UPDATED 14:27 EDT / OCTOBER 13 2021


VMware reimagines security and networking in a remote world

Companies still can’t underestimate the profound impact that COVID-19 and working remotely from home has had on people’s lives and society. With the fields of networking and security, the pandemic has caused a fundamental rethinking of what is truly possible — because the stakes are even higher.

“Just in the last 90 days, we’ve stopped more than a million ransomware attacks,” said Tom Gillis (pictured), senior vice president and general manager of the Networking and Advanced Security Business Group at VMware Inc. “It’s everywhere.”

Gillis spoke with Dave Vellante, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during theCUBE on VMworld event. They discussed how networking and security are transforming post-pandemic. (* Disclosure below.)

Building secure networks in a post-pandemic world

For the past 20 years, networking operated around notion of a demilitarized zone. On one side of the DMZ was the untrusted internet, and on the other side was the corporate network that was safe and traffic would be backhauled through that DMZ so that it could be scrubbed. However, this doesn’t really work for remote work tools like Zoom, because hauling traffic through a traditional VPN is suboptimal, according to Gillis.

“Across the industry, enterprises are saying, ‘You know what, there’s got to be a different way, right? Instead of moving my traffic to the security services, what if I turn that upside down?'” he said. “We’re taking those security services that live in the DMZ … [defining] them as software, and then running them in hundreds of points of presence around the world. So we effectively move the security close to the users, wherever the users are, instead of the other way around. And that’s the way we think we’ll be building networks in a post-pandemic world.”

This is why VMware has focused on a software approach to networking and security. In a multicloud world, people can’t always count on having physical infrastructure that they can touch. VMware’s idea is that infrastructure’s job is to support the needs of the application, according to Gillis. Microservices, containers and Kubernetes help to free apps from infrastructure, enabling them to work independently and run anywhere. VMware Tanzu can help organizations make the most of these cloud native patterns, Gillis added.

“For example, in Kubernetes, we have the ability for developers to say, ‘Look, here’s my cool new application, and this piece talks to this piece talks to this piece, and nothing else,'” Gillis stated. “So we can implement those types of controls using what we call a service mesh, which allows us to make those connections smooth and seamless across clouds. So we can facilitate that communication back and forth, and we have the ability to look for stuff that should just never happen, because when you understand how an application is supposed to work, it allows you to spot, ‘Hey, wait a minute, that’s not right.'”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of theCUBE on VMworld event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for theCUBE on VMworld event. Neither VMware Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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