Tuesday, October 28, 2014

VNS3 is now Microsoft Azure Certified - Try it in the Azure Marketplace

Today at TechEd Europe 2014 in Barcelona, Microsoft announced their new Marketplace for customers to buy pre-configured VMs. CohesiveFT is in that number. VNS3 is now both officially Microsoft Azure Certified and available in the Azure Marketplace. 

What Chris Purrington and Azure are saying about VNS3: 
“Customers want control over network addressing and greater insight over topology management,” said CohesiveFT Global Director of Sales, Chris Purrington. “VNS3 being Microsoft Azure Certified means our shared customers can now be certain that they have the access and control needed to make their cloud resources compliant and secure.”

“CohesiveFT’s VNS3 provides advanced network security, routing, and VPN functionality for Azure,” said Garth Fort, General Manager of Enterprise Partners, Microsoft. “In addition to Azure’s security features, customers can use the VNS3 software solution to connect and isolate network traffic with end-to-end data in motion encryption.”

Availability Details
If you're using Microsoft Azure, you can find, purchase and deploy VNS3 Free or Lite Editions from the Marketplace.  Since VNS3 is a virtual appliance, we can deliver a fancy new VNS3 virtual machine instantly via the Azure Marketplace with a bring-your-own-license configuration. 
For more about VNS3 and Azure, visit: Cohesiveft.com/vns3/azure

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly news roundup for Cloud and Networking: October 20 - 24

Frankfurt, Germany, home to the second AWS region in Europe. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cloud and Networking news for the week of October 20th
  • Gigaom: AWS comes to Germany as Amazon unveils second EU region, out of Frankfurt. Read Jeff Barr's blog about it here
  • TechCrunch: 10 Trends Transforming Enterprise IT >> cloud, virtualization, and security rank high on the list
  • Network Computing: Learning Lessons Through Security Struggles
  • ZDnet: Microsoft and IBM commit to providing their enterprise software on Azure, IBM clouds >> IBM's middleware software, such as WebSphere and DB2 database will be able to run in VMs on Azure.
  • Venture Beat: Can Amazon and Microsoft be beat in IaaS? 

CohesiveFT in the news:
Catch up with the CohesiveFT team:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Fresh Approach to Extending Enterprise HPC to Public Clouds

 By Sam Mitchell, Senior Solution Architect
This article first appeared in HPC Wire. Read the original here.

Public cloud is an easy choice for enterprises looking to extend high performance workloads, reduce infrastructure costs and increase flexibility. The cloud offers the chance to reduce the capital cost of owning and managing excess compute capacity and storage for all workloads. Enterprises can avoid the hidden costs of unused compute capacity by “cloud bursting” or shifting some peak demand toward the cloud-based HPC grid extensions.  But how do you connect to existing grid resources and attest to security compliance? 

For the security and network management needs of HPC users considering the cloud, the best solution is connecting to the existing grid with overlay networks. An overlay network simply creates a private, sealed network on top of any existing network.  Using overlay networks over top of public cloud resources can add the flexibility, high availability and the robust security that HPC grid operators need to cope with unforeseen capacity demands. 

Best practices for HPC in the Public Cloud incorporate trust and security from the beginning. 
With the following tried and true best practices for high performance computing (HPC) in the public cloud, enterprises - even in regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services - can manage a secure cloud-based HPC environment and still benefit from cloud’s economies of scale.  Once HPC nodes are set up and secured in cloud, connecting between existing HPC grids and new deployments can be complex. By using a manageable and compliant cloud network topology, enterprises can ease the transition into cloud-based HPC.

The path to HPC in the public cloud starts by selecting trustworthy cloud providers and creating secure cloud deployments.

Historically, HPC environments have been expensive to own, manage and operate as entirely on-premise compute capacity. One reason this happens is that organisations often require extra compute resource for irregular one-off jobs containing sensitive data such as intellectual property. Cloud infrastructure is an excellent way to expand quickly for unexpected one-off projects.

HPC grid extensions can ensure one-off projects do not break the bank and, with added encryption from an on-premise grid to a cloud-based grid extension, that the projects comply with regulatory requirements.  Ultimately, HPC cloud best practices can help an enterprise save capital costs, prevent vendor lock-in, conserve IT resources and prevent organisations from having to change HPC vendors.

This article appears in full on HPC Wire. Read the original version here.

HPC Best Practices in Action: US Mutual Fund
A large mutual fund based in Boston uses the elasticity of public cloud to compute financial metrics that never had been possible in their internal infrastructure. The large public cloud they selected had the required elements of capacity, on-demand flexibility, and pay-as-you-go pricing. But they also wanted added security and the agility to prevent vendor lock-in. 

What the public cloud offered, on its own, could not provide the security and control needed for this financial institution to extend their existing HPC grids on the same datacentre-based network. The mutual fund required VLAN isolation to ensure customer traffic was separate from all other data traveling to and within the cloud. They also wanted to ensure resilient file storage and data validity beyond the cloud providers’ offerings. 

Rather than rebuild their HPC grid, the mutual fund wanted to rapidly connect and scale up the public cloud and determined that the most efficient strategy was to use an overlay network. Their solution also included full end-to-end and data-in-motion encryption required to meet the financial industry data protection regulations. The overlay network allowed the new HPC workloads to act like the existing HPC grid network and pass internal and external security tests.  

With an overlay network, the mutual fund securely burst into public cloud IaaS as a natural extension to their grid. The HPC grid extension also ensured all data-in-motion was encrypted from the on premise grid to the cloud-based grid extension. The mutual fund could then incorporate their cloud HPC results into on-demand reports for their clients. 

Public cloud saved expensive physical servers from sitting idle. Best practices prevented vendor lock-in and saved IT teams from re-architecting or changing HPC vendors. Now, the mutual fund company uses public cloud infrastructure to create a secure and automated natural HPC grid extension in which they flex up their processing power in seconds and back down when no longer needed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly news roundup for Cloud and Networking: October 13 - 17

Cloud and Networking news for the week of October 13th
  • Google researchers found a flaw in SSL 3.0 (CVE-2014-3566) that allows the POODLE attack (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption). VNS3 customers do not need patches or new builds, but check for our latest security updates and best practices here
  • Andreessen Horowitz blog: What All the Recent Tech Company Splits Say about the Future of Cloud Computing
  • InforWorld: You can rise with public clouds or sink with private >> David Linthicum argues that the benefits of public cloud are starting to outshine private cloud costs. He writes, "Owning a private cloud still means owning hardware and software."
  • Bloomberg:  EMC Acquiring Cloud-Computing Startup Cloudscaling 
  • CloudWedge: Docker Gets Windows Server Support
CohesiveFT in the news:
Catch up with the CohesiveFT team:
  • Oct 28 - 29 Chris Swan and Patrick Kerpan attending OpenNetworking User Group  (ONUG) in New York
  • Nov 4 - 6 sponsoring Web Summit in Dublin
  • Nov 6 -7 Chris Swan presenting at GOTO Berlin "Docker - A Lot Changed in a Year" in the DevOps & Continuous Delivery track. Friday 11:30 - 12:20 Location: Hall 2
  • Nov 11 - 14 sponsoring AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas at stand 1033

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to: using network intrusion detection on VNS3 with Docker

In past posts, CohesiveFT CTO Chris Swan wrote about why we put Docker into VNS3, and how to use it for SSL termination, content caching and load balancing. Before he hit the road to speak at IPExpo in London, QCon Shanghai, and ONUG in New York, he made a video how-to guide for Suricata network intrusion detection (NIDS) on our cloud networking device, VNS3.

Containerized network functions: now with Suricata 
Suricata is an open source, community run Network IDS, IPS and Network Security Monitoring engine. Suricata is developed by the Open Information Security Foundation (OISF), and you can find more about it here.

Now you can detect network intrusions by using NIDS technologies, such as Suricata, to prevent any data security breaches with the end-to-end encryption available from VNS3.

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