HyTrust Launches With Appliance To Manage Virtualized Environments

HyTrust Appliance provides centralized control, directory integration, compliance, and security of virtual infrastructures

April 10, 2009

9 Min Read


Mountain View, CA (April 07, 2009) " HyTrust, Inc. launched today with a mandate to enable enterprises to virtualize their critical production applications by ensuring operational readiness of virtual infrastructure. At its launch, the company introduced HyTrust Appliance, which serves as a central point of control, management and visibility for virtualized environments. Without these essential elements, virtualization within most organizations remains relegated to testing environments in the lab, proof-of-concept projects, or "low hanging fruit" server consolidation initiatives. HyTrust puts the controls in place that free organizations from these limitations, enabling virtualization of even the most critical tier-one applications and allowing them to achieve the maximum benefit and return on investment from virtualization.

Faced with mounting economic pressures, IT executives are looking to virtualization to meet enterprise IT needs with reduced budgets. Based on a recent IT spending survey by Goldman Sachs, "45% of respondents expect to virtualize over 30% of their servers (up from just 7% today), suggesting a much more aggressive penetration of virtualization." Yet, say experts such as Becky Bace, president/CEO of Infidel and the former head of the intrusion detection research program at NSA, "Without a solution like HyTrust to provide visibility and control, the risk is just too great."

HyTrust Appliance provides centralized control, directory integration, compliance and security—requirements that become mission-critical as virtual infrastructures scale up and production applications get virtualized. Analysts and industry pundits are quick to point out that in addition to immediate cost savings, virtualization enables a more flexible and dynamic infrastructure that can quickly morph to meet changing needs of the enterprise. Due to significantly higher rate of change in virtual infrastructure, automated controls are necessary to ensure that security and operational readiness is on par with that of physical environments. In addition, given the spread of virtualization, companies are now being faced with meeting regulatory compliance of their virtual infrastructure. HyTrust allows enterprises to meet these needs and answer the demands of auditors. The HyTrust solution was created to proactively address the new challenges presented.

"HyTrust addresses these issues and provides a comprehensive and automated solution that maintains or enhances the processes needed to manage and secure a modern data center while benefiting from the advances that workload virtualization brings," said Peter Christy, principal, IRG International.

"The HyTrust platform sets in place a firm foundation upon which virtualization can thrive and grow dynamically, while maintaining control as well as a secure and compliant environment," said Eric Chiu, president & CEO, HyTrust. "HyTrust empowers companies to realize the tremendous productivity and cost benefits of virtualization by consistently enforcing policy as well as automating current manual procedures to achieve best practices."

Platform & Appliance Solution "Burton Group spent months developing a definitive criteria for enterprise production-class hypervisor evaluation, spanning such areas as high availability, networking, storage, and security," said Chris Wolf, senior analyst at Burton Group. "Within security specifically, we identified four absolutely critical requirements: directory service integration, role-based access controls, secure management traffic, and security logging and auditing of administrative actions. Enterprises should only deploy hypervisors that meet these requirements, either natively or via a third party add-on. With solutions available that meet these needs today, enterprises should no longer feel that they have to sacrifice any security for the sake of virtualizing systems."

Rather than retroactively building necessary safeguards while sensitive data is put at risk, HyTrust, which has three patents pending, allows organizations to build a manageable virtual infrastructure foundation from the ground up. Additionally, to comply with regulations or security standards such as HIPAA, SOX and PCI-DSS, HyTrust gives enterprises the ability to demonstrate that adequate processes and enforcement controls are in place, configuration changes are consistent, and confidential information is secure. The HyTrust Appliance is the only product that addresses virtualization infrastructure control, including all four requirements outlined.

The new HyTrust Appliance features the following key benefits:

  • Consistent Control " access and configuration controls are enforced consistently across the entire virtual infrastructure regardless of the management method.

    • Visibility and Compliance " user activity and hypervisor security posture is consistently logged at a central point, and detailed audit-quality logs are created for forensics and reporting.

    • Efficiency and Integration " automation of manual procedures achieves best practices, as well as integration with existing management tools; server engineers can be more efficient with their time, and deliver a strong ROI.

    • Flexibility " growth and expansion is supported and enabled, as is adaptability of virtual infrastructure to meet business demands.

      "HyTrust offers a great approach and solution to help organizations address control and compliance issues in a consistent way through automation and policy enforcement, enabling optimal visibility and management over the virtual infrastructure," said David Bartoletti, senior analyst and consultant, Taneja Group.

      Industry Partners Echoing enterprise needs for consistent control and compliance across heterogeneous systems, HyTrust is launching with an impressive list of technology partners, including VMware, the global leader in virtualization solutions; Symantec, a global leader in providing security, storage and systems information management solutions; Cisco Systems, the leading supplier of networking equipment and network management for the Internet; and Citrix Systems, the most trusted name in Application Delivery Infrastructure and the maker of XenServer.

      HyTrust is partnered with VMware on three levels—Technology Alliance, VMsafe and Community Source

      —demonstrating a close development relationship that allows HyTrust to deliver out-of-the-box interoperability.

      "HyTrust has been afforded deep access to VMware technologies, including source code to ESX—a position reserved for only the closest collaboration partners," stated Chiu. According to VMware Community Source Partners: "Such close collaboration at product strategy and development level can lead to creation of differentiated products that offer deep integration with VMware products and time-to-market advantage in delivering complementary products that interoperate with VMware." HyTrust provides a single point of VMware configuration and logging that is a critically important contribution to a more secure and compliant virtualization deployment, and broader adoption.

      With growth of virtualization within enterprise, IT organizations are striving to provide consistent management and security for their physical and virtualized systems.

      "Symantec is committed to helping its customers secure and manage their information consistently across a range of physical and virtual platforms," said Rob Clyde, vice president of Technology, Office of the CTO, Symantec.

      "Policy enforcement and configuration management of virtualization platforms are key problem areas that both HyTrust and Symantec address. Symantec's vast portfolio and HyTrust's innovative technology are complementary and essential for customers to ensure that their virtualized environments are as secure as their physical ones."

      Venture Funding HyTrust also today announced Series A funding in the amount of $5.5 million. Led by Palo Alto, CA-based Trident Capital -- a top venture capital and private equity firm that currently manages over $1.5 billion and whose IT security investments includes Sygate, acquired by Symantec; Thor Technologies, acquired by Oracle; and Tablus, acquired by EMC -- the company is also backed by Epic Ventures, an early stage technology-focused venture firm based in Utah, and one of the most active, with portfolio companies such as Mozy, acquired by EMC; and Lefthand Networks, acquired by HP.

      "HyTrust is in the right market, at the right time, with the right solution," said Peter Meekin, managing director, Trident Capital. "HyTrust is the first company we've seen that addresses the unique virtualization security, control and compliance requirements as effectively and completely. We're excited about this company's potential long-term."

      Answering Market Need Virtualization and Cloud Computing were named #1 and #2 respectively to the "Top 10 Strategic Technology Areas for 2009 issued by Gartner analysts Carl Claunch and Dave Cearley, and highlighting the technologies that will provide important strategic advantages to IT over the next three years. They point out that these, more than others, indicate "a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt." Market numbers by IDC support this assessment with predictions that the virtualization software market will reach $3.5 billion by 2011, and the services market will be $11.7 billion. This exploding growth carries with it inherent risk, particularly in the absence of adequate technology safeguards.

      HyTrust Appliance is being well received in test markets. "Virtualization is the new reality of data center operations," said Michael Mucha, information security officer, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, a pilot customer. "The flexibility of this disruptive technology affords us both risk and opportunity. HyTrust offers not only a way to mitigate the downsides of treating servers as software, but provides us a new layer of logical security control across the enterprise. HyTrust's robust virtualization security solution means that our virtual data center will ultimately be more secure than our physical one, providing an enterprise computing platform worthy of the era of the electronic medical record."

      "As CEO, what I find exciting about HyTrust is that it enables companies like ours to have the best of both worlds: improved margins from cutting-edge virtualization alongside secure customer information, satisfied auditors, and happy board members," said Mike Heinstein, CEO of Art.com. "Server virtualization is highly promising for large online retailers like Art.com because it gives our IT department greater flexibility and drives down costs. As a retailer, however, it's imperative that above all else we strive to protect our customer information and comply with the relevant regulations and mandates, such as PCI DSS." Experts in virtualization architecture and implementation also agree: "As a leading integrator of virtualization technologies, VIRTERA witnesses our clients struggling to integrate disciplined security and compliance policies within their virtual infrastructures," said Daniel Beveridge, director of Virtualization Strategy for the company—a HyTrust partner. "HyTrust leads the charge with a hardened, multi-platform appliance offering a single-point of control for all virtual infrastructure operations. HyTrust reduces the concentrated security risks associated with virtualization by providing a single, well-audited and easily-managed path for all administrative activity. VIRTERA sees great potential and demand for HyTrust's powerful security platform."

      [To read more about what virtualization analysts, experts, customers and partners are saying, please reference "Industry Rallies Support" addendum.]

      Availability and Pricing HyTrust Appliance (Enterprise Edition) is now available. Pricing is based on the number of protected hosts (on a per CPU-socket basis) and HyTrust Appliance license. Protection license for a 2-CPU VMware ESX host is $1,000; the HyTrust virtual appliance is $3,000; and the physical appliance is $7,500. Maintenance and support is charged on an annual basis.

      HyTrust will soon make available the new HyTrust Appliance: Community Edition —a free virtual appliance available for download via the Web. Due out at the end of April, Community allows protection for up to 3 hosts and offers an excellent way for small companies to bring automated virtualization best practices into their environments.

      About HyTrust (www.hytrust.com) HyTrust, headquartered in Mountain View, CA, is an exciting young company focused on virtualization platform control, security and compliance. Solutions enable I.T. to gain control and visibility over their virtual infrastructure production environments. It also enables them to meet regulatory compliance requirements and respond more quickly and effectively to compliance audits. Fortune 500 enterprises and industry analysts have validated the HyTrust approach to addressing this billion dollar market. The Company is backed by top tier investors Trident Capital and Epic Ventures; its partners include VMware, Symantec, Citrix, and Cisco.

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