What’s the skinny? Earlier today, AMD and Google announced they are in the beta testing phase of Confidential Virtual Machines (VMs) for Google Compute Engine powered by 2nd Gen AMD EPYC™ processors, taking advantage of the processors’ advanced security features.
AMD’s second Gen EPYC’s security features will allow customers for the first time to encrypt data in-use while it’s being processed and not just when at rest or while in transit.
Google stated in their press release that, “At Google Cloud, we believe the future of cloud computing will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where users can be confident that the confidentiality of their data is always under their control. To help customers in making that transition, we’ve created Confidential VMs, the first product in our Google Cloud Confidential Computing portfolio,” said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist, Google. “By using advanced security technology in the AMD EPYC processors, we’ve created a breakthrough technology that allows customers to encrypt their data in the cloud while it’s being processed and unlock computing scenarios that had previously not been possible.”
The Confidential VMs from Google provide:
- Real time encryption-in-use –Google Cloud customers can encrypt data-in-use, taking advantage of advanced security features offered by the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor together with Confidential Computing cloud services, bringing a breakthrough in the level of cloud data protection,
- Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) – an advanced security feature available on AMD EPYC processors, which encrypts VM memory using a dedicated per-VM key that is generated and managed by the embedded security processor,
- “Lift and Shift Confidentiality” – AMD and Google have simplified the use of Confidential Computing, making the transition to Confidential VMs seamless as customers do not need to make any code changes to their applications to benefit from these VMs,
- High-performance VMs –Confidential VMs offer similar performance to Google N2D VMs, which are powered by high-performance 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors.
AMD in their press release said, “As enterprises migrate tasks to the cloud for reasons including ease of management, scalability, and reduced costs, they often stop short of moving more sensitive workloads due to security concerns,” said Dan McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit, AMD. “To help provide the confidence that customers can move their sensitive workloads to the cloud, AMD and Google worked together on the Google Confidential VMs to take advantage of an advanced security feature, Secure Encrypted Virtualization, within AMD EPYC processors. This helps enable a unified and consistent level of hardware-based security for applications and workloads in the cloud. As well, AMD and Google have worked together to help customers both secure their data and achieve high performance of their workloads.”