News

Layer 7 Virtualizes SOA Security Solution

Virtualization rocketed to the top of the gotta-have-it technology list a few years ago, primarily as a means of consolidating servers. But since that initial resurgence, vendors have been finding other applications for the technologies that provide a layer of abstraction between hardware systems and the software running on them.

A case in point is the virtual appliance, a prebuilt, preconfigured application bundled with an operating system inside a virtual machine. Virtual appliances are being touted by virtualization-market monster VMware and others as a better way to package software demonstrations, proof-of-concept projects and evaluations -- essentially, as a better way to distribute software.

XML security and networking vendor Layer 7 Technologies joined that group last week (June 26) by making its SecureSpan XML Firewall available as a software-instantiated virtual appliance -- what it calls a "soft-appliance" -- running on the VMware Player, Server or ESX products.

Layer 7 is one of the first service-oriented architecture (SOA) security and networking vendors to offer XML firewall functionality through a purpose-built, hardware-accelerated physical appliance. The company's SecureSpan product family, which is aimed at simplifying and securing SOA deployments and Web services, had been available only in these appliances. But hardware has its limitations. By virtualizing its SecureSpan XML Firewall product, Layer 7 has made it possible for its customers to implement identical functionality on any server infrastructure running the VMware Player, VMware Server or VMware ESX systems.

That functionality includes Web services-identity and message-level security to address SOA integration, portal and B2B security challenges. Overall, the soft appliance is designed to provide:

  • Support for multi-tenant data center environments;
  • Full clustering for simplified load scaling;
  • Utility computing over shared server, CPU and memory resources;
  • Broad operating system support; and
  • Interoperability with Layer 7's SecureSpan hardware appliances.

The Layer 7 XML Firewall soft-appliance is now available for a free, 15-day trial on the company's product download page.

The virtual appliance is just one example of how users and vendors are now looking beyond the virtualization basics, VMware's Director of Product Management Srinivas Krishnamurti said in a recent interview.

"First it was the data center, where I had six machines and now I have two that take less power and put out less heat," he said. "But once they begin to work with virtualization, people begin to see its real potential.''

VMware developed the first hypervisor for the x86 architectures in the 1990s, planting the seeds for the virtualization boom. (A hypervisor is the basic software that decouples the operating system and applications from their physical resources.) VMware refers the virtual appliance "an evolutionary step in the software distribution model" and lists more than 300 VMware-based virtual appliances at its Web site, including about 30 commercial offerings from the company's commercial partners.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


Featured

  • Microsoft Adding Google G Suite Migration in Exchange Admin Center

    Microsoft's Exchange Admin Center will be getting the ability to move Google G Suite calendar, contacts and e-mail data over to the Office 365 service "in the coming weeks."

  • Qualcomm Back in Datacenter Fray with AI Chip

    The chip maker joins a crowded field of vendors that are designing silicon for processing AI inference workloads in the datacenter.

  • Microsoft To Ship Surface Hub 2S Conference Device in June

    Microsoft on Wednesday announced a June U.S. ship date for one of its Surface Hub 2S conferencing room products, plus a couple of other product milestones.

  • Kaspersky Lab Nabs Another Windows Zero-Day

    Kaspersky Lab this week described more about a zero-day Windows vulnerability (CVE-2019-0859) that its researchers recently discovered, and how PowerShell was used by the exploit.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.