VMware's new VMsafe technology aims to prevent common malware attacks from ever becoming successful by giving security vendors a new level of visibility into virtual machines.

The company said that it will allow select vendors to use it's VMsafe API to develop security products specifically for the VMware platform. The API will allow those products to inspect memory and CPU states, filter network packets at the hypervisor level, monitor and control of process execution, and manipulate file systems visible to a virtual machine.

A spokesperson for VMware said that "\[Security\] vendors can leverage VMsafe to detect and eliminate malware that is undetectable on physical machines. This advanced protection is achieved through fine-grained visibility into the virtual hardware resources of memory, CPU, disk and I/O systems of the virtual machine that can be used to monitor every aspect of the execution of the system and stop malware before it can execute on a machine to steal data."

VMware said that the new security architecture will be inherently available "within VMware Infrastructure and specifically within ESX Server." The technology will result in an environment that allows for better control over security and better scalability of that control across an entire virtual machine infrastructure.

As of February 27 at least 20 companies, including numereous industry heavy weights, have announced plans to use the API to produce new products for the VMware platform. Vendors that made announcements include IBM, RSA, Check Point, Shavlik, Big Fix, Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky, Webroot, Tripwire, among several others.