The Virtualization Room

Sep 2 2010   8:25PM GMT

Kicking the tires on vShield Edge

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

By Beth Pariseau, Senior News Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — VMware demonstrated its new vShield Edge routing virtual firewall on the VMworld 2010 conference floor, and passersby stopped to give it a look. Most attendees were intrigued by the concept but worried about the cost and complexity of another virtual layer for networking security.

“The complexity of managing VPNs and different networks is always difficult,” said Tony Stauffer, manager of end user services for an automotive manufacturer in the Midwest. “I’ll be testing it out to see if it’s really as simple as what’s been demonstrated.”

Ed Symanzik, information technologist at Michigan State University, said his shop has a virtual stack running 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), but it’s bottlenecked by a 1 GbE edge firewall.

“If I had this, I might be able to do an end-run around that physical firewall,” he said.

But that would only be if money was no object, Symanzik said. As it is, he’s not keen on paying further VMware licensing costs to get vShield Edge.

Other users weren’t comfortable philosophically getting such a product from a virtualization vendor.

“I don’t want to commingle security with the same vendor,” said Ashraf Keval, Windows systems administrator for California’s Department of Water Resources. “I have a relationship with Trend Micro, and I want to stick with that.”

A user from an accounting firm said, “I don’t need another firewall or another point of failure.” And another user from a major credit card issuer said he will investigate host-based firewall alternatives before committing to vShield Edge.

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