Q&A with David McNeely of Centrify - Page 4
VSM: Can you talk about a customer scenario or actual customer, and what their needs and requirements are?
DM: A typical enterprise customer has used virtualization for server consolidation, but still has thousands of physical servers running a variety of UNIX and Linux operating systems. Customers achieve significant savings when deploying virtualization, but the number of virtual systems – each with their own identity, group and privilege files to manage – increases the security and compliance issues customers face. There are thousands of customers using Centrify Suite to integrate their non-Windows systems across both virtual and physical servers into Active Directory. Wyse is a good example of a customer that simplified the management of VMWare ESX, Red Hat and HP-UX servers using Centrify Suite. Wyse has a video where the Director for Enterprise Architecture explains their usage: http://www.centrify.com/customers/wyse.asp.
VSM: Why is it so difficult to secure information in a virtual environment stored across various platforms? Is a multi-platform environment common among enterprises today?
DM: Multi-platform environments are the norm in today’s data centers since enterprises have procured different systems over time, acquired companies with disparate IT resources and run business-critical applications on specific systems. Once these business critical systems are virtualized, they can proliferate and move across the data center. And hypervisor software creates an additional set of platforms (VMWare, Citrix) where controlling who has access and what they can do is critical for security.
Increasingly, compliance standards are recognizing these changes in the data center and are requiring specific controls for virtualization systems and cloud service providers, including the recently announced virtualization guidance for PCI DSS.
VSM: It’s been great chatting with you today. Anything else you’d like to share with VSM's readers?
DM: Thank you. I would just like to point everyone to some additional resources to learn more about these security challenges and the solutions Centrify offers.
On Centrify’s web site there are several sections that go into more detail:
Virtualization Security & Auditing
PCI Compliance & Auditing