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Virtual appliance scales up security

Quoting from IT Week

Linux-based firewall specialist Astaro has announced its new Security Gateway for VMware – a virtual machine configured to run Astaro’s firewall package.

Astaro co-founder Gert Hansen said the new offering would appeal to customers that needed systems to scale up beyond the hardware limitations of Astaro’s firewall appliances. “The virtual appliance delivers the exact same functionality [as our existing firewall appliance] but in a virtualised environment that makes sense for ISPs and other managed service providers. These are the most obvious customers for this virtual appliance, although firms already using virtualisation could also be interested,” Hansen added.

To deploy the firewall firms only need to copy the VM’s virtual disk and configuration files to a server running one of VMware’s virtualisation products. The Security Gateway for Linux is based on the iptables firewall feature built into the Linux kernel, and includes a proprietary web-based GUI to help firms apply a consistent policy across multiple firewalls.

Hansen said customers have two ways to configure the device: “We have our standard web interface portal, which makes configuring a security policy easy, and for ISPs we have an additional product, the Astaro Command Centre. This is designed for monitoring and configuring a collection of Astaro firewalls, including our physical and virtual appliances.”

The move is part of a growing trend for software producers to offer preconfigured versions of their products in virtual appliance format, because such appliances have extremely low hardware requirements and cost little to distribute. Some major software vendors are already using the format. For example, BEA, Red Hat and VMware recently combined forces to produce a virtual appliance version of BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Companies can evaluate a virtual appliance simply by copying a few files to a desktop PC and using VMware’s free Player to run the VM and interact with it. Firms could also put virtual appliances into production using free server tools such as VMware Server, or using VMware high-end ESX Server suite.

Astaro’s virtual appliance is available now.

Read the original article, here.

 

Published Monday, May 22, 2006 6:48 PM by David Marshall
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