Previously we reviewed some important characteristics and tradeoffs for various encryption at rest solutions for VMware on IBM Cloud. Below are some more detailed decision matrices for encryption both in motion and at rest.

Encryption in motion

SubjectEncryption layerEncryption methodNotes
Application trafficNetwork or lowerNoneThere are no established mesh encryption technologies for VXLAN or Geneve.
TransportTLSThis is normally enabled in application specific configuration. Special care must be taken for many requirements, e.g., to exclude older TLS and SSL versions, exclude vulnerable ciphersuites, enforce the use of appropriate certificates, and use FIPS 140-2 if required.
vSANApplicationNoneVMware does not support encryption of host to host vSAN traffic currently.
vMotionApplicationProprietaryThis is enabled in a VM’s options, and can be set to disabled, opportunistic (default), or required.
Site to siteNetworkVMware HCX (IPsec)HCX uses a proprietary and highly efficient layer 2 transport to convey traffic from site to site through one or more IPsec tunnels using NIST Suite B AES-GCM encryption. Site to site vMotion is also supported with WAN optimization of the vMotion traffic.
IPsecIPsec connections between sites can use a variety of solutions, including NSX ESG, FortiGate virtual or physical appliance, or vSRX appliance. Occasionally L2VPN may be used in combination with IPsec. Occasionally this may be combined with GRE encapsulation to alleviate addressing and routing problems.

Encryption at rest

Note that in the table below:

  • While IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) cannot function as a VMware vSphere datastore, it may be used for other aspects of your VMware environment, such as Veeam backup repositories or data accessed directly by your applications. Compatibility statements for Cloud Object Storage are not applicable since it does not serve as disk storage for virtual machines.
  • IBM Key Protect and IBM Hyper Protect Crypto Services are IBM Cloud key management service offerings. These interface directly with some IBM Cloud services like COS, and indirectly with VMware vSphere and vSAN encryption using the IBM Cloud KMIP for VMware intermediary service.
  • IBM Security Key Lifecycle Manager (SKLM) and IBM Multi-Cloud Data Encryption (MDE) are two key management and encryption software offerings from IBM.
  • Compatibility statements imply “when properly configured.” For example, the HyTrust Key Control and Guardium KMS must be remain available or must be recovered in case of a disaster; and Veeam in some cases is limited to the HotAdd transport mode.
  • HyTrust Key Control can be deployed as a standalone KMS, but it also serves as the underlying KMS for HyTrust Data Control. HyTrust Cloud Control offers advanced VM placement policy control and geofencing when combined with HyTrust Data Control.
Storage
Encryption method
Key manager
Key management
KMS administration
Encryption scope
Encrypted in flight to datastore?
Compatible with
vSAN dedup/compress
Cross-vCenter vMotion
vSphere replication
VMware HCX
Zerto
Veeam
HyTrust Cloud Control policies
IBM Cloud Object StorageIBM managed keys (native)n/aIBMIBMAll objectsTLSn/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
IBM Key Protect (KP) or Hyper Protect Crypto Services (HPCS)IBM KP or HPCSCustomerIBMBucketTLSn/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
IBM Cloud storage (Endurance, Performance) × (file, block)IBM managed keys (native)n/aIBMIBMEntire volumeNon/aYesYesYesYesYesNo
vSphere encryptionIBM KP or HPCSCustomerIBMVM diskYesn/aNoNoNoNoYesNo
IBM SKLMCustomerCustomerVM disk

Yes

n/aNoNoNoNoYesNo
HyTrust Key ControlCustomerCustomerVM diskYesn/aNoNoNoNoYesNo
HyTrust Data ControlHyTrust Key ControlCustomerCustomerVM diskYesn/aYesYesYesYesYesYes
IBM Multi-Cloud Data Encryption (Guardium)GuardiumCustomerCustomerVM diskYesn/aYesYesYesYesYesNo
vSAN storagevSAN encryptionIBM KP or HPCSCustomerIBMvSAN drivesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
IBM SKLMCustomerCustomervSAN drivesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
HyTrust Key ControlCustomerCustomervSAN drivesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
vSphere encryptionIBM KP or HPCSCustomerIBMVM diskYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
IBM SKLMCustomerCustomerVM diskYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
HyTrust Key ControlCustomerCustomerVM diskYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
HyTrust Data ControlHyTrust Key ControlCustomerCustomerVM diskYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
IBM Multi-Cloud Data Encryption (Guardium)GuardiumCustomerCustomerVM diskYesNoYesYesYesYesYesNo

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