Opinion

Securing digital transformation

Applications need to be designed to boost security and delivery of applications across both traditional on-premises and cloud environments.

Kamal Anand Feb 20th 2017

The digitization of businesses continues to be a trend across Indian businesses.  The drive for agility is fuelling key transformations – including the move to cloud – in IT processes and organizations in the enterprise. Application development teams demand it, which is putting immense pressure on infrastructure teams to deliver.

At the same time, the shift to DevOps processes is empowering teams to deploy applications much more quickly, often several times a day; and they’re looking to leverage new architectures based on microservices and containers to deploy and deliver those apps even faster.

It is projected that businesses in 2017 would increasingly integrate cloud, and cyber security would remain as a major challenge. A successful digital shift would incorporate cloud architecture in enterprises in a safe style.

As IT and enterprises embrace these new app-centric operations, they strive to find ways to leverage their traditional data centers and existing investments while taking advantage of the cloud to achieve these new levels of agility and speed.

Next-Generation App Delivery

This makes it even more imperative to optimize application delivery and security, regardless of where applications run, whether that’s in public, private or hybrid clouds.

And these next-generation application architectures must elegantly integrate not only with microservice- and container-based architectures, but with increasingly popular DevOps tools and processes, like Ansible, Chef, Jenkins and Puppet.

The New Approach

Traditionally, application architectures leveraged monolithic development processes, were deployed in a physical data center, relied on IT-led operations and were built around hardware appliances. This new method embraces development and deployment of cloud-native applications and multi-cloud environments while taking advantage of agile and self-service practices built on a consumption model.

And this new approach is working.

Look no further than household names like Netflix, Airbnb and Uber, and you’ll see companies that have taken application agility to the next level, and are currently reaping its benefits.

These new methods are a major departure from the current state of application delivery, which tends to rely solely on either hardware, open source solutions or load balancing offered by cloud providers, each of which, when used individually falls short of delivering the level of agility modern application teams desire.

So what are organizations supposed to do? Application teams crave agility, and IT teams want to deliver that agility through infrastructure that’s secure and easy to manage and control, and also lays the foundation for the move of more applications to the cloud. Yet traditional models fall short in their ability to deliver the auto-scale, visibility and analytics, centralized management, self-service, security and multi-cloud capabilities that modern application teams demand.

Applications need to be  designed to boost security and delivery of applications across both traditional on-premises and cloud environments, it should offer application traffic management, orchestration, security and analytics for cloud applications, including microservice- and container-based applications.

 Key Benefits of Choosing the Right Solutions

Solutions need to optimize and secure application delivery and connect the world of traditional and cloud applications. Combined, these components deliver a wealth of benefits, including:

Traffic management: Easily manage application traffic with auto-scaling, and continuous deployment capabilities, policy-based traffic management and traffic surge protection.

Application acceleration: Make applications faster and more responsive to improve page load speeds, compression and caching technologies that speed up response times, and offloading of CPU-intensive workloads like SSL and TCP connection pooling.

Application security: Protect against attacks and the damage they can cause through elastic web application firewall (WAF); malware, botnet and DDoS defense; and access controls.

Application analytics: Access rich, actionable application level data and insights to improve application performance and reduce troubleshooting time with per-application analytics; comprehensive reporting and visualization; centralized access logs; and programmable alerts.

The need is for a cloud-native, software-defined solution that works in multi-cloud environments—public, private and hybrid—to deliver integrated load-balancing, performance optimization, application security and per-application analysis to increase operational agility and application performance.

All of this combines to improve agility and simplicity while lowering costs.

The author is Vice President and General Manager of A10 Cloud Business Unit

Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing authors and not of IDG Media and its editor(s).