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OpenStack Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater, Dana Gardner, Cloud Best Practices Network

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Building Secure Cloud SaaS Applications – VMware special, part 3

vmware2This post  is sponsored by the VMware Online Forum 2013.

This part three of our VMware series will build on the second article that introduces Rackforce, one the Cloud providers implementing VMware technologies.

Enterprise SaaS Enablement

With this platform in place we can look in more detail at how organizations might approach the apps strategy that they run in these environments, under a headline banner of ‘Enterprise SaaS Enablement’, referring to transforming traditional software apps to run in a Software-as-a-Service mode.

Typically this is when it is for a commercial venture, to literally sell the software as a service, but increasingly it will also become a new practice within enterprise architecture, a means of improving how corporate IT delivers apps to users.

This is because the enterprise adoption of Cloud computing can mean both outsourcing to third party suppliers like Amazon, but also via their Private Cloud strategy internal adoption of the architectures of Cloud computing as well.

This means SaaS and PaaS, as well as the infrastructure/virtualization aspects of IaaS that are common to most Private Cloud scenarios. These layers are less common, where they impact more upon how software programmers work through new shared service architectures at the app layer.

From virtual appliances through full SaaS-enablement toolsets there are a range of ways enterprises can improve their software practices, with the core idea being benefiting from the best practices SaaS vendors have developed through running very large-scale, high availability web applications.

VMware has a comprehensive PaaS strategy built on their Cloud Foundry platform, and culminating in the launch of a dedicated joint venture with EMC called Pivotal. (learn more at the VMware Online Forum 2013.)

This two-pronged approach is key to unlocking the full transformational power of Cloud Computing, where the organization leverages both i) scale: using Cloud providers like Amazon to tap into a new low-cost capability for IaaS, and also ii) utilizing principles like SaaS enablement to re-architect applications to better make use of this resource.

Cloud Security and service catalogue standardization

One simple way to adopt this powerful business improvement is via the ongoing development of the enterprise service catalogue, introduced in the previous articles.

Not only does this provide for the core IT automations that are one of the benefits of Cloud, but this automated deployment is achieved through templates of repeatable IT configurations. Building up this inventory can be driven by a process of setting enterprise-wide standards for Private Cloud SaaS. Which authentication modules to use, and so on.

This kind of standardization effort can better consolidate and manage the IT estate, and also can manage the use of third-party vendors as part of this process, so that these standards can address key areas like Cloud Security.

vmware-vapp3VMware has an extensive partner portfolio who add value to the core suite – For example Canadian supplier AFORE offers a range of tools for Cloud Security Management, specifically intended to address securing sensitive cloud data in a multi-tenant environment when customers share application and server infrastructure, and how can security deployment be simplified so applications, virtualized workloads and hardware don’t need to be modified – often this is onerous if not impossible in cloud environments.

AFORE’s CloudLink® Secure VSA encrypts mission-critical data in motion and at rest across public, private and hybrid clouds by providing a secure software-defined storage layer between virtual machines and cloud storage infrastructure.

  • Agentless, storage infrastructure agnostic security solution – no need to modify applications or workloads

  • Full control by enterprises over security policy and key management of encrypted data in the cloud

  • Enable multi-tenant security by creating per tenant virtual storage and encrypted with tenant controlled encryption keys.

  • Unsurpassed deployment flexibility including multi-tenant virtualized private, hybrid and public cloud environments and the ability to span heterogeneous storage servers with one CloudLink management console

  • Easy adaptability for ANY IaaS clouds (VMware, CA, Amazon, Microsoft, OpenStack, CloudStack, etc) and support self-service and elastic nature of these cloud services.

  • AFORE’s CypherX secures sensitive data in hosted VDI and application stacks from cyber attackers, malicious insiders and cloud administrators. It seamlessly and efficiently places apps in secure virtual containers, encrypting and managing access to all data.

    • App Lockdown creates a secure virtual container for applications, protecting network, storage and inter-process communications with application-level granularity

    • CypherZones extend data security between groups of protected applications, allowing a complete application stack or workgroup environment to be protected.

    • Centralized control of security policy and encryption key management across many virtual machines

    • Complete end-user transparency

    • Traceability via tamper-proof audit logs that detail who/what accessed protected data, when and from where

Conclusion – Securely enabling Enterprise Agility

The key to any strategy intended to unlock better ‘enterprise agility’ is to empower employees and partners more and more.

A twin strategy of PaaS standardization and improved Cloud Security will enable IT development teams to work faster and do so by leveraging a wider range of productivity boosting Cloud services, all in a manner compliant with the organizations information security policies.

vmware2This post  is sponsored by the VMware Online Forum 2013.

The post Building Secure Cloud SaaS Applications – VMware special, part 3 appeared first on Cloud Computing Best Practices.

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