Data Center Security - Virtual Appliances Ready for Prime Time?

The adoption of Virtualization, Cloud, and Software-defined Networking (SDN) is transforming the Enterprise Data Center and making IT infrastructure more agile and elastic. The resulting increase in IT and business productivity is driving increased activity and traffic, leading to refresh of ever-faster networking and firewall hardware. Yet the abstraction of the network and data flows is also leading a more dynamic environment, creating potential challenges for network visibility and control.

Security Virtual Appliances, which encapsulate the same firewall and network security engines within a virtual form factor, can be placed closer to Virtualized Switches and traffic flows to regain visibility and be orchestrated with changes in the logical network so that there are minimal protection or compliance gaps.

Fortinet's strong focus and differentiation based on leading ASIC hardware design has led to rapid growth as third-largest Data Center Security Hardware vendor, according to Infonetics Research. Yet Fortinet has also invested heavily in Virtual Security Appliances, with support for all leading Hypervisors including VMware, Citrix, Xen, Hyper-V, and KVM, and is now expanding multi-vendor platform support to leading Cloud and SDN platforms such as Amazon Web services and VMware's Software-Defined Data Center as well. Fortinet offers one of the broadest virtual appliance lineups with nearly a dozen different virtual appliance solutions available today ranging from our flagship FortiGate Firewall and Consolidated Security to Web security, E-mail security, and Central Management and Analytics.

In the following report from Infonetics Research, Principal Analyst Jeff Wilson discusses the drivers for security virtual appliance growth in the data center and why virtual appliance adoption growth will far outpace that of traditional data center hardware security appliances in the coming years.