The demands on network security for the traffic coming in and out of a network continues to grow. One of the biggest drivers is the growth in the size of private clouds. “But, isn’t the private cloud disappearing?” you ask. With the recent surge in public cloud service offerings like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, you’d be forgiven for thinking everyone is outsourcing this function and just using the public cloud. However, the private cloud hasn’t disappeared and the reality is, it never will. Estimates vary, but according to Tech Beacon, there is at least $20 billion being spent on the private cloud.
What do we mean by ‘private cloud’?
For purists, a true private cloud doesn’t just mean one that is kept on site. Traditionally, it means one which the enterprise built from scratch and continues to maintain. That demands a lot of high-level expertise and investment – in terms of work, time and resources – which is why some people argue the private cloud is disappearing.
However, with its enhanced privacy, custom design and control, a cloud hosted on site is a necessity for many enterprises, especially those with strict security requirements or in highly regulated industries. So, what many enterprises are opting to do is purchase a ‘private cloud’ built by an IT service provider, which the enterprise then manages and maintains on their premises. They use their ‘private cloud’ for highly sensitive data and operations, or to house and analyze massive amounts of data. Alongside this, they may opt to use a public cloud for less sensitive functions.
This ‘hybrid’ or ‘multi-cloud’ approach offers the best of both worlds – security and privacy, but also flexibility and best value for money. When we refer to ‘private cloud’, we’re not concerned with who built the cloud, we’re referring to a cloud which is managed and maintained on premise.
The advantages of a private cloud
As outlined above, the public cloud just doesn’t cut it for all the data, storage or computing needs of some enterprises. A private cloud is an attractive option because it offers:
- Data security: the data is stored locally, rather than in a shared location or in a different company, where you may be concerned about data being lost, compromised, or accessed by other users
- Custom design: whether the enterprise builds the private cloud themselves or outsources the build, they can specify the exact features and functionality to optimize storage, security and access of their data for their own needs
- Self-provisioning: the enterprise can make required resources available by themselves, and set up or launch a service or application without the intervention of an external cloud service provider
- Performance management: you control the amount of computing resource used by the private cloud, resulting in optimal performance. You can also guarantee resources will be available when you request them, since no one else is pulling on your cloud’s resources
- Tenant management: a private cloud allows for different security, storage and access permissions for the different individuals, groups or companies within your own enterprise. Each tenant’s data is inaccessible to all other tenants, and can only be reached with your chosen permissions.
It is because of these reasons that the private cloud is not disappearing. In fact, the majority of enterprises have some element of private, or on premises cloud, as well as accessing a public cloud service too.
The need to protect your private cloud
This private cloud represents yet another set of hardware and software infrastructure to own and maintain. Which means that, along with design, installation and management of the private cloud, network and security professionals also have to consider how to set up, manage and maintain the security of their private cloud.
In order to protect the private cloud effectively, you have to dynamically scale network security. Just as the private cloud is based on virtualization, you need to take the same approach to network security: a software-defined model where the security services are no longer tied to single-purpose hardware. A turnkey network security virtualization platform allows you to scale traffic inspection with the click of a button by elastically adding virtual next generation firewall (NGFW) capacity to meet increasing bandwidth demand. Thanks to this model, you can examine 100% of your traffic all the time on your private cloud.
But to make this even easier, you need a Virtual Infrastructure Manager, which simplifies the management and orchestration of your network security. That’s why we’ve designed our Security Orchestrator from the ground up to provide an intuitive interface to simplify all the complex operations associated with running virtual NGFW instances, including licensing, zero-touch deployment, maintenance and troubleshooting, machine intelligence and auto-scaling. It completely eliminates the need for additional DevOps resources that are typically responsible for provisioning and maintaining large numbers of NGFW VMs. The result is streamlined deployment, management and operations of your vNGFW arrays, whether on the public or private cloud.
Find out more about the Corsa Security Orchestrator Virtual Infrastructure Manager.