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Mixed network protection with EpiForce VM

Apani : 04 June, 2008  (New Product)
EpiForce VM provides mixed mode protection for companies operating both physical and virtual server environments
Apani has announced that EpiForce VM is now shipping. EpiForce VM is the industry's first software-based solution that secures corporate networks, containing both physical and virtual servers, from a single platform. EpiForce VM is part of Apani's comprehensive security software product family and makes use of the latest platform of the company's flagship product EpiForce 2.5.

Apani's product family provides enterprises with the ability to adopt a single security solution that will protect the entire network. From legacy systems to contemporary platforms and now virtual environments, Apani's EpiForce product line is the silver bullet for enterprise IT departments looking for an alternative to traditional solutions like firewalls and virtual LANs (VLANs).

Enterprises are rapidly deploying server Virtualisation to realise benefits associated with increased operational flexibility, improved utilisation, avoidance of unplanned downtime and a reduced carbon footprint. The rush to virtualise has caused many to overlook security best-practices common in a physical environment. According to Gartner, through 2009, 60 percent of virtual machines used in production will be less secure than their physical counterparts.

While the benefits of server Virtualisation are clear, security challenges force enterprises to make trade-offs between broad deployment and security that is robust enough to protect their business. By offering robust virtual and physical machine security, EpiForce VM enables enterprises to fully deploy server Virtualisation and realise the benefits it offers.

"Our customers have large and complex data centres and computing environments that contain a mix of virtual and physical servers," said Scott Ferguson, vice president of product management at Apani. "They told us that a silo approach to security does not work and requires a single solution that is more cost-effective because it's a software platform and more secure because it covers their entire network and not just a subset."

Apani EpiForce VM is a unique software-based alternative to security appliances that operate only in a virtual environment and to internal network firewalls and VLANs used for physical segmentation within the corporate network. The concept behind EpiForce VM is to enable a single platform that isolates both virtual and physical servers, endpoints and business-critical data into logical security zones, regardless of their platform or physical location on the network. Communications between these zones is strictly controlled by authentication of all machine-to-machine traffic and selective encryption based on policy.

"Virtualisation crosses the boundaries between networks, servers, storage and security," said Andreas M. Antonopoulos, senior vice president, Nemertes Research. "To harness virtualisation's potential companies need to bring together people from different IT groups. By sharing a single tool or platform, IT teams from different disciplines can come together faster and more effectively."

EpiForce VM uses on-demand policy distribution to offer enterprises the ability to manage and deploy policy to thousands of virtual or physical servers and endpoints with no impact to the network, application or user. EpiForce VM offers a centralised management console that enables a consolidated view to manage all EpiForce VM-protected machines - whether they are virtual or physical, without regard to their physical location on the network. Persistent security allows administrators to utilise VMotion or Virtual Center to migrate EpiForce VM-protected virtual machines from one physical host to another with no disruption of security policy, minimising unplanned downtime and maximising operational flexibility.

EpiForce VM is based on the EpiForce platform v2.5 and offers enterprises running VMware ESX Server many unique benefits, including:.

* Protect virtual machines and physical servers and endpoints with a single solution.

* Manage all EpiForce VM-protected machines through a single management console, regardless of platform or physical location and without the need to reconfigure the network.

* Migrate virtual machines using VMotion or Virtual Center without compromising security policy.

* Protect virtual machines from vulnerabilities introduced through VM sprawl.

* Cross-platform support secures complex, heterogeneous environments.

Other EpiForce VM features include:.

* Support for F5 load balancers.

* Support for Microsoft Cluster Services, HP Service Guard and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC).

* Network layer transparency offers deployment in days rather than months.

* On-demand policy distribution deploys policy to tens or hundred of thousands of machines without impacting network performance.

* Distributed architecture eliminates bottlenecks and single points of failure.

* Manage policy from virtual or physical administrator consoles - or both.

* Robust audit, logging and reporting enable full administrator visibility.

* Role-based delegation of administrative privileges accommodates almost any organisational process.

The EpiForce product family is available now and initially supports VMware ESX Server 3.0 and 3.5.
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