Security vendors Symantec and McAfee will highlight new products designed to lock down the software running in virtual machine environments at the VMworld conference in Las Vegas this week.

McAfee will unveil Total Protection for virtualisation, a customisable security suite designed to run within virtual machines. The product packages up existing technology - it ships with McAfee's VirusScan, AntiSpyware, Host Intrusion Prevention and ePolicy Orchestrator - but it does come with a new licensing model that should make life easier for administrators.

McAfee plans to release the product by year's end. "We will be selling this suite per physical server, regardless of how many virtual machines may be on this server," said Kenneth Tom, a senior product marketing manager with McAfee.

McAfee will release the pricing for Total Protection for virtualisation when the software ships.

Symantec, meanwhile, will give VMworld attendees a first peek at its Symantec Security Virtual Machine. The product is a "software appliance" that includes a Linux OS, which runs as a guest operating system on the server being protected.

Symantec is using new security APIs created by VMware to let third-party products peer into virtual machine sessions to monitor their security. Symantec's software uses the APIs to communicate with small monitoring programs running within these different sessions.

Symantec is one of about a dozen security vendors developing software that takes advantage of the APIs, called VMsafe . McAfee demonstrated its own VMsafe prototypes back in February.

The Symantec Security Virtual Machine is a prototype and does not yet appear on Symantec's product road map, but it will likely be months before VMware ships new versions of its products that support the VMsafe APIs.