VMware NSX’s Secret Sauce: Dramatically Improved Security

Earlier this year, Dom Delfino, VMware’s senior vice president of worldwide sales for the software-defined data center (SDDC), discussed the momentum and customer adoption of VMware NSX. Now, six months later and less than a week away from VMworld 2017 U.S., Delfino discusses the continued momentum of VMware NSX network virtualization platform and how the demand for new security solutions is driving strong interest in NSX.  

Attacks on the Rise

Malware, security breaches, cyberattacks, and ransomware extortions continue to increase worldwide. In the past year, data-encrypting ransomware, such as WannaCry and Petya, have compromised companies across all industries. WannaCry infected more than 300,000 Windows-based machines, and forced organizations such as Honda and the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) to take systems offline.

Businesses find these breaches more painful and disruptive than ever which, in part, has fueled an interest in the unique security capabilities of NSX.

New Security Ideas

“These attacks can drive companies out of business,” says Delfino. “We have customers who have sent everyone home for the day after an attack. And I’m not talking about mom-and-pop or midmarket companies. I mean major, well-known Fortune 500 companies that are forced to absorb significant and crippling losses due to cybersecurity breaches.”

VMware NSX utilizes a technology called micro-segmentation to apply security policies in a more granular and automated way, increasing protection significantly. If a firewall is analogous to a big fence protecting the enterprise systems located inside the perimeter, micro-segmentation is more akin to protecting the individual components inside the firewall. It enables company assets to remain secure even after a firewall has been compromised.   

While NSX is a networking virtualization platform, rather than a security solution, its unique capabilities enable easier disaster recovery, automated provisioning, and improved security.

“We’re seeing that VMware NSX is becoming the primary mechanism to secure the enterprise,” says Delfino, “and it’s becoming more integrated with third-party security providers, too, enabling much easier end-to-end management.”

Look to the Future

“The biggest surprise I hear from customers is that the network virtualization technology is easier than they thought it would be,” says Delfino. “It’s new, so the presumption is that it’s complicated, but that’s not the case. Everything seems complicated until we learn it.”

In addition to the security benefits, NSX also extends the lifecycle and ROI of underlying hardware infrastructure. And the implementation process forces systems, security, storage, and virtual administrators to work closely together, giving everyone a better understanding of infrastructure as a whole. 

We’re seeing that VMware NSX is becoming the primary mechanism to secure the enterprise.

Dom Delfino

“Once you modernize your infrastructure, future planning becomes easier because everything isn’t tied to the hardware,” says Delfino. “There’s no longer a need for someone to go out and touch every single box or work around hardware limitations. Adding an abstract layer on top of the hardware means it becomes an integration point for hardware, eliminating the need for device-by-device adjustments.”

Come to VMworld

“If a company is interested in network virtualization and isn’t clear where to start, come to VMworld,” says Delfino. “We have everything you need there.”

VMware NSX will be a featured product at the show replete with collateral, use cases, customer references, and deeper dives on the technology. And although Delfino recommends all the VMware NSX-focused sessions at VMworld, he particularly recommends four:

“If you’re interested in digital transformation and driving your business forward,” says Delfino, “come to VMworld and connect with our community of customers, partners, and experts. It’s the best place to get smart.”

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