The Four Horsemen of CLeopatra’s Barge


One of the more interesting session I went to yesterday was a talk by Chris Hoff called “The Four Horsemen of the Virtualization Apocalypse.”  (If you’ve never read Hoff’s blog, you should check it out at

I thought I was keeping a close eye on security and virtualization issues, but this talk illustrated how wide and varied the topic really is.  This was not about Blue Pill and it wasn’t about having security monitors in the hypervisor – instead he focused on how virtualizing physical devices (e.g. switches, systems) will cause lots of problems for security architects and administrators.

Briefly, here are the four horsemen:

  • Conquest – Translating your physical capacity planning implementation to virtual devices probably won’t work.
  • Death – Virtualized networks lack several physical attributes assumed by security applications and high-availability devices today – you’ll probably have to re-architect it all to get the same functionality, which might not even be possible in your new virtual world
  • War – Adding security VAs takes away precious resources that could have been used to dynamically add VMs.  It is a war of resources.
  • Famine – With all of the redesigning and accommodation happening, security costs are going to eat into any savings you make on server consolidation.

Now, if you want to read the much more thorough version, see Hoff’s original post here.


Okay, how does this all relate to the title of my post?  Not much.  However, much later on day one, things really started rolling.

After being crowded out of the Shadow Bar, a bunch of us ended up over at Casa Fuente (A cigar bar in Caesars forum).  Five minutes after arriving, someone spilled a drink in my lap, big fun!  It turns out that it was Stepto’s birthday, and Hoff makes sure everyone has a drink and we all sing happy birthday to Stepto.  Check out part of it, courtesy of Jack Daniel:

Immediately after the toast, Jennifer Jabbusch knocks over a table, falls to the floor and begins having a seizure. Stepto rushes over, trying to help, and just about that time, she flips over and starts laughing – total fakeout! Everybody bursts out laughing.

Shortly after that, they closed for the night and kicked us out and we all headed over to Cleopatra’s Barge. There weren’t enough seats or tables for us, but I noticed that the “reserved” barge seating was empty. Drawing upon a clever technique (i.e. sometimes called “asking”) I social engineered a waitress into letting us have the reserved area. Within mere minutes, several security geeks are on the dance floor, doing us proud.


This leads me to the Four Horsemen of Cleopatra’s Barge.  (Though I was out there too, I am excluding myself since simply because I can.)

  • JJ, for leadership
  • Hoff, who owned the dance floor.
  • Ryan Naraine, for getting low, low, low
  • David, for letting his hair down.

Though our collective dancing does not signal the end of the world, it certainly capped an excellent day

About the Author
Jeff Jones

Principal Cybersecurity Strategist

Jeff Jones a 27-year security industry professional that has spent the last decade at Microsoft working with enterprise CSOs and Microsoft's internal teams to drive practical and measurable security improvements into Microsoft products and services. Additionally, Jeff analyzes vulnerability trends Read more »