Bringing SDN to Federal Networks: VMware NSX STIG Released

When it comes to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solutions, they are similar to big data in that the volume, variety, and velocity of the SDN solutions are on a high trajectory. However, from the throngs of SDN vendors, VMware NSX just set itself apart from its competition. NSX is the first SDN solution to have a published Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG), as determined by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Risk Management Executive. This means that VMware NSX meets the security hardening guidelines required for installation on the Department of Defense (DoD) network and can now be deployed by the DoD and other Federal agencies.

As many organizations are beginning to realize, SDN is the next evolution of network virtualization within the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). Most enterprise data centers make significant utility of server virtualization, and many data centers are moving toward software-defined storage, as well. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is the final piece of the trifecta that enables Information Technology (IT) departments to meet the needs of their customers more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

SDN provides greater span of control and network analytics and response and with that comes better intelligence with a global view of the network rather than each network element looking at the network from its own viewpoint. Simplified and automated network administration streamline deployment of applications using networking that supports the application’s specific needs which improve application experience and empower the network owner/operator.

With VMware NSX, networking functions such as routing, switching, security, and load balancing are moved from the hardware layer to the hypervisor. This enables more automation, improving IT response time and reducing costs. It also makes it easier to move virtual workloads from one domain or data center to another, without the downtime typically associated with network and security reconfiguration.

Perhaps most importantly to U.S. Federal agencies, VMware NSX greatly enhances network security by providing the ability for IT to create granular security policies that travel with virtual workloads, regardless of where the workloads reside on the network. The result is a more flexible security policy that can adapt quickly in response to threats.

GTRI has already seen a number of private sector clients adopt SDN, and we’re looking forward to introducing the benefits to our Federal customers, as well.

If you would like to know more about VMware NSX and SDN, view our on-demand webinar. Feel free to share your experience with SDN in the comments or reach out to me on LinkedIn with questions.

Scott Hogg is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for GTRI.