Gartner Research Video: Challenges of the Modern Data Center

 

To keep pace with increasing demands on compute power and bandwidth, data centers face a tremendous challenge. Cloud and the explosion of bandwidth-hungry video and mobile apps all contribute to the challenge. In addition, the trend of dispersed computing across personal computers has reversed, and more computing power and storage is being centralized at the data center.

Alex Pepe, Anue Systems's President and CEO

Alex Pepe, Anue's President and CEO

In the video, Mark Fabbi, VP, distinguished analyst at Gartner Research, and Alex Pepe, Anue president and CEO answer key questions. Mark discusses the challenges, and Alex describes the role of the network monitoring switch in achieving data center goals.

Alex responds to Mark’s thoughts on the modern data center and makes observations around the major barrier that make a network monitoring switch essential:

 

These barriers lead to gaps in monitoring since not all tools can be connected when and where they are needed, or tools may be overwhelmed, which leads to lost critical data. Plus, improperly configured tools do not capture needed network traffic.

The Anue Solution

Anue’s network monitoring switch, the Anue Net Tool Optimizer™ (NTO), solves many network monitoring issues. It allows complete connectivity for a wide range of monitoring tools without the limitations of  TAP and SPAN, ports allowing connections to any and all of the needed network monitoring tools.

Additionally, with features like packet filtering technology, packet de-duplication, and packet slicing, the NTO sends only the data that each monitoring tool needs – preserving tool bandwidth and storage space. Now a 1G tool can be connected to a 10G network port without dropping packets and exceeding storage space.

The NTO also has a unique drag-and-drop control panel that makes connecting monitoring tools fast and easy. Network engineers can focus on network monitoring instead of configuring tools.

With effective network monitoring, data centers can enhance traffic flow efficiency for better bandwidth utilization, and they can spot and correct potential network problems before they lead to a failure. Plus better comprehensive network data and metrics is the first step in continually improving network performance. Proper monitoring also enhances security since alerts are quickly created for suspected breaches and network traffic can be diverted to the right tool for monitoring and inspection.

While meeting the modern data center challenges will take a multi-faceted approach, incorporating the NTO into the data center strategy is essential in working smarter to meet these ever increasing demands.

Please check out the video!

Cloud security: Don’t cut your own hair

 

Several of Anue’s fastest-growing customers are cloud providers. As the transition from traditional in-house computing to cloud computing is occurring, one common objection raised is information security. The really interesting thing about the objection is that experience is proving to be the opposite.

In fact, Symantec’s 2011 State of Cloud Survey Organizations found that customers are conflicted about security—rating it as a top goal as well as a top concern, with respect to moving to the cloud. Eighty-seven percent of respondents are confident that moving to the cloud will not impact and may even improve their security status. At the same time, cloud was identified as a top concern for potential risks, including malware, hacker-based theft and loss of confidential data.

Security Tough guy asks: Are you part of the Cloud Security Alliance?The Cloud Security Alliance 2010 publication, Top Threats to Cloud Computing v1.0 identifies the following potential threats:
- Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Computing
- Insecure Application Programming Interfaces
- Malicious Insiders
- Shared Technology Vulnerabilities
- Data Loss/Leakage
- Account, Service & Traffic Hijacking

My theory is this. While cloud computing DOES introduce some additional business considerations, on the balance it greatly improves IT security for organizations, especially non-technical SMBs.

Cloud providers take security incredibly seriously. If you don’t believe me, try to get a tour of a cloud provider data center. You will be lucky if they even tell you the city the data center is in. If you do get a tour, it might require vetting, including a check of your criminal record and background.

Managed cloud providers also hire some serious security talent. Unlike an SMB, where the IT guy may have the luxury to think about security between urgent, business-driven tasks, cloud providers typically have teams of full-time security professionals. Many of these folks come from organizations with three letter acronyms that are extremely security-conscious, and they aren’t shy about investing money in security. Their day job is to proactively monitor network behavior, and they have many tools (such as Anue’s NTO) at their fingertips to do so.

When a cloud server is attacked, cloud providers have the necessary technology to isolate and contain the situation, proactively protecting their customers. Any network behavior that deviates from normal patterns is identified and sets off alarms, often provoking automated responses and setting off further investigation by the security team.

Hacker News - your source to better know about how to securely prepare your network

Cloud providers have diligence in maintaining secure infrastructure, whereas an SMB is unlikely to be able to keep on top of maintenance. Most incidents involve known vulnerabilities that the IT group just hasn’t had a chance to patch. As Casper Manes says in his (excellent) post on patch management on The Hacker News, “I’ve spent most of the past decade in information security, with a pretty big focus on incident response. It never ceases to amaze me how many security incidents (pronounced hacks) customers suffer as a result of unpatched systems.”  The SMB is in a particularly bad position here, with limited resources and too much work for network administrators in the first place. Cloud providers, on the other hand, have skilled personnel, automation and the tools they need to do a great job on patch management.

It’s like cutting your own hair – a job usually best left to professionals.