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Tuesday
Mar042008

VMsafe ... it's open... it's closed ....

Anyone who's been following the reverberations of VMware's announcement of VMsafe, has certainly picked up on the fact that it's making a great deal of difference to a lot of people.  There's the inevitable hyperbole that accompanies something like this, but from all the information provided by VMware at the conference, it's a significant technical achievement and should advance the use of VMware for production computing environments.

There's just one little thing that continues to bother me.  We still don't seem to be in agreement about whether the API is going to be openly published, openly licensed or whether it's closed to all but a few of VMware's closest friends. Try as I might to find something definitive on this, I keep running into contradictory "statements of fact." Two blog postings shown below indicate that rest of the community is probably in the dark as well.

Back In Town From VMworld Europe « White Noise

... VMware has been working together with McAfee developing a new security API which will be released very soon. The idea is that instead of having a virus or mal-ware scanning tool in the guest OS you are going to see this happen underneath the hardware, in the hypervisor. There are some big advantages to this:

  •     No more scanners in the OS poking their way into all kinds of user, kernel, and IO calls causing overhead and potential issues.
  •     Being underneath the hardware will make it possible to scan everything. From the full memory map of the guest machine to stopping malicious processes before they are started on the CPU. Yes. This works and had been demonstrated.

The good thing is is that the API will be open for everyone. ...

virtualization.info: VMware announces VMsafe APIs

... Unfortunately nor the new interface neither the related products are available today: VMsafe will be included in future versions of VMware Infrastructure, complemented by security products built specifically for it.

So far VMware didn't open the documentation for the APIs and doesn't seem possible to apply for the technology program. ...

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