Towards Automated Provisioning of Secure Virtualized Networks

We describe a secure network virtualization framework that helps realize the abstraction of Trusted Virtual Domains (TVDs), a security-enhanced variant of virtualized network zones. The framework allows groups of related virtual machines running on separate physical machines to be connected together as though there were on their own separate network fabric and, at the same time, helps enforce crossgroup security requirements such as isolation, confidentiality, security, and information flow control. The framework uses existing network virtualization technologies, such as Ethernet encapsulation, VLAN tagging, and VPNs, and combines and orchestrates them appropriately to implement TVDs. Our framework aims at automating the instantiation and deployment of the appropriate security mechanism and network virtualization technologies based on an input security model that specifies the required level of isolation and permitted network flows. We have implemented a prototype of the framework based on the Xen hypervisor. Experimental evaluation of the prototype shows that the performance of our virtual networking extensions is comparable to that of the standard Xen configuration.

By: Serdar Cabuk; Chris I. Dalton; Hari V. Ramasamy; Matthias Schunter

Published in: Proc. 14th ACM Conf. on Computer and Communications Security "CSS 2007"New York, NY, Association for Computing Machinery , p.235 in 2007

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