July 01, 2015
The problem this tool is addressing is twofold: lack of visibility in the cloud and inefficient security controls. To solve two challenges Catbird developed two products: Catbird Insight and Catbird Secure. Insight is the core product in that it does the discovery of virtual assets, groups those assets logically and allows visualisation and analysis of traffic flows. This last is, in our opinion, one of its great strengths.
Within a virtual data centre there are no physical entities, so the only thing that can be analysed is the data. To analyse the data one needs to understand how the data are flowing. Knowing that, relationships between virtual devices can be determined and appropriate security applied. Once data flows and the virtual assets are understood, these assets can be grouped into trust zones - and that is the key to the entire Catbird approach.
There really is only one place to put the security software in the Catbird approach: on the hypervisor. Catbird is, therefore, somewhat limited in the platforms it can address due to the limitations of various types of hypervisors. It supports VMware and OpenStack. The software is deployed on the hypervisor and sits in a hub-and-spoke architecture. It can scale across multiple locations and multiple hosts. It is priced based on the number of hosts.
Insight has two core components: the Catbird Control Center and the Virtual Machine Appliances (vMA). The Control Centre is, itself, a virtual machine and it steers the vMAs. The vMAs are deployed as virtual machines on each switch and are lightweight, not in-line deployments.
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