Reply to “Don’t Conflate Virtual with Dynamic”

This post is a reply to the blog post “Don’t Conflate Virtual with Dynamic” posted here and here, that was already a reply to our original post “Why the perimeter must become virtual“.

First of all, thanks to Lori for the very interesting blog post. Here goes my comments :

  1. Overall we agree. In the original block post we stated “Well, the short answer is: the perimeter must also become virtual, highly dynamic, and automated.”. Lori on the other hand says “In order to implement the kind of dynamic network perimeter … we do, in fact, need a more flexible, automated perimeter.” We agree on the dynamic and automation part.
  2. It seems that is the word “virtual” that triggered the discussion, for example Lori states “Dynamic is not a synonym for virtualization and virtualization does not inherently provide the fluidity of the network architecture required to address the challenges associated with highly dynamic environments.” And the fact that virtualization itself rises security, compliance and performance issues. We agree on the issues and for example the top threats to cloud computing from the Cloud Security Alliance refer to this in the item “Shared Technology Issues” (for example xen and vmware vulnerabilities).

So, everything boils down to the questions : Should the (security) perimeter be virtual or non-virtual ? Should we use a “toss another virtual appliance” approach to security (like we do for scaling) or more about “designing an architecture comprised of highly dynamic and interactive components that can be provisioned and managed on-demand” as Lori said ?

These are challenging questions in my opinion and I’d really appreciate to continue to discuss this topic. What are your thoughts?

Just to give some clues, I can think about trusted computing platforms and are they possible with virtualization? Can we establish trust on top of virtualization layers? Actually, these are some of the questions that the Virtualized Platform working group is trying to address.


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