Nov 13 Security software maker Palo Alto
Networks Inc, which went public in July, is teaming up
with VMware Inc to expand its range of security products
to virtual machines and networks.
The companies will announce the partnership at a Palo Alto
Networks' industry event in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
The Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, which will be integrated
with VMware's cloud computing virtualization operating system,
vSphere, is aimed at providing network security in virtualized
Virtual technology allows a single computer to act like many
"virtual" machines, thus expanding its capacity to run various
types of software and multiple operating systems.
"We are now able to offer a full feature next generation
firewall in a virtual machine data center," said Chris King,
head of product marketing at Palo Alto Networks.
King added that customers' security policies could now be
implemented, even when machines are changing hosts.
"Workloads migrating across physical machines is one of the
problems that blows up network security," King said.
Palo Alto Networks sells firewalls to businesses that
prevent data breaches and block malware and viruses but has been
focused on hardware.
It coined the term "next generation firewall" (NGFW) to
describe its products, which among other things, lets companies
tightly control access to Internet applications for specific
Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald praised the move.
"To have a hardware centric vendor embrace virtualization is
a monumental event," he said, adding that "there is a battle of
control for virtual networks and security control is part of
that battle," MacDonald said.
Larger rival Check Point Software Technologies Ltd
has had a virtual security offering for about three years, the
analyst said, but Palo Alto Networks' move did not come too
"It's late, but not too late," MacDonald said, adding that
it was helpful that Palo Alto Networks had partnered with
"It absolutely helped a vendor like Trendmicro when it
partnered with VMware and I expect the same to be true for Palo
Alto," MacDonald said.
Palo Alto Networks is also updating its threat prevention
offers with a subscription service to its WildFire cloud-based
malware prevention service and will offer a mid-range
next-generation firewall for businesses.
Cisco Systems inc and Juniper Networks Inc
also compete in network security.