Case Study: Rackspace Leverages VMware NSX to Quickly Meet New PCI DSS Compliance Goals

November 13, 2017

Rackspace’s Server Virtualization powered by VMware is a fully managed application hosting platform that runs on dedicated hardware and delivers the efficiency, availability and agility of VMware vSphere virtualization with a simplified user experience. Application owners benefit from VMware technology without having to be experts in managing VMware software. This platform currently powers over 70,000 fully managed customer virtual machines running on over 10,000 physical hypervisor hosts.

The Challenge

In early 2016, version 3.1 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) required that Rackspace take additional steps to isolate its controlled management infrastructure from customer-controlled compute infrastructure in order to comply with the ever-evolving PCI DSS requirements. Introducing network access control policy changes across a platform spanning eight physical data centers and thousands of production workloads presented a challenge for the Rackspace product operations teams.

The Solution

After evaluating several physical and virtual appliance-based technologies from a variety of vendors, Rackspace ultimately settled on VMware NSX as the most appropriate technology to tackle this challenge. NSX had a lower total cost of ownership than competing solutions; in addition, it allowed Rackspace to isolate PCI-scoped systems from non-PCI systems without having to make disruptive changes to existing IP space or existing physical network topologies.

The Results

The Server Virtualization powered by VMware platform achieved PCI DSS 3.1 compliance for all internal Rackspace managed systems with a non-disruptive deployment and without any burden on Rackspace networking teams. The distributed nature of NSX offered high performance without adding any additional latency to the management infrastructure network.

For a deeper dive, please read the official case study.

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