VMware is set to announce partnerships with Symantec, IBM and other major security vendors to boost protection of computers running on its virtualisation software. According to Reuters, the initiative, known as VMsafe will be made public at the VMworld Europe users' conference.

But it's been public knowledge since September that VMware is working with several big industry players on a project containing "a set of APIs which could be used by anti-virus, IDS and patch management vendors to enforce security at the hypervisor level," according to the blog Virtualization.info.

According to Reuters, VMware's partners include Symantec, McAfee, IBM's Internet Security Systems division, EMC's RSA division, and Check Point.

Virtual servers are prone to the same attacks as physical servers and new ones that exploit weaknesses in hypervisor technology. Some network managers wonder whether security threats in a virtualised environment could spread across an entire network.

VMware disclosed three security problems in the DHCP server in September, after IBM researchers discovered that it can be exploited to gain control of the computer. VMware issued software updates to eliminate the flaws.