Industry Trends

Q&A: Fortinet Advances Virtual Security Controls for VMware Integrated OpenStack

By Darlene Gannon | August 25, 2016

Fortinet is once again excited to be at VMworld 2016 next week. At our booth we will be showing off new integration with VMware Integrated OpenStack. Fortinet’s Warren Wu shares more detail on the significance of this and our ongoing integration with VMware.

Can you talk about Fortinet’s latest tech advancements with VMware? What is new?

To further demonstrate Fortinet’s commitment to help organizations securely benefit from the agility, scale and cost efficiencies of the cloud, Fortinet is announcing that it is the first security provider to integrate its virtual enterprise firewall solution, FortiGate VMX, with VMware NSX and VMware Integrated OpenStack environments.

Can you elaborate a bit on the importance of this news?

Fortinet’s FortiGate VMX solution already programmatically integrates with VMware’s latest NSX APIs to provide enterprise firewall functionality as a service into software-defined data center (SDDC) deployments. But, customers are also looking to take advantage of VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) environments, so this is a logical next step.

VIO simplifies deploying an OpenStack cloud infrastructure with out-of-the-box functionality to deploy and manage production-grade OpenStack clouds quickly on top of VMware infrastructure. With this ability to integrate VMware Integrated Openstack and VMware NSX, FortiGate was able to extend the VMX and NSX-integrated security solution, layering L4-L7 advanced security controls into OpenStack enterprise deployments. Fortinet FortiGate VMX also provides automated security deployment and orchestration, dynamic grouping, and policy controls to enable granular security for mission critical applications in OpenStack clouds.

This solution is ideal for scale up and scale out scenarios. By using VMware NSX and FortiGate VMX together, any new workloads introduced and changes to existing workloads will automatically be evaluated to provide FortiGate VMX security. This security solution with VMware NSX and FortiGate VMX brings together the flexibility afforded by VMware NSX and Fortinet FortiOS, the world’s most deployed security operating system, with real time intelligence updates via FortiGuard Labs. Together, these components provide comprehensive threat visibility and protection both for east/west and north/south traffic.

For those who are interested, at VMworld next week we are going to demonstrate how we can scale and segment our customers’ agile data centers with software-defined security and VMware NSX. We will also be conducting demonstrations of several of the Fortinet Security Fabric virtualized security solutions for the software-defined data center (SDDC).

What does all of this mean for Fortinet and VMware’s joint customers?

Beyond virtualization, organizations are beginning to plan and implement next-generation, software-defined networks and private cloud environments. These new architectures allow for instantaneous provisioning of resources, chaining together of services and the acceleration of workflows while abstracting away the overhead related to managing the physical layer of ports, servers and switches.

These new data centers require purpose-built security solutions designed for their unique architectures. However, these new environments also run alongside traditional data centers, making the deployment and orchestration of a single security standard difficult. To complicate things further, some software-defined network solutions make it difficult to bridge between virtual and physical environments, so establishing and enforcing consistent security policies for data that flows between these domains can be challenging.

The advantage is that being able to stitch security services directly into transaction chains allows security to operate in line to automatically provision east-west security and to dynamically scale security resources as demand ebbs and spikes.

As with virtualization, a security fabric strategy allows organizations to place a variety of purpose-built security devices into different architectural environments, yet still maintain centralized threat intelligence and consistent policy enforcement.

Fortinet’s security fabric embraces and enhances security for VMware’s software-defined data centers with key pillar features on orchestration agility, OPEX cost reduction and provisioning and deployment at scale. In addition, Fortinet’s FortiGate security platform and cloud security solutions protect private, public and hybrid cloud environments, and seamlessly extend security via the Fortinet Security Fabric across the entire enterprise from the Internet of Things to tge campus to the cloud.