With the rise of the software-defined enterprise, it’s only a matter of time before the same programmable infrastructure concepts are applied to security as well.
Taking a major step in that direction, Intel this week unveiled a programmable Intel Security Controller that is specifically optimized for security technologies created by the McAfee subsidiary of Intel and deployed in environments running NSX software from VMware.
Rishi Bhargava, vice president of product management for Intel Security, says that the Intel Security Controller is scheduled to be available later this year and its integration with McAfee security technologies is one of the first unique instances where Intel is developing technology that specifically favors McAfee technologies over rival security vendors. As such, Bhargava says the Intel Security Controller is a big step toward validating Intel’s decision to acquire McAfee.
Longer term, Intel has made it clear that its goal is to eliminate the need for both dedicated security and networking appliances. Toward that end, Intel has taken a leading role in promoting the adoption of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technologies. In that architecture, most security and networking functions will run on standard x86 server technology or some other form of commodity silicon.
Naturally, other security vendors are moving in the same direction. But with primary access to security controller technology developed by Intel, it’s clear that McAfee is much more than an interesting investment in research and development for Intel.