In April 2017, we conducted a global survey of C-suite executives. All respondents represent organizations with at least $250 million (or the equivalent) in annual revenue. Our goal: to understand their greatest challenges, threats and opportunities when it comes to cyber security.
I recently met with a regional cloud service provider (CSP) that has adopted provisioning on demand as their IT model. They spin up applications on demand, having virtualized most of their infrastructure and have developed tools to automate the provisioning of applications and servers for customers/tenants through a self-service portal. Rather than build-out and manage more and more physical infrastructure, with associated time and expense, the CSP is adopting the concepts of software-defined data center (SDDC) that builds on virtualization (of software, networking and storage) to offer software and network services for many different clients. More importantly, the CSP is also catering to needs of DevOps and IT architects – both internally, and externally for its tenants/clients by enabling true self service through automation.
Playing a stringed musical instrument like a guitar means that the different strings need to be regularly adjusted to play the correct note. Guitar players tightened and loosened the strings to tune the guitar. The strings were tuned by ear, which meant that the person tuning the guitar had to know what sound each string had to make with considerable accuracy.
With modern technology, there are tuners that can generate tones so one no longer needs to know exactly what each note sounds like. And, today, there are tuners that will automatically adjust the tension in the string to create the right tone with no human intervention. This is a great benefit for guitar players because they like to play music, and not spend a lot of time and effort tuning their instrument every time they wanted to play.
Automobile manufacturers initially sold cars to wealthy families. The automobiles were expensive and uncommon because the production of the vehicles was labor-intensive and took a long time to produce. Henry Ford changed the way cars were built by moving from individual teams that required the time and expertise to build a car from start to finish, to a process that automated the assembly line with people owning individual tasks along the assembly line.
Cyber-attacks and data breaches routinely make headlines in the largest publications and broadcasts in the world. Millions have read and watched as news journalists explain exactly what had happened during the Proton Mail attack or the BBC hack. The access and manipulation that can happen when communication outlets are targeted is a very real and dangerous issue.
This issue, however, is complicated by the unique operating environments of these cyber-attack targets. Multiple locations, countless access points and very motivated attackers all contribute to the complex task of network protection. As cyber-attacks become more automated and more sophisticated, the adaptability of security professionals is paramount.
In today’s virtualized world, organizations are looking for a single pane of glass – for visibility to user, application and network health, real-time status and performance data that is relevant. Why is this important? And how does this tie into orchestration and automation?
When provisioning applications and network infrastructure on-demand, particular attention is required when responses are slowing down, so proactive monitoring is critical. It’s important to know when an application is not meeting its SLA requirements or security attacks may be impacting application performance. AND it’s important to know these issues before they become a business disruption.
I am one of those people that like the concept of instant gratification when shopping. I like that I can purchase something, and immediately hold it in my hands and use the item, whether it is a piece of technology or a cooking accessory. This is not unlike what customers expect when they want to access an application on the network.
We live in a hyper-converged, micro-service driven, and on-demand world. You may agree with that statement, but do we really understand what it means?