In my previous blog post, I addressed the need and the process of creating applications faster and building an adaptive infrastructure that suits my real consumption. Today I will highlight how automation can help to ensure that security has an adaptive infrastructure and manages traffic irregularities.
How Can I Guarantee My Security Level?
By using automation, we can also guarantee a level of security on any new application by automatically deploying security rules when a new app is published. No risk of human error or risk to forget something; when a new app is deployed, the security is attached automatically. This is very powerful but needs to be very “industrial”. Exceptions are not the friend of automation; this is very important to standardize applications for use with automation.
IoT is the first threat of a DDoS attack because apps are provisioned very fast, but there is none on the security level. A lot of Botnets are targeting IoT to gain access to many devices. There are several apps and vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to have access to these devices and create a very large botnet.
How Can I Have an Adaptive Infrastructure?
With Google Kubernetes, it is very easy to add more containers (or pods) to an application in order to be able to handle more client connections. Kubernetes has its own load balancing mechanisms to share the load between several containers. However, this service is very limited and cannot give access to all the features that we need on a reverse proxy to expose the application to the rest of the world (nat, SSL offload, L7 load balancing, etc.)
By using intermediate orchestrator for L4-L7 services such as load balancing, DDoS and WAF – acting as an abstraction layer – this orchestrator can be updated of any changes from Kubernetes and trigger automation workflow to update the infrastructure accordingly:
- Modify/create/scale up/scale down an ADC service to expose the app outside with full capabilities, including ADC (SSL, NAT, L7 modification, l7 load balancing, persistence, cache, TCP optimization)
- Modify/create/scale up/scale down DDoS or WAF services to protect this new exposed application
How Can I Manage Exceptional Events That Temporarily Increases My Traffic?
Considering the example of VOD service, we understand that this service will be used differently depending on the time of day. It will experience huge peaks of traffic in the evening when people are watching their TVs but during the day, the traffic will dramatically decrease as most people are at work.
If you scale your application and infrastructure to manage your peak of traffic in the evening, it will cost a lot and this compute will not be used during the day, this is not optimized.
With automation, we can do something smarter by provisioning compute resource accordingly with real needs. That means that my application will run on a few servers during the day and run on several servers during the evening. If I use the public cloud to host my application, I will pay only for my consumption and will not pay for a lot of computing power during the day that I don’t use.
Again, this agility should be at the application layer but also at the infrastructure layer. My ADC, anti-DDoS or WAF services should not be scalable for my peak traffic in the evening but should be adaptive with my real load.
Using an intermediate automation orchestrator can provide an intelligent workflow to follow this trend. In the evening, it can automatically provision new ADC, DDoS, or WAF services on new hosts to provide more computing power and handle a lot of client requests. Then, de-provision it when they are not needed.
It is important to also have a flexible license model with a license server that dynamically dispatches the license to the ADC, WAF, or DDoS services.
With an intermediate orchestrator, Radware technologies can be used in complex SDDC environment. It provides an abstraction layer based on a workflow that simplifies integration with an external tool like Ansible, Cisco ACI, Juniper Contrail, OpenStack, and Google Kubernete.
vDirect exposes a rest API that is used to trigger a workflow. For example, a workflow can “manage virtual service” with 3 actions:
- Create a new virtual service (real server, server group, load balancing algorithm, health check, DDoS, WAF, etc.)
- Modify an existing virtual service (add a real server, change DDoS rules, change load balancing algorithms, etc.)
- Delete an existing virtual service (delete ADC, DDoS, WAF, configuration).
From an external orchestrator, REST calls are very simple with only one REST call on workflow “manage virtual service”. With all necessary parameters, vDirect can do all the automation on Radware devices such as ADC, anti-DDoS, and WAF.
Read “Radware’s 2018 Web Application Security Report” to learn more.
Benjamin is solution architect team leader for France & Benelux. He joined Radware in 2015 after 10 years in network integration (dimension data) starting with technical support and then presales on networking technologies. Interested in web development/scripting, Benjamin quickly became a subject matter expert on automation for Radware EMEA to support the local team in automation project.