Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Release Management , Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Security and Control in the Cloud

Three migration rules to break

Cloud computing is so alluring. The public cloud economizes infrastructure resources and creates a scalable, on-demand source for compute capacity. Additionally, the cloud can be a strategic asset for enterprises that know how to migrate, integrate and govern deployments securely.

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak recently said, "A lot of people feel 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it."

In fact, over 70% of IT professionals worry about security according to an IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study.

Boiled down, security, access and connectivity are really issues of control.

As any prudent cloud user, the application has its own unique security features, such as disk encryption and port filtering. But do these layers of security features overlap or conflict? What happens to ownership after migration? Do solutions really have to be architected before and after deployment?

Take an application-focused approach to security from the beginning. The application-controlled, application-owned security layers will ease the decision to deploy, test, and develop in the cloud and save on IT training and time along the road.

Control of Security: Who Has It?
Part of the "magic" cloud providers and vendors supply is wrapped up in layers of ownership and control in the form of firewalls, isolation, and the cloud edge. Most enterprise application owners hope that these layers will cover the possible gaps in security after migration. Unfortunately most enterprises need security controls they can attest to and providers ultimately own and control these security features.

Unfortunately the needs and concerns of the cloud service provider are distinctly different than the needs and concerns of the enterprise cloud service user (the application topology deployed to the cloud and its owner). Security loopholes can exist because there are gaps between the areas users and providers control and own. The known boundary between what the cloud user can control and view and what the cloud provider can view and control is the root source of enterprise executives' concerns with public cloud.

The provider-owned, provider-controlled features (as in the cloud edge, cloud isolation), the provider-owned, user-controlled features (or the multi-tenant API controlled router/ hypervisor), and the app-owner, app-controlled features (OS port filtering and disk encryption) can be configured in an overlay network to give the user the ultimate control of security.

Application-to-cloud migration and software defined networking (SDN) capabilities out there offer additional, overlapping layers of control and security that span the spheres of the traditional cloud layers.

In order for cloud projects to succeed, IT executives need methods and tools they can attest to and can pass audit. Understanding the perimeter of access, control, and visibility between the application layer and the cloud provider layers is the first step to a less painful cloud migration. With this knowledge enterprises can then design a migration process that fits their use-case to deploy application topologies to the public cloud in a secure and controlled fashion.

Three Migration Rules We Recommend Breaking
Today's migration "rules" create more hurdles than solutions. Rapid industry changes, lack of standard security approaches, and the confusion on the proper steps to cloud deployment cause enterprises to overlook the issues of application-level control.

In fact, application-centric concerns are not even being addressed. Popular migration advice urges enterprises to tackle huge hurdles before and during migration, including deploying all at once, re-architecting before migration, and postponing the cost benefits of using the cloud.

Break the following three migration rules and it is possible to renovate more efficiently, capitalize on the cloud's economies of scale, and quickly, easily, and securely control enterprise networks and applications in the cloud.

Rule 1: Deploy all at once or not at all
Just as lemmings became extinct by all jumping in head first, most enterprises require time to analyze and adjust to new technologies before committing serious time and effort. Employees, customers, and shareholders would not be happy if companies jumped into new technologies without first proving value. Thankfully, enough enterprises, organizations and governments have already seized the benefits of the cloud's flexibility, cost savings, and connectivity.

Now, the challenge for IT professionals is to find the cloud architecture and provider(s) that fit their enterprise's needs and avoid having to reinvent the cloud to do so. With proven solutions in the market, enterprises can skip the bare metal to virtual to test cloud development life cycle. Simply deploy directly to any cloud environment, develop, test, then release to speed the time to market.

Rule 2: Re-architect before migration
Most providers and brokers want enterprises to spend time and effort to re-build IT systems and as a result re-learn/re-train before migration. Advice articles list migration steps of parsing applications, virtualizing, re-architecting and then migrating. Cloud pundits advise IT professionals to be wary of all cloud security and take valuable time to renovate before migrating - which will slow down the process and postpone or even wipe out the financial benefits of the cloud.

The traditional datacenter has too much knowledge flowing in a vertical direction from application to infrastructure and infrastructure to application. Migrating to the cloud before the renovate, design, or innovate steps can cut down on the upfront hassle by removing the burdens of re-architecting and re-learning skills before migration. Saving time, IT resources, and forgoing the arduous re-training speeds up the process for migrating to the cloud and ultimately how the organization capitalizes on the cloud's flexibility.

Rule 3: Pay upfront for design and renovation costs
Why stop with the cloud's physical economies of scale when there are potential savings on the costs of IT overhead? The same time and effort put into saving "design economies of scale" can be used to save major overhead costs too. A single migration, rather than the process of backup, re-architecture, and then migration is more cost-effective. Why wait for cost savings until after migration when there is an option to realize faster deployment and speed to market?

The added customization and control needed to migrate in a logical set of steps puts the control and security solidly back into the application layer.

Enterprises will likely face a long, slow migration to the cloud but, with the tools to capture the efficiency of migrating through logical steps before designing, the process can be significantly less painful. The application-controlled, application-owned security layers will ease the decision to deploy, test, and develop in the cloud and save on IT training and time along the road.

Conventional wisdom is missing the application layer importance of security and control in the cloud. So only one migration question remains - why take the stairs when you can take the elevator?

More Stories By Patrick Kerpan

Patrick Kerpan is the president and chief technology officer (CTO) for CohesiveFT, provider of onboarding solutions for virtual and cloud computing infrastructures. CFT's Elastic Server platform is a web-based factory for creating, deploying, and managing custom multi-sourced servers comprised of horizontal, open source and third-party software components. Additionally the VPN-Cubed packaged service gives customers control of networking in the clouds, across clouds, and between their private data center and the clouds. In this role, Kerpan is responsible for directing product and technology strategy.

Kerpan brings more than 20 years of software development experience to the role of CTO and was one of CohesiveFT's founders in 2006. Previously he was the CTO of Borland Software Corp which he joined in 2000 through the acquisition of Bedouin, Inc., a company that he founded. Kerpan was also the vice president and general manager of the Developer Services Platform group at Borland, where he was instrumental in leading the Borland acquisition of StarBase in 2003.

Before founding Bedouin, Inc., Kerpan was a managing director responsible for derivatives technology at multiple global investment banks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
The dream is universal: heuristic driven, global business operations without interruption so that nobody has to wake up at 4am to solve a problem. Building upon Nutanix Acropolis software defined storage, virtualization, and networking platform, Mark will demonstrate business lifecycle automation with freedom of choice and consumption models. Hybrid cloud applications and operations are controllable by the Nutanix Prism control plane with Calm automation, which can weave together the following: database as a service with Era, micro segmentation with Flow, event driven lifecycle operations with Epoch monitoring, and both financial and cloud governance with Beam. Combined together, the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS democratizes and accelerates every aspect of your business with simplicity, security, and scalability.
ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of computational needs for many industries. Their solutions provide benefits across many environments, such as datacenter deployment, HPC, workstations, storage networks and standalone server installations. ICC has been in business for over 23 years and their phenomenal range of clients include multinational corporations, universities, and small businesses.
In today's always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn't some far off goal; it's methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundation of software-defined infrastructure, Nutanix has rapidly expanded into full application lifecycle management across any infrastructure or cloud .Join us as we delve into how the Nutanix Developer Stack makes it easy to build hybrid cloud applications by weaving DBaaS, micro segmentation, event driven lifecycle operations, and both financial and cloud governance together into a single unified st...
Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes. We are offering early bird savings on all ticket types where you can save significant amount of money by purchasing your conference tickets today.
Organize your corporate travel faster, at lower cost. Hotailors is a next-gen AI-powered travel platform. What is Hotailors? Hotailors is a platform for organising business travels that grants access to the best real-time offers from 2.000.000+ hotels and 700+ airlines in the whole world. Thanks to our solution you can plan, book & expense business trips in less than 5 minutes. Accordingly to your travel policy, budget limits and cashless for your employees. With our reporting, integrations and real-time analytics, you can easily control your travel policy, reduce spendings and increase the efficiency of your company. Hotailors ia an artificial intelligence powered marketplace for business travels. Friendly to use technology based on artificial intelligence to plan, book and expense business travel in 5 minutes. Within one login on one dashboard, user has access to almos...