring and Protection
  • Virtualization Security SDK
  • Value Through Price Performance
  • 10x performance gain via VMsafe fast-path
  • Mission Critical Reliability
  • High-Availability Architecture
  • Fault-tolerant installation process

Snapshot analysis

Altor Networks, by using VMware's VMsafe API set, has developed a highly functional layer of protection while imposing a reasonable level of overhead in a virtualized environment. The granularity of control in the environment also appears to be very reasonable as well.

While the technology appears powerful, I'm not convinced that either Altor Networks or its product, VF 3.0, are known to most IT decision makers. This, of course, would tend to limit the adoption of the product regardless of the product's strengths or pricing.

Unasked for shoot-from-the-hip advice

Altor Networks, the rules are different now. Sending out press releases and speaking with journalists, anlaysts and consultants is no longer enough. While the traditional approach still has value, reaching out directly to your audience using social networking, youtube videos, podcasts and Web seminairs is now an added requirement.

Why not get some of your best customers to work with you to present short, interesting, videos that explain the pain the customer was feeling, what they had done to address the pain, why they selected your approach and what benefits they had received from using your technology?

If these videos are interesting, fun, controversial and the like, people will find them and tell others to come watch.

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