Posted by: Greg Ness | January 8, 2008

Gartner: VirtSec Firewall Options Lacking

It is great to see the new challenges of virtsec continuing to attract intelligent discussion in the trade press.  Take this article by Tim Greene in Network World covering a recent Gartner report.  For more on virtsec go to: www.archimedius.net 

As discussed previously, netsec hardware vendors have significant architectural challenges when it comes to moving to protocol and flow-aware software that can be installed on commoditized processors.  Looks like CSCO and JNPR are off the virtsec path at this point.  I think it’s fair to expect McAfee to at least step up with an announcement or a kluge.  Time will tell. 

At this point in 2008 it seems obvious that the leading security players are still slugging it out for the classic netsec market, with CSCO seeing gold in the SMB and branch.  As soon as the netsec types figure out that virtsec (and software) means more power and flexibility I think the classic security hardware business will see eroding margins and less innovation and fewer players. 

From Network World’s Tim Greene:

Two of the major firewall vendors, Cisco and Juniper, have shifted their products to hardware-based firewalls and therefore  lack the software firewalls that might fit into virtual environments, says Greg Young, a Gartner analyst who helped write the report.

With physical servers, businesses had set up Web applications in isolated network segments — demilitarized zones — separated by firewalls from databases. In a virtual environment, that separation can become blurred, Young says.

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Disclosure: I’m the VP Marketing for Blue Lane Technologies, a winner of the 2007 InfoWorld Technology of the Year for security, Best of Interop 2007 in security and the AO 100 Top Private Company award for 2006 and 2007. Blue Lane is also a 2007 Best of VMworld Finalist in data protection. I’ve been a marketing executive at Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, IntruVert Networks and ShoreTel. I’ve been an Always On blogger/columnist since 2004. My recently launched personal blog is: www.archimedius.net .  These are all my opinions, and do not represent the opinions of employers, spouses, kids, etc. 


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