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Out of curiosity, would it be pointless/wasteful/silly to put a firewall as a VM guest (regardless of VM host - ESX, Xen, Hyper-V, etc. etc.) and redirect all traffic from other VM guests through the firewall VM guest?

I'm not sure if other people/organizations practice this or not. I know resources might be constrained (CPU, RAM, Disk/Net I/O) pending whatever traffic may pass, but are there any other scenarios or situations where placing a firewall as a guest VM and having the other guest VMs route to it rather is better or comparable to an external box from the host VM?

In terms of performance, I realize that being a guest VM resource usage will affect other guests but aside from that, am I missing anything? Security, best practices, common sense?

Any thoughts, comments or criticisms are welcome.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is a very common configuration often called "DMZ in a box". Here's a VMware whitepaper that discusses the various levels of collapsing DMZs using virtual infrastructure.

VMware's vSphere builds on some of these ideas and extends them with a product called vShield Zones

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I wasn't aware that this was a feature within vSphere. Very cool! Thanks for the links. –  osij2is Feb 2 '10 at 22:44
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Worth additional emphasis: For this to provide ANY security your VM traffic net and your VMWare Management net need to be physically separate. –  voretaq7 Feb 2 '10 at 22:51
    
@voretaq7 - absolutely. –  Helvick Feb 2 '10 at 23:02

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