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July 01, 2010

The Dedicated Server: Is Your Information Secure?

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In the world of data security, many an IT manager must make the decision on whether he (or she) should share a server with other companies, or go with a dedicated server choice to ensure that their information is the only thing that will touch the specific server. This is an important question when cloud computing and virtualization is key for the company.

In a recent Phone (News - Alert) Plus report, it was announced that HP has released the first goodies resulting from its merger with 3Com (News - Alert). The company has introduced four new security solutions as part of its Converged Infrastructure initiative. These new products focus on the particular security requirements of the data center across both physical and virtual environments.

HP's new products are specifically designed to establish multiple layers of security for its FlexFabric data center networking architecture. This is especially important in the virtualized world of dedicated servers where security breaches carry a proportionately higher level of risk. All of these products are marketed and sold directly, as well as through distributors and channel partners under HP's PartnerONE program.

The HP TippingPoint Secure Virtualization Framework (SVF) is the security site built around the TippingPoint Virtual Controller (vController), which routes all data through a filter appliance of all sorts. The HP TippingPoint N-Platform Intrusion (News - Alert) Prevention System (IPS) inspects all virtual machine (VM) traffic.

Customers can rely on the same security processes and tools for both VM and dedicated server traffic. They can also manage overall security through a single interface with full visibility and control into each environment. The vController works with HP's line of ProLiant G7 servers, which can isolate and repair memory problems on a per-VM basis without bringing down additional VMs or their native server.

The IPS receives continuous updates from the HP TippingPoint Reputation Digital Vaccine service, or RepDV. This maintains a near real-time, extensive database of malicious or suspicious websites and automatically blocks traffic to such sites in both directions until a manual restore of access takes place.

Data center core security is also an HP focus with the HP Tipping Point S1200N IPS A7500 Module and the HP TippingPoint S1500 SSL Appliance, which is a dedicated device that decrypts and re-encrypts SSL Web traffic to inspect encrypted data for malicious content and speed up response times.

The TippingPoint products are designed to work with the HP Fibre Channel over Ethernet module for its A52820 data center switch, which will integrate storage network switches along with dedicated server and storage network adapters to streamline and simplify the server edge.

Whether or not an IT manager decides to implement a dedicated server over a shared server for his (or her) environment will depend greatly on the security tools in place to protect data and the network. With the latest releases from HP, any prior worries may be easily put to rest.

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