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Security SaaS Provider CloudPassage Now Protects Windows Servers

SaaS security provider CloudPassage is filling out its software as a service (SaaS) offering with support for Microsoft's Windows Server platform.

CloudPassage today said its Halo cloud firewall automation and multi-factor authentication software, which customers can provision either in a customer's data center or on a server in a public cloud, now runs on both Linux and Windows Server 2008/R2-based infrastructure. Since launching Halo last year, it only ran on Linux servers.

"When we first started development on the product a couple of years back, Linux was by far the predominant operating system in the cloud," said CloudPassage CEO Carson Sweet. "But since then, there's been a more dramatic shift, where it's gone from 80-20 Linux to Windows, close to 50-50. In some cloud environments we're seeing an even stronger tilt towards Windows. Enterprises are very heterogeneous and they require we support both."

The support for Windows is the latest move by San Francisco-based CloudPassage to try to extend its presence and take on established security suppliers. The company in April received $14 million in Series B financing led by Tenaya Capital joined by earlier investors Benchmark Capital and Musea Ventures, giving CloudPassage a total of $21 million in funding. CloudPassage argues it offers a different approach to securing cloud environments by providing dynamic firewall automation and vulnerability monitoring and assessment.

Halo consists of three core components: The Halo Daemon, a 2MB component that runs on each virtual machine of a cloud server. Each Daemon can run on an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS)-based public cloud server or on a private cloud VM. It monitors and reacts to security polices running in the Halo Grid, which as the name implies, is a grid that interacts with each Halo Daemon that provides the core processing. Halo is managed by customers via the Halo Portal.

CloudPassage runs the primary Halo Grid in Rackspace's Cloud Servers, though it is distributed among other cloud providers as well, Sweet said. Customers can run Halo Daemons on other providers' platforms including Amazon Web Services (EC2), GoGrid, Verizon's Terremark and others. It currently is deployed among 17 different cloud providers though Sweet said the company only has relationships with a few of those.

The company was among a number of SaaS providers that last week said it would make its service available on the AppDirect SaaS marketplace. CloudPassage is also running on the Rackspace Cloud Tools Marketplace, also launched last week and powered by AppDirect.

By supporting the Rackspace marketplace, Sweet said customers can procure Halo through Cloud Tools, enabling Rackspace customers to be billed for associated SaaS services on one statement. "Procurement departments will be happy not having to deal with so many small invoices," Sweet said. "They will get one Rackspace invoice."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/25/2012 at 1:14 PM


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