VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1 released with support for Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)

At February 11 VMware Released Update 1 for vSphere 4.1. It contains security and bug fixes and supports additional guest operating systems and supports additional databases for vCenter.

Updates are on ESX and ESXI, vCenter Server, vCenter Update Manager and vCenter Orchestrator. Rick Scherer of vmwaretips.com has more information.

Ome interesting new feature is support for  Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), available in ESXi only. ESXi 4.1 Update 1 supports trusted boot using Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). This boot option can protect ESXi in some cases where system binaries have been corrupted or tampered with.

TXT allows an ESXi host to measure all components in the boot path from BIOS to ESXi and stores the measurements on a device known as the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) on the server motherboard. Each component is loaded and measures the next component in the boot chain to establish a chain of trust. ESXi can securely communicate these TPM measurements to vCenter Server. Certain third-party software might offer the ability to use these measurements for auditing, compliance, and management.
 
You can use TPM with third-party solutions to provide policy-based protection against the following threats against an ESXi image:
  • Corruption of the stored image
  • Certain kinds of tampering
  • Unexpected or unauthorized updates or changes

 This technology is currently available on Intel Xeon processor 5600 series servers and will be available on future versions of Intel processor servers.

Read more on this on the VMware KB.

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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