Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Jim Hansen, Shelly Palmer, Rishi Bhargava, Allwyn Sequeira

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and attent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.