An overview of VMware tools

Flight Ticket

vCloud Networking and Security

The product VMware has marketed for some time under the name vCloud Networking and Security, is basically the former vShield, which consisted of the vShield Endpoint, vShield App, and vShield Edge components. Although vShield Endpoint for Malware Defense from vSphere 5.1 is part of the virtualization platform, VMware gathered the remaining components under the new name "vCloud Networking and Security," which is also available in the Standard and Advanced Editions.

Both versions offer firewall, DHCP server, and VPN, but only the Enterprise Edition also supports load balancing and high availability and contains the "Data Security" component that corresponds to the former vShield App with Data Security. This component makes it possible to isolate critical applications in the virtual data center through firewall services at the vNIC level and thus create virtual trust zones that are protected from network-based threats. This function is used to classify data in a virtual machine automatically in order to assign appropriate security policies.

Furthermore, as of recently, both versions implement the VXLAN specification developed by VMware with Cisco [5]. In VMware's data center virtualization, VXLAN serves as a technology for creating flexible and portable virtual data centers through the combination of computing resources over non-contiguous clusters across pools, which then divide again into logical networks and are assigned applications (Figure 4).

Figure 4: VXLAN technology allows you to create flexible and portable virtual data centers by combining computing resources via non-contiguous clusters to pools (from vmware.com).

Conclusions

VMware's product consolidation over the past two years was necessary to effect the integration of strategically and undoubtedly far-sighted acquisitions into a clean, coordinated portfolio. The result is quantitatively impressive and covers not only simple administration of virtualized resources but additionally includes a huge range of functions that have gradually come to include platforms from other vendors.

The consequence is a level of complexity that complicates the relationships and positioning of the respective tools for VMware professionals. This problem is potentiated because each of the individual suites are available in different editions, in which the tools provided partially overlap.

Together with the rich variety of vSphere versions, purchasing a VMware edition has become a science. I cannot determine the extent to which the complexity is by design or just a historical remnant.

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