With today’s complex IT environments, network administrators need end-to-end visibility into their networks from any point to eliminate blind spots. Without advanced network visibility seen through a single pane of glass, organizations put network security, compliance mandates, and application performance at risk. According to a survey done by Ixia, where it surveyed over 220 senior IT staff at enterprise organizations on this issue and found while 67 percent of respondents were running mission-critical applications in public clouds, 76 percent were “very concerned” or “concerned” about security in their cloud environment. The survey, which was done earlier in 2017, showed that main security concerns about cloud usage were ‘loss of control over network data’ and being able to achieve full visibility across their networks. Ixia provides testing, visibility, and security solutions for the cloud and network, strengthening networks and cloud environments for enterprises, service providers, and network equipment manufacturers. The company, which is part of Keysight Technologies, helps enterprise customers to verify their designs, optimize their performance, and ensure protection of their networks and cloud environments to make their applications stronger.
Bhaskar Agastya, Country Manager- Sales, Ixia, India, tells HPC Asia why organisations should opt for end-to-end network visibility and the solutions that help in that:
Why is it important for an enterprise to have network visibility?
Most modern enterprises do not live solely in public or private cloud environments but use a hybrid approach. Moving IT infrastructure to public clouds creates a model of shared responsibility between the customer and the cloud provider. This shared model eliminates the operational burden on the organization using cloud services, however, they are still responsible for the security, availability, performance, and management of all the controls and processes associated with operating over the cloud infrastructure. The move to the cloud needs to deliver the same or better performance and similar security efficacy than the on-premises infrastructure. Without a way to properly validate these cloud application workload and security controls, customer quality of experience (QoE) is at risk.
What does having network visibility entail? In which scenario is it most relevant and what are the benefits?
Enterprises have specific needs to secure and manage the nervous system of their IT system – which is their network. Network visibility helps ensure application performance because most applications are highly dependent on the network. Compliance, auditing, and security requirements demand visibility into how IT resources interoperate, and network visibility is required to gain insights into how well they are functioning. If IT organizations do not have complete network visibility, resulting blind spots may lead to missing critical security threats and availability or performance anomalies. The use cases that require complete visibility include the introduction of BYOD devices, unknown network devices, and integration with a multitude of security tools. In all cases, missing a complete view of the network can lead to mistakes in critical IT and business decision making, leaving the enterprise open to security vulnerabilities, as well as poor application and network performance that could be detrimental to revenue generation or even cause reputational damage stemming from security breaches. (Analyst Company) Enterprise Strategy Group’s research reports show that network security and performance are among the critical challenges reported by IT decision makers today. By implementing solutions offering modern network visibility, IT organizations can translate network insight into clear business value and derive superior ROI from these solutions.
What kind of security solutions are you bringing for securing the Cloud infrastructure within an enterprise?
There is a mass migration to cloud with 90% of organizations using cloud in some fashion. Coupled with increased internet and mobile traffic, total virtual traffic has proliferated in recent years. This creates a challenge for application performance and security monitoring. Ixia helps an organization get granular access to virtual traffic and help eliminate virtual blind spots that create risk. CloudLens, Ixia’s platform for public, private and hybrid cloud visibility addresses the challenges of granular data access in the cloud. CloudLens Private, the arm that supports private cloud technologies, is able to tap, filter, process and manipulate traffic all in a cloud environment. It bridges the gap between virtual and physical networks, extending complete monitoring and access to virtualized environments, including inter-VM traffic.
How do you ensure that performance of the cloud environment is at its best, especially when there is a hybrid cloud infrastructure?
In such a scenario you need a platform that integrates network visibility across public, private and hybrid cloud deployments. It enables them to monitor data in the public cloud resources as much as in private cloud. The right hybrid resources give the enterprise maximum flexibility. The same way enterprise must choose the monitoring for maximum output. Maximum flexibility of monitoring options across the widest range of cloud provider options gives a business a transition path from private cloud to public cloud. Customers of Ixia, which could include cloud providers, service providers and enterprises, can deploy virtual Ixia visibility services into the cloud and view the information in a centralized management platform. This provides a holistic view of all network traffic across all cloud platforms. Our platform offers organizations the visibility they need, while keeping aligned to “all cloud,” hybrid cloud, multi-cloud or any cloud strategy. It lets a partner choose whether they want to tunnel virtual data out to a centralized set of tools or leverage virtualized tools inside each cloud.
How would having Ixia’s CloudLens benefit an organization in maintaining a healthy cloud infrastructure?
While the benefits of cloud deployments are many, accessing and monitoring virtual traffic is a challenge. Without granular access to virtual traffic, organizations may suffer from blind spots in the network that compromise application performance or security. The CloudLens platform provides unprecedented visibility across all cloud environments – public, private, and hybrid clouds. This platform provides the framework for virtual taps and data filtering to meet the elastic demands of cloud customers in a multi-tenant self-serve model. Using products in the CloudLens platform, users are able to deploy a highly scalable traffic monitoring system in a matter of minutes, not hours or days. In future we are adding products in the CloudLens platform that will have powerful embedded automation capabilities to enable virtual taps and analysis tools to automatically shift to changes in demand or failures without the need for operator in-the-loop actions. Virtualizing the analysis tools directly in the customer’s cloud will also provide a significant bandwidth saving option to customers who do not want to tunnel their virtual data back to centralized physical analysis tools.