VMware and the NSA Build a Secure Alliance

VMware Inc. announced a cooperative research and development agreement for a joint initiative with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to enhance and certify the security of VMware's virtual machine technology. The project, which builds upon VMware's patent pending MultipleWorlds technology, will enable government users to safely use commercial off-the-shelf software for certain sensitive or classified applications and environments.

NSA's project NetTop plans to use security enhanced virtual machines as building blocks for applications requiring separation of information domains, such as providing secure remote access to classified computer networks over the Internet. NSA expects NetTop to deliver components suitable for use by the national security community. VMware plans to incorporate the security enhancements resulting from the agreement in its future product releases.

"Users in the national security community have an increasing need for commercial off-the-shelf software, and to provide them with this functionality without compromising on security, we currently require them to use different computers for different applications," notes Paul Pittelli, Director of Information Assurance Research at the National Security Agency. "A security enhanced virtual machine monitor is an important component to help us provide practical security solutions for our customers by allowing them to use commercial software safely. We are impressed with the VMware technology and look forward to a productive research partnership."

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