StackStorm today announced that StackStorm customers can integrate the automation of operations into Windows Server and Microsoft Azure, thereby extending the company’s event driven automation functionality to Microsoft infrastructures that include Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Blob Storage. By taking advantage of StackStorm’s event-driven automation software, organizations can automate their Windows Server and Azure services in ways that deliver integrated automation for the entire infrastructure as opposed to heterogeneous assemblages of command line automation. Moreover, StackStorm’s support of the the re-use of existing PowerShell-based scripts and automation means customers can look forward to an expedited deployment of event-driven automation that leverages their existing automation framework, without the need for extensive rework of their automation scripts and tools. In addition to today’s news regarding StackStorm’s capability to deliver operations automation into Windows Server and Microsoft Azure infrastructures, StackStorm announces its availability on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace as a certified solution. StackStorm now supports Amazon Web Services, OpenStack and Microsoft Azure and has recently partnered with Rackspace to automate scaling and continuous integration.
Given that StackStorm’s event-driven automation software enables organizations to automate operations across multiple infrastructures such as public and private clouds, the platform enables the implementation of event driven automation as if it spans one larger entity with heterogeneous constituent components. Moreover, because StackStorm specializes in event driven automation, customers need no longer focus on orchestration-related workflows in conjunction with other rule-based parameters and scripts, but can otherwise rely on data-driven analytics to optimize and iteratively refine automation in relation to designated events. Furthermore, StackStorm’s support of a variety of vendors means that customers can take advantage of one event-driven automation platform to manage deployments from multiple vendors in cases where workloads have been variously assigned to different vendors to optimize performance and cost or to avoid vendor lock-in. In all, today’s announcement about StackStorm’s support for Microsoft Azure represents a key step toward consolidating its early traction within the event-driven automation space, particularly in the context of the advanced requirements for automation specific to hybrid cloud infrastructures.
On Tuesday, network virtualization vendor Akanda announced Akanda 1.0, an open source network orchestration platform designed for OpenStack-based cloud environments. Akanda 1.0 simplifies and streamlines the delivery of network-related functionality for OpenStack clouds by operating as a management layer for OpenStack-based networking operations. Akanda virtualizes L3+ network functions such as routing and load balancing while integrating with OpenStack Neutron and other L2 overlay solutions. Whereas several network virtualization solutions exist for the L2 infrastructure, Akanda fills a gap within the industry for L3+ network virtualization that focus on routing protocols while remaining agnostic to L2 overlay solutions. The company’s Akanda Rug product delivers orchestration services for networking services that automate the operation of networks within OpenStack environments. In an effort to improve virtual routing within its cloud infrastructures, web hosting leader DreamHost has decided to replace its proprietary networking solution with Akanda. Importantly, Akanda delivers the network virtualization technology for DreamHost’s DreamCompute OpenStack-based public cloud and correspondingly aspires to simplify the management of virtualization of L3 networking protocols related to routing, load balancing and firewalls for other cloud service providers and enterprises. That DreamHost chose to leverage Akanda for an OpenStack-based public cloud, in contrast to the private cloud deployments for which OpenStack is typically used, speaks volumes about its confidence in Akanda’s ability to manage and orchestrate network virtualization for infrastructures that match the scale and complexity of a large-scale public cloud deployment.
Vapor IO today announced Open MistOS, the open source operating system that powers the company’s hyper-converged data center technology. Building upon its recent release of its innovative data center platform powered by the Open Data Center Runtime Environment (DCRE), Vapor’s release of Open MistOS renders available the operating system that controls the company’s data driven, centralized data center technology that allows companies to manage a data center as if it were one unit. By open sourcing the operating system underlying its “hyper modular data center solution,” companies are free to use Vapor IO’s Open MistOS operating system in conjunction with their own hardware solutions to develop and deploy data-driven hardware stacks that automate their internal management in response to data points such as temperature, CPU capacity, bandwidth and power consumption. Vapor’s decision to open source its operating system encourages other vendors to make their own bare metal provisioning technology line up with Open MistOS and thereby contribute toward the creation of a unified management fabric for intelligently operating datacenters. The open sourcing of Open MistOS promises to create a single, unified pane of glass for hyperscale datacenter management that disrupts the economics of data center creation and management both with respect to CAPEX and OPEX. As told to Cloud Computing Today by Vapor CEO Cole Crawford, MistOS underscores the birth of the data driven data center in contrast to the often used contemporary label, software defined data center. In the case of the hyperconverged data center, the radically centralized location of data center hardware enables a degree of data-driven management of the unit as whole because the hardware, as opposed to the software, constitutes the principal differentiator about the data center. As such, Vapor’s hyper collapsed data center technology illustrates and amplifies the growing trend in contemporary IT that prioritizes data and event driven analytics as key differentiators of technology, particularly insofar as the increasing proliferation of data compels the definition of events that feed KPIs which in turn guide the iterative management of the behavior of devices, appliances and hardware.
HashiCorp recently released Vault, an open source tool that protects and allows access to secrets within an organization. Examples of secrets include passwords, API keys and database credentials. Vault has the ability to encrypt secrets within a secret storage infrastructure, generate dynamic secrets on the fly that have a designated lifetime, encrypt data and revoke secrets as necessary. Designed for distributed infrastructures, Vault specializes in the management of the multitude of secrets necessary to deliver authentication for micro-services such as containers, or distributed applications more generally. The platform’s ability to lease secrets such that they expire after a designated period of time enables it to bolster the security of application and micro-services components within a distributed architecture that requires the orchestration of multiple components. Vault currently manages secrets within the HashiCorp application lifecycle management platform by taking ownership of secrets required by applications such as Packer, Terraform, Consul and Atlas. Vault is used by Cisco within its open source micro-services infrastructure community project and represents HashiCorp’s sixth open source project. The product illustrates the new demands on IT security imposed by distributed applications and microservices-based infrastructure and applications by underscoring the importance of a secret management solution that recognizes the way in which the different components that constitute contemporary infrastructures require heterogeneous secret management tools.
Protegrity today announced a partnership with incentive compensation vendor Xactly that allows Xactly customers to benefit from Protegrity’s suite of cloud security products and services. Protegrity’s Cloud Gateway uses tokenization or encryption to protect customer data before it traverses a SaaS, cloud-based infrastructure. The Protegrity solution bolsters the security of SaaS applications by delivering enhanced data protection based on encryption, tokenization and cloud monitoring functionality. The solution also features an enterprise-grade key management solution that provides a comprehensive and automated approach to storing encryption keys while ensuring that the key tokens reside outside the purview of the cloud within a safe but readily accessible location. Today’s announcement means that Protegrity adds Gartner leader in the 2015 Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management, Xactly, to a list of supported SaaS platforms that includes Box and Salesforce. Meanwhile, Xactly stands to benefit from giving its customers the assurance that its platform for delivering HR-based incentive compensation frameworks complies with rigorous and battle-tested standards for cloud security. The larger significance of the Protegrity Cloud Gateway consists in its ability to empower organizations with sensitive data to build SaaS applications that can achieve compliance with protocols such as HIPAA and HITECH, PCI and others. The partnership between Protegrity and Xactly illustrates the intensity of the desire for cloud security solutions on one hand, and the corresponding market response from vendors such as Protegrity to deliver turnkey cloud security products that deliver the requisite security needs in conjunction with the operational simplicity and scalability demanded by contemporary enterprise customers. Expect Protegrity to continue expanding its roster of SaaS partnerships as SaaS applications that utilize sensitive data proliferate and require correspondingly robust cloud security frameworks.
Cloud application security vendor Elastica recently announced a partnership with Cisco that allows Cisco to resell Elastica’s Cloud Access Security Broker solutions to its customers. The partnership between Elastica and Cisco gives Cisco customers access to Elastica’s CloudSOC portfolio which includes IT risk assessments, deep visibility regarding live cloud application traffic and the ability to detect risky actions on the part of enterprise employees. Elastica’s Shadow IT risk assessment enables customers to prioritize risk ratings of applications in addition to analytics on cloud application usage within an organization. Meanwhile, Elastica’s Shadow Data analytics provide insight into data governance and compliance-related risks with a view toward providing direction regarding how improved data governance and renewed approaches to IT compliance can mitigate an organization’s overall IT risk. Another core Elastica CloudSOC product offering provides deep insight into live cloud application traffic and user activity by leveraging machine learning and semantic technologies that can identify compromised user accounts, high risk transactions and threatening user accounts by means of a proprietary, algorithmic ThreatScore. Elastica’s cloud application security solution draws upon cloud application API data via Elastic securelets that connect to the backend of cloud applications, live cloud application data regarding networking traffic as well as usage patterns and log data from third party security solutions. Elastica’s partnership with Cisco complements solutions such as Cisco’s Cisco Cloud Web Security (CWS), Web Security Appliance (WSA) and Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance by providing deep visibility into analytics related to the security of SaaS and cloud applications more generally. Moreover, Elastica stands to gain access to Cisco’s expansive channel of customers while Cisco benefits from the data science expertise that Elastica brings to the conversation regarding cloud security. Expect to hear more about Elastica as its partnership with Cisco deepens and fuels accelerated product innovation in collaboration with the needs of its evolving customer base.
Cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solution provider CenturyLink has announced the acquisition of Portland-based Database as a Service vendor Orchestrate. Orchestrate provides a database as a service platform specifically engineered for rapid application development. Orchestrate delivers multiple databases that allow developers to “store and query JSON data” in ways that empower developers to integrate geospatial, time-series data, graphs and search queries into applications without worrying about managing the operations of the databases themselves. Ochestrate’s ability to provide a portfolio of NoSQL databases means that CenturyLink customers stand to enjoy enhanced abilities to build high performance, agile, big data applications for use cases that involve real-time streaming data, internet of things use cases and mobile applications. CenturyLink’s acquisition of Orchestrate complements its recent acquisition of predictive analytics vendor Cognilytics as well as the launch of Hyperscale, its high performance cloud instance offering designed for big data and computationally intensive workloads. The acquisition of Orchestrate illustrates the increasing confluence of cloud and Big data product offerings as vendors increasingly seek one platform to fulfill their infrastructure, application development, data storage and analytic needs.