Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gartner: VMware's security is immature

First, I want to highlight some tidbits in the keynote that Gartner's John Enck gave at the opening of the IBTA Tech Forum. Initially he challenged the assumption that VMware is a secure platform that is immune to attacks and viruses. He mentioned that security is still a point of immaturity in VMware and that VMware issued a fix for known vulnerabilities in its product just a week prior to VMworld. While I believe that VMware is more secure than Windows was in its early days, more vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered as it is more widely deployed.

Another interesting tidbit that Enck shared had to do with some of the new management functions that server virtualization makes possible. Enck specifically mentioned that because the images of each individual VMware virtual machine (VM) is stored in what is called a VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk Format) file, it opens the door for companies to assign metadata to these files including service oriented metadata. In so doing, companies can begin to manage and assign service priorities to VMDK files in the same way they manage other files. It is not yet clear how this will evolve over time but it makes sense that priority levels will become part of the VMDK file's metadata. In this way, VMs will be automatically assigned to the appropriate tier of server and storage hardware simply by looking at the setting at the metadata.


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