- VMware and the chipmakers aim to establish a user-friendly, platform-independent application programming interface for designing and running confidential computing applications using the Certifier Framework.
- Partners anticipate their work on the Certifier Framework will eventually benefit the entire computing industry by facilitating secure computing on the x86, Arm, and RISC-V processor architectures.
Recently, VMware Inc. announced an alliance with chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and the RISC-V Keystone community to accelerate the adoption of confidential computing.
VMware will collaborate with its new partners to promote the “Certifier Framework for Confidential Computing” open-source initiative, which aims to surmount some of the most significant obstacles to the widespread adoption of confidential computing.
VMware is at the vanguard of the development of confidential computing, which is an encryption technology for processed data. Although robust encryption exists for data lying idle on a server or being transmitted over a network, there is no protection for this data while it is being utilized. When an application requires data access, it must be decrypted into its original, readable form, making it especially vulnerable to hackers during processing.
The goal of confidential computing is to alter this. The idea is based on a “trusted execution environment,” an emerging processor concept that can maintain data confidentiality and integrity when deployed in cloud infrastructure or edge servers operated by third parties.
VMware and the chipmakers aim to establish a user-friendly, platform-independent application programming interface for designing and running confidential computing applications using the Certifier Framework. The Certifier Framework simplifies the creation of privacy-preserving applications, including machine learning and data economy duties based on sensitive information aggregated from multiple sources. VMware provides platform-independent support for creating and enforcing trust policies to secure applications across third-party server infrastructure, such as public cloud, sovereign cloud, and edge environments.
Partners anticipate their work on the Certifier Framework will eventually benefit the entire computing industry by facilitating computing on the x86, Arm, and RISC-V processor architectures.
As data encryption has become crucial for multi-cloud deployments, VMware indicated that there are compelling reasons to hasten confidential computing. VMware asserts that many enterprise applications cannot be executed in the cloud due to security concerns. In addition, confidential computing can play a crucial role in safeguarding intellectual property and personal data used in novel applications involving artificial intelligence and machine learning. Kit Colbert, Chief Technology Officer at VMware, stated that confidential computing is undeniably desirable. However, it will not be extensively implemented unless it becomes simpler for developers to create such applications.
Kit Colbert said, “Confidential computing has the potential to secure workloads no matter where they run, including in multicloud and edge settings. The challenge has been to help customers adopt and implement the standard with ease. The collective efforts of the growing ecosystem of contributors to Certifier Framework will help bring those benefits to bear to ISVs, enterprise customers, and sovereign cloud providers, enabling them to use this emerging technology more easily and effectively.”
Constellation Research Inc.’s Holger Mueller said it is encouraging to see VMWare promote confidential computing, given that it is the industry leader in virtual machines, enabling the overwhelming majority of application workloads.
Holger Mueller said, “VMware is enlisting partners such as AMD, Samsung, and the RISC-V players to secure virtualized workloads at the hardware level. This matters greatly to enterprises. As more workloads shift to the cloud, they need a better way to secure them, and confidential computing does that, making it possible to run the right application on the right machine, safely and securely.”
VMware announced the new partnerships at the Confidential Computing Summit 2023 in San Francisco, where it also demonstrated several confidential machine learning application technology demonstrations.
Raghu Nambiar, AMD’s Corporate Vice President of data center ecosystems and solutions, said, “Collaborating with industry partners, like VMware, is critical for accelerating the adoption of confidential computing and securing workloads in the cloud. No matter the size or technical sophistication of an organization, or where a workload is deployed, the Certifier Framework will help more customers realize the benefits of confidential computing.”