Product Announcements

VMworld 2016 vSphere Security Sessions


VMworld 2016 promises to bring security of the vSphere platform and security in general to the forefront. Over the past 4 years security sessions at VMworld have leaped forward to into the Top 15 out of nowhere! That is all because of a sea change in how security is managed at scale. New and interesting challenges that years ago weren’t on anyone’s radar are now front and center. IT administrators are under pressure from security teams and auditors and are looking to VMware to help provide the tools and guidance necessary to running a secure SDDC. We are looking to NOT disappoint this year!

Let’s go over some of the sessions that will be shown at VMworld 2016. Note that some of these sessions are “Tech Preview” of technologies we are working on. I think you’re really going to enjoy how we look at tackling some of these critical issues!

First up. Encryption. This has been a long time challenge in the virtualized datacenter. There’s a myriad of solutions out there. Some do encryption at an array level (either hardware array or virtual array like a virtual storage appliance), some do encryption within the guest using methods that, arguably, incur a management penalty once you go beyond a fixed set of virtual machines. Add to that the serious question of “How do I manage all the encryption keys?!”

In the Technology Futures track I’ll be presenting with my Product Management partner in crime Salil Suri, a session (CTO8856) called “vSphere Encryption Deep Dive: Technology Preview”. We will demonstrate a different way of looking at encryption. How about encryption done at the hypervisor, below the virtual machine, where the virtual machine is completely unaware of its disks being encrypted nor does it have any idea what keys are being used? In addition, it’s independent of the storage platform. It works the same way on NFS or Block or other storage. How about a solution that’s not an onerous IT management nightmare? Simple is GOOD! We will also discuss key management using 3rd party key managers and also go over a little thing we like to call “Encrypted vMotion”. This is all breakthrough technology stuff and we can’t wait to show you! If you have to check that box for encryption at rest and for vMotion then this is a MUST ATTEND event! This session is at a Tech 301 level.

Next up is INF8850, vSphere Platform Security presented by myself and Salil. It’s a great overview of all of the vSphere platform security work we have introduced since vSphere 6.0 Update 2 and a sneak peek of the Technology Preview sessions we’ll be talking about in other sessions. If you’re the IT nerd and you’re there with your director or above, this is the session to send him or her to while you go to the Deep Dive sessions and prep for all of their questions that are sure to follow. This session is at the Tech 201 level.

The next Deep Dive session is INF8858, vSphere Identity: Multifactor Authentication Deep Dive. In this session Product Manager Johnny Ferguson and I will cover the changes that came out in vSphere 6.0 Update 2 for Multifactor Authentication. We’ll show you how to setup RSA SecurID for the vSphere Web Client (and H5 Client!) and how to set up Smartcard Authentication. In addition, we’ll talk about some roadmap items around identity and we will be asking for your feedback on what you’d like to see. This is a great opportunity not only to learn how to set up your environment for better identity security but also directly influence where we should be going in this space! This session is at the Tech 301 level.

The next session is INF8845, vSphere Logs Grow Up! Tech Preview of Actionable Logging with vRealize Log Insight. The main speaker for this session will be Antoan Arnaudov, the PM for vSphere logging, and yours truly. This session will be a combination of a Tech Preview of some super cool logging enhancements to vSphere and an introduction of the vRealize Log Insight for vSphere edition that all vSphere customers have access to TODAY! The logging enhancements to vSphere are extensive. Have you ever made a change to a Virtual Machine and noticed that the log tells you “Virtual Machine reconfigured”? That’s not terribly helpful. You and your security team want visibility! In this demo, which I JUST finished and can’t wait to show you, you’ll see a whole lot more data like how much memory was added or what network was the machine moved from and to. The latter part is where the security discussion comes in. The amount of visibility into changes in your infrastructure this will give your logging solution (like Log Insight) will be tremendous! We’ll go over some use cases and show you how to maximize your Log Insight for vCenter installation. This session is a Tech 301 level.

Finally, my “favorite” topic, VM Escape, will have a Group Discussion! VM Escape – Let’s talk with Kevin Christopher and Mike Foley This will be INF10734-GD. For those of you that follow me on Twitter you know this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Rarely a week goes by when I don’t get a question on “VM Escape”. And it won’t be just me talking about! I’m bringing in a VMware kernel engineer to join me! Who better to discuss this topic IN DETAIL than Kevin Christopher? If your security folks are in a panic about this topic, then this is a MUST ATTEND! Very few slides will be shown. Get your security folks to write down all the questions THEY want answered and bring them! This session promises to go deep so it’s at a Tech 301 level.

Here’s a table of the sessions I’m presenting in.

Session ID



Date and Time


vSphere Encryption Deep Dive:
Technology Preview

Mike Foley


Tuesday 30-Aug at 5:00pm


Platform Security

Mike Foley

Salil Suri

Monday 28-Aug at 11:00am


vSphere Identity: Multifactor
Authentication Deep Dive

Mike Foley

Johnny Ferguson

Wednesday 31-Aug at 2:30pm


vSphere Logs Grow Up! Tech Preview of Actionable Logging

Antoan Arnaudov

Mike Foley

Thursday 1-Sep at 12:00pm


Group Discussion: VM
Escape – Let’s talk with Kevin Christopher and Mike Foley – INF10734-GD

Mike Foley

Kevin Christopher (VMkernel

Thursday 1-Sep at 10:30am

Additional sessions you may find interesting from a security
perspective are:

Session ID


Date and Time


Quick Talk: Has the hypervisor
been commoditized?

Sunday 28-Aug at 1:00pm


VMware Security: How to Meet Your Compliance Objectives
Using Cool Technology

Tuesday 30-Aug at 11:00 AM


Quick Talk: VMware Security: The
Whole Is Greater than the Sum of Parts

Sunday 28-Aug at 3:00pm

Where do I get more??

Go to for the latest updates on security sessions at VMworld.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at VMworld 2016 in San Francisco and Barcelona!