VMware Teams Up With the NSA

8/29/07

If you follow the Fox show “24” at all, you know that keeping track of who has access to which top-secret computer systems—and making sure that nobody goes poking around where he shouldn’t—is a huge pain for intelligence analysts and other security personnel. So much of a pain, in fact, that it necessitates user with multiple clearances to use physically separate machines to log in to different systems. This cumbersome setup—which is as much a problem for real military and Homeland Security personnel as it is for Kiefer Sutherland’s friends—could soon be simplified, thanks to a partnership, announced today, between EMC (NYSE: EMC) subsidiary VMware (NYSE: VMW) and the National Security Agency.

The partnership, in which VMware will act as a subcontractor to NSA contractor General Dynamics C4 Systems, is aimed at using VMware virtualization software to allow users “to run the equivalent of physically isolated machines with separate levels of security clearance on the same workstation,” according the VMware announcement. eWeek’s Scott Ferguson delves a bit further into the technical nitty gritty.

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