Q&A with Jonathan Gohstand of PacketMotion - Page 3

Jonathan Gohstand (Profile)
Wednesday, May 18th 2011

Organizations can deploy the Virtual Probe software on all their VMware hosts, but pay only for the number of monitored virtual servers. For example, if an organization has a VMware cluster of 20 blade servers supporting 200 virtual servers, but they need to monitor only five virtual databases out of those 200, they pay for only the five databases, not for the 20 blades. This “pay-as-you-go” model allows the organization to pay for what they are actually using, but still be able to monitor key systems no matter where they happen to be hosted in the VMware data center.

VSM: What does PacketSentry Virtual Probe currently support, and what other support should we expect to see in the future?

JG: Today the PacketSentry Virtual Probe supports VMware vSphere version 4.0 and greater, ESX version 3.5 and greater. Stay tuned, support for other hypervisors will be available in a future release. Our strategy has always been to leverage x86 CPUs and to never require custom hardware, so our solution can be supported on just about any hypervisor platform without modification.

VSM: Can you talk about a customer scenario or actual customer, and what their needs and requirements are?

JG: In general the customer requirements in the virtual environment are very similar to the physical environment. For example, PacketSentry supports the same key use cases in VMware that it does in traditional data centers: Database monitoring, file share monitoring, high risk user controls, network segmentation, and security investigations. However, organizations need general visibility more than ever, because the virtual environment is so opaque, and you can’t secure what you don’t know about. Most of the initial interest we are seeing is in protecting and auditing databases and segmenting critical virtual systems for other virtual servers in the data center.

VSM: It’s been great chatting with you today. Anything else you’d like to share about the state of virtualized data protection or the new PacketMotion solution?

JG: The driving force to virtualize PacketSentry has been our customers, due to all of the data being virtualized today. An additional benefit we haven’t discussed is that the Virtual Probe supports separation of duties by giving security and network teams – which are responsible for meeting compliance regulations and protecting intellectual property – a solution for audit and control in the virtual data center, an area typically owned by server teams. Now, security teams can monitor virtual server administration activity and policy enforcement within the virtual servers, and can enforce or change policies on their own.