This post is not about SD-WAN, but since the Cloud is often a part of many SD-WAN implementations today, my feeling is that is valuable information to share.
We all know that cloud is not a question of “if”, but rather “when” and “how”. For many organizations the cloud-first or even cloud-only strategies have become an inherent part of their digital transformation. Unfortunately, many IT teams are still struggling with traditional network and security architectures, which had not fully adapted for the cloud. This significantly slows down IT teams’ ability to quickly respond to the business needs. “We need this yesterday” couldn’t have been more accurate when describing cloud architects’ appetite for networking and security in the cloud.
So how do IT teams cope with this tremendous pressure to deliver solutions here and now? Well, many have opted for the do-it-yourself approach, investing significant amount of time learning the intricacies of each and every public cloud architecture, building complicated routing domains, working around restrictive cloud limits, bolting on firewalls and banging their heads against the wall to achieve symmetric routing or scale up/down when needed. That doesn’t sound like fun at all! Oh, and did we already mention that 80%+ of companies have a multi-cloud strategy and that each cloud has its own set of limitations and quirky ways of doing things? Your problems have just been tripled if you are looking at AWS, Azure and GCP.
Some have looked into automation. Well, automating configuration of existing cloud constructs can save time in the future when these configurations need to be repeated, but it does not fundamentally change the fact that it takes the same heavy lifting to get this off the ground. Besides, even automation cannot solve some cloud shortcomings in regard to routing, scale or performance.
Clearly, getting to cloud is not as easy as opening AWS console, Azure portal or GCP console… at least not for the networking and security teams. SD-WAN Experts is partnering with Alkira to make cloud networking as easy as cloud compute and storage, maybe even easier J Alkira Cloud Services Exchange™ (Alkira CSX) is a unified multi-cloud network delivered as-a-service. With Alkira CSX customers can deploy global multi-region/multi-cloud network with integrated network and security services (e.g. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Firewalls), full visibility and governance. All it takes is to draw the network on an intuitive design canvas and click the provision button. The entire network comes to live in minutes! All cloud resources, such as VPCs and vNets are all automatically connected through the full-mesh cloud network and all it takes to connect the on-premise sites is to paste in IPsec and BGP configuration into the site routers. Configuration is downloadable from the Alkira CSX Portal, so no need to develop it. Alkira also supports connecting Cisco SD-WAN and AWS Direct Connect, if that is your choice of on-premise connectivity.
Security teams will be happy to hear that firewall security policy can be easily extended to the cloud environment. Same concept of firewall zones and firewall rules can now be uniformly enforced for both on-premise and cloud environments a like. Choosing which traffic to send to the cloud firewalls is as easy as deciding on “from” and “to” in the Alkira intent-based policy. Alkira takes care of the rest. Like what? Symmetric traffic steering in a single cloud location or across the entire cloud network and autoscaling firewall capacity based on the real-time application traffic demand. For those who want something extra, Alkira supports segmentation across cloud regions and across clouds without reliance on individual cloud capabilities (some clouds can’t natively segment at all).
Alkira CSX removes the blindfolds from cloud network operation. Dashboards, application use, infrastructure health, monitoring, logging, billing are just some of the visibility elements IT teams can leverage to keep an eye on their cloud network and network services.
Now who wants to do more with less? Simplified provisioning, simplified operations and flexible pricing models (pay as-you-go and subscription) allow customers to finally realize the promise of the cloud without breaking a bank.
We at SD-WAN Experts and Alkira are excited to show you how much easier and faster you can implement in the cloud using these exciting tools.