WatchGuard Technologies has announced its move into the virtual world with Vmware-ready firewalls.

According to the company, WatchGuard XTMv will be initially supported on VMware vSphere versions 4.1 and 5.0, with four editions initially offered later this year to meet the needs of small-, medium- and large-scale distributed environments.

WatchGuard claimed that these virtual versions of its traditional hardware appliances provide the same technology, including application control, reputation-enabled defence, intrusion prevention, gateway anti-virus and web-blocking traffic shaping.

It also said that as multiple instances of XTMv can run on a single vSphere hypervisor, the WatchGuard virtual appliance can be run by managed security services providers, hosting providers and larger IT organisations that want to run separate logical firewalls on the same host system.

Roger Klorese, director of product management at WatchGuard Technologies, said: “Because XTMv is deployed as a virtual appliance without requiring specialised hardware, IT organisations can implement unified deployment processes, in which the virtual machines constitute an application group, and the security solution protecting those virtual machines can be set up in a single automated process.”