Firewall Virtualization – Virtual Appliances and Contexts

Cut costs with virtualized Next Generation Firewall solutions

Virtualization technology offers lower costs and easier product maintenance. With McAfee Next Generation Firewall, there are two virtualization options: virtual appliances and virtual contexts. You may benefit from one or both virtualization solutions, an approach that can help minimize your investment in hardware and simplify network operations.

Virtual Appliances
Next Generation Firewall has been VMware accredited since 2004, and McAfee VMware Ready Virtual Appliances became available in 2008. With virtual appliances, you can easily and independently deploy a comprehensive security infrastructure using virtual machines. Each virtual appliance can serve an independent role, and even run its own software version and operating system.

Virtual Contexts
Virtual contexts offer a way to logically divide up to 250 security gateway configurations into separately manageable instances on a single physical Next Generation Firewall appliance. This approach is ideal for managed security service providers (MSSPs), who offer and manage security services for multiple customers using the same physical elements.

FeatureVirtual ApplianceVirtual Context
Independence of virtual instances High, as each instance can run its own version Limited, as all instances share the same software basis
Scalability Dozens Up to 250
Performance Good Excellent
Purchase Driver Increased security and visibility for virtual infrastructure Server consolidation

Key Benefits

  • Lower maintenance costs

    Up to 250 Next Generation Firewalls can be run on a single physical appliance.
  • Supports managed service provider business model

    One Next Generation Firewall can simultaneously serve multiple customers located in different domains.
  • Flexibility with virtual appliances

    Next Generation Firewall can be deployed as a virtual appliance, software solution, and physical appliance.