Server virtualization has seen phenomenal acceptance and growth in recent years. But with up to 80 percent of data center traffic now traveling between virtual machines (VMs) within the same hypervisor, end-to-end visibility has become a major concern. When visibility is obscured, monitoring and security tools become far less effective, and network performance and debugging tools cannot see into the virtual switch layer.
A virtualized environment requires the same access control and identification measures needed for physical servers, but traffic between VMs is notoriously tricky to monitor. A recent white paper from Ixia details how to easily monitor inter-VM (“east-west”) traffic to realize the full benefits of virtualization.
In the past, traditional taps were sufficient to help IT professionals effectively monitor and protect complex networks. Now, neither traditional taps nor any other conventional solution can capture all the traffic that flows between VMs. The proliferation of VMs has caused “blind spots” to become common in virtualized server infrastructure, essentially creating pockets for malicious intruders to hang out and performance problems to lurk unsuspected.
The white paper argues that VM security requires technologies designed specifically to protect and monitor a virtualized environment. Ixia examines how blind spots develop, and it outlines the company’s approach to illuminating blind spots while providing control and minimizing network complexity. The paper outlines how Ixia’s Visibility Architecture establishes rigorous network monitoring and security controls over sprawling virtual server infrastructures.
At the crux of the architecture is Ixia’s Phantom Virtual Tap (vTap), which is designed to restore lost visibility and bridge the gap between the physical and virtual environment. Phantom vTap captures data passing between VMs, filters that traffic to what’s relevant, and sends traffic of interest to physical or virtual monitoring tools. Because it supports major hypervisors, Phantom vTap enables security tools such as application performance monitors, IDS, DLP, and network forensics recorders without affecting or complicating a virtualized environment.
Read the white paper now to learn more about how Ixia’s Visibility Architecture can provide comprehensive visibility of all data passing between VMs and on dedicated backplanes, and why Ixia calls it a major step towards mainstreaming server virtualization.