Trust your ESXi hypervisor!

When it comes to security there is always the concerns about the security of the ESXi hypervisor. Its always the hypervisor that is nominated as the layer that can’t be trusted within the IT infrastructure. The whitepaper by Mike Foley  tries to give you more insight on how the VMware ESXi hypervisor from a security perspective and what things to look at when securing the hypervisor.

The topics covered in the white paper are:

  • Secure Virtual Machine Isolation in Virtualization
  • Network Isolation
  • Virtualized Storage
  • Secure Management
  • Platform Integrity Protection
  • VMware’s Secure Development Lifecycle

The document can be downloaded here.

DMZ Design with vCloud Network and Security

“If you can create it with physical devices, you can build it in your own vCloud”. That’s something I always tell my customers when advising on VMware vCloud. Same goes for VMware vCloud Network and Security, which in my opinion hasn’t shown its full potential to customer yet. Thankfully Shubha Bheemarao and Ranga Maddipudi have created an excellent whitepaper on implementing vCloud Network and Security for a DMZ zone. This paper demonstrates how securing a virtual DMZ environment using VMware vCloud Networking and

Summary of the paper:

This paper highlights how securing a virtual DMZ environment using vCloud Networking and Security can be a strategic enabler to your organization as it helps you to reduce your capital expenditure and increase agility, while building a cloud ready, secure and scalable environment for business applications. The paper also highlights the different design approaches to securing business critical applications and enables you to make the choice that is most suited to your organization in the cloud journey. Further, it gives prescriptive configuration guidance to help you get started with the deployment of your preferred approach.


For more information on vCloud Networking and Security follow @vCloudNetSec on Twitter.

Source can be found here.

Security : VMware Compliance Checker

One thing to always take into account while designing and managing your vSphere infrastructure is security. VMware also recognizes this and has several resources available to help you in securing your vSphere infrastructure.

VMware now released a tool to check your security compliancy against the VMware vSphere Hardening Guide. This guide is a set of best practices to harden your vSphere infrastructure. The VMware Compliance Checker checks and reports these settings in easy and simple manner.

VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere lets you:

  • Check compliance for multiple VMware ESX and ESXi servers concurrently
    • Run compliance check on up to 5 ESX or ESXi servers at a time and produce reports.
  • Supports VMware vSphere hardening guidelines
    • Perform checks on VMware ESX and ESXi servers to conform with the latest VMware vSphere hardening guidelines.
  • Analyze compliance assessment results
    • After a compliance run, you can view the assessments by ESX/ESXi hosts, plus guests.
  • Save and Print assessment results
    • You can save and print the compliance assessment reports to your team for review and they can be saved for archival needs.

Download your copy of the VMware Compliance Checker here.

This is a free tool and can be used in small and mid-size companies. This tool isn’t a replacement for the security auditing tools out there. If security really is a big deal within your infrastructure take a look at the compliance center by VMware

Release : Security Hardening Guide for vSphere 4.1

This guide is the official security hardening guide by VMware. It will help you configure your VMware vSphere 4.1 Infrastructure in such a way that your infrastructure will be protected against all kinds of security risks.

I find these security hardening guides very handy in helping me to understand all the areas that I need to look into to protect my vSphere Infrastructure. I’m not a security expert and most security experts I talk to don’t have enough knowledge of vSphere to give good advice on the best way to protect your vSphere Infrastructure. This document fills the knowledge gap between both areas of expertise.

Notice that this document is a best practice document. Please read the document carefully before implementing all the security configuration items into your vSphere infrastructure. My advice is to use the security guide as the standard and document all the security configuration items that you do not implement into your vSphere infrastructure. Also document why you didn’t implement the recommended security settings into your vSphere infrastructure. There can be a valid reason for it, but this way you have documented the reason and can always explain your security configuration settings to the security team in the future.


This set of documents provides guidance on how to securely deploy VMware® vSphere™ 4.1 (“vSphere”) in a production environment. The focus is on initial configuration of the virtualization infrastructure layer, which covers the following:

-­‐ The virtualization hosts (both VMware ESX® 4 and VMware ESXi™ 4)
-­‐ Configuration of the virtual machine container (NOT hardening of the guest operating system (OS) or any applications running within)
-­‐ Configuration of the virtual networking infrastructure, including the management and storage networks as well as the virtual switch (but NOT security of the virtual machine’s network)
-­‐ VMware vCenter™ Server, its database and client components
-­‐ VMware Update Manager (included because the regular update and patching of the ESX/ESXi hosts and the virtual machine containers are essential to maintaining the security of the environment)

You can download the Security Hardening Guide for vSphere 4.1 over here.