IBM offers glimpse at virtualization security products

IBM's 'Phantom' initiative to optimize security software within virtual server environments.

IBM last week offered a sneak peek at what it says will address security issues in the virtualization world by early next year.

IBM plans to introduce the IBM Proventia Network Virtual Intrusion Prevention System appliance, its first software-based IPS designed to operate in VMware's ESX virtual-machine environment. IBM also expects to have virtual appliances for the Proventia Enterprise Scanner and the Proventia Multi-Function unified threat management later next year as well.

"We're calling this our 'Phantom' initiative," says Greg Adams, IBM's business line executive for network solutions, who describes it as a research initiative to optimize security software to work within virtual machine server environments, including those from VMware.

In addition, IBM introduced the IBM Proventia Network Security Controller, a security management appliance that can be used in load-balancing of existing Proventia appliances on high-speed networks of 1G to 10Gbps using active bypass capability. It's expected to cost US$34,000 to $38,000 and be available the first quarter of next year.

In upgrades to existing products, IBM SiteProtector 7.0, the management tool used with IBM security products, has added a way to configure it to allow on-demand monitoring through professional services from IBM, including 24/7 managed security services.

IBM also announced the IBM Proventia Enterprise Scanner, which starts at US$2,200, has added new features that include the Common Vulnerability Scoring System-based rating. IBM also expects to soon launch a "Client Security Readiness Tool" available to its professional services customers that would allow them to benchmark how they spend IT security dollars, areas of potential risk and see recommended approaches.

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