PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Security vendor Kaspersky Lab is building on the success of Kaspersky Security for Virtualization (KSV), an agentless security solution for VMware virtual machines, with KSV Light Agent, which will include support for VMware, Microsoft and Citrix-based environments.
Partners got a preview of the new offering last week at Kaspersky’s annual partner conference. The original KSV is available now. KSV Light Agent will be included in the same SKU at the same pricing when the product updates in the second quarter. VMware customers will still be able to choose between agentless and Light Agent, while Microsoft and Citrix customers will only have the light agent option.
According to Kaspersky, while VMware is a strong player in the enterprise market, many of Kaspersky’s small and medium-sized business partners work more with Citrix and Microsoft.
“The fact is there isn’t endpoint security running on most virtual machines today, so there’s a great opportunity to go sell KSV,” said Peter Beardmore, Kaspersky’s senior director of global product marketing.
According to Kaspersky, KSV Light Agent provides anti-malware and network protection for virtual machines through a combination of a dedicated virtual appliance and small software agents. Anti-malware processing is off-loaded to the dedicated virtual appliance rather than deploying multiple redundant security agents on each virtual machine. Endpoint controls apply policies such as application control, device control, and web content filtering to virtual machines.
Chris Doggett, Kaspersky North America’s senior vice-president of corporate sales, said both Microsoft and Citrix are large players in the channel market, and many Kaspersky partners have made significant investors with one or both of those vendors.
“There’s a huge demand (from Kaspersky partners) for this type of solution because these guys have the install base, they have the expertise, and this is something that’s a no brainer for them to add to their solution portfolio. We went first with the VMware solution with an agentless solution because it has the largest market share. Due to architectural considerations with Microsoft and Citrix we needed to go with an agentless solution.
The new offering was well received by Kaspersky partners. Michael Knight, CTO with Encore Technology Group, said the opportunity with Light Agent is huge for his business. He likens the way Kaspersky has structured the solution to software-defined networking, with a segmentation between the data plane and the control.
“Compute was centralized, and then decentralized with an agent making decisions locally. Now it’s becoming a hybrid environment, with a good measure of control coming down,” said Knight. “The path they’re taking is extremely important, as you don’t need a big fat client to take control.
All Tech 1 supports a number of virtualization vendors, but company president Robert McMillen said his read is that Citrix and Microsoft are ascendant and will offer more opportunity for partners than VMware.
“We see Microsoft’s Hyper-V dominating in sales going forward,” said McMillen. “VMware is too expensive, and Microsoft is outclassing VMware on price and service.”
While All Tech 1 still supports hundreds of VMware implementations, McMillen said last year they did 10 times more Microsoft implementations than VMware, and they’re replacing a lot of VMware ships with Microsoft as well.