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Hyperconverged Infrastructure Gaining in Popularity, Attracting New Players

TechSource Editor

April 14, 2016  |  Cloud  •  Data Center

Cisco’s recent entry in to the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) space is helping to drive change. HCI, a critical element of next-generation data centers, originally was driven by start-ups and deployed by small and medium-sized businesses in search of faster and easier ways to deploy data center technology.

When Cisco purchased Silicon Valley-based, CliQr Technologies, it acquired the ability to help Cisco customers move to a seamless hybrid cloud model where information can move between clouds, and resources can be provisioned across clouds. According to a recent article in Network World, interest in HCI comes from the fact that it provides “the benefits of the cloud inside the four walls of the data center.” Other drivers of the increased interest in HCI are simplification of the data center and automation of complex environments. “HCI simplifies the data center and makes it more automatable.” It also creates the ability to easily spin up and spin down compute infrastructure while putting power in the hands of developers, allowing them to “click a mouse and have a server provisioned five seconds later.”

With the move to this simplified, application-centric environment comes a change in security requirements to a model that “is as flexible as the underlying infrastructure.”  In Hyperconverged Infrastructure Requires Policy-Based Security, the author spoke with Bryan Pelham, senior manager of business development at security start-up Illumio, about how HCI will affect what agencies need to consider as they evolve their data centers moving forward.

As with all IT conversations today, the topic quickly focused on security. According to the author, “Security needs to be in a state of constant evolution. Each time an organization introduces something new—think of things like mobility, SDNs, cloud computing and IoT—security needs to change. The fact that HCI changes security requirements shouldn’t be a surprise. The key is to understand what changes and how to adapt quickly.”

Anyone who is focused on security today realizes that protecting data with a firewall is no longer sufficient protection of data. Today, the focus needs to be on the inside of the data center, but new and different ways of designing network communications, such as HCI, security is even more complicated. According to Pelham, today’s IT requires “a security model that is as flexible as the underlying infrastructure. That means we need security that supports infrastructures that are spun up, spun down and automated.” Bottom of Form

Pelham says that the best approach today is a shift to a policy-based model that attaches security to the applications, to look at “the security problem through the lens of the application versus the network.”  Policies can be defined based on the attributes and the role the server plays or other factors.

Learn how and why this type of application security approach is more effective in an HCI environment by reading the entire article here.

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