Gopala Namburi
Solutions Marketing Manager
Blog

Visibility Guides Cloud Architect, Hero of The Hour

June 20, 2017 by Gopala Namburi

Not a day goes by in the enterprise without IT teams talking about cloud migration. Discussions and decisions are made on an hourly basis with a sense of urgency to satisfy a customer need. Applications and services are regularly moved back and forth between public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, or back into the datacenter based on the business need.

Virtual and physical instances of business critical applications, compute, network, and storage are now easily migrated to cloud, which form the basis for cloud computing architecture. Most vendors offer a virtual instance of an application or a service that can be deployed in the cloud using SDN/NFV technologies, sometimes as a SaaS instance, with APIs exposed for programmability. A powerful element of programmability is introduced.

Here comes our hero of the hour, the cloudsmith, who at his or her core is an enterprise cloud architect. He or she sees the enterprise as a giant monolithic programmable brain that extends into the cloud, which can be controlled and reprogrammed continuously. I call this brain the programmable enterprise. To know the role of our hero, we must first know the answers to a few questions.

What does an enterprise cloud architect do?

  • Architects, designs, and plans a cloud computing strategy for the programmable enterprise. Responsible for TCO and ROI.
  • Cloud architect assesses existing infrastructure and then details the actual hardware and architecture, software requirements, and other cloud components needed to make the initiative a reality.
  • Designs for security and compliance, analyzes and optimizes technical and business processes, manages implementations of cloud architecture while ensuring solution and operations reliability.
  • He or she is an expert designer and a key advisor to the CIO or CISO. In some cases, the only person to lead cloud migration and platform integrations.
  • Our hero is an expert in building an end-to end-solution for implementing a business logic or an application service through intelligent programming.

What does a cloud architect do to secure the programmable enterprise?

  • Builds a cloud security strategy that ensures the cloud deployment is safe and protected from everyday threats and risks.
  • Our hero monitors the cloud continuously, tracks cloud security trends, and master’s key tools and processes, such as encryption, access control, and multifactor authentication.
  • The architect defines policies for employees and customers and ensures compliance with standards, such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR and Sarbanes Oxley.

How complex and chaotic is the cloud architect’s programmable enterprise?

  • The applications, resources, users and customers are distributed globally.
  • Consists of virtual, bare metal, Docker or server less architectures.
  • Provisions orchestration and management tools like Microsoft Draft, Chef, and Puppet
  • Workloads must be moved and merged between different cloud platforms like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM soft layer and Google GCP for agility, cost savings, performance, scalability, security, and compliance reasons.
  • Workloads are moved to the cloud and back to the on premises datacenter.
  • Uses containers and microservices for application portability across cloud platforms.
  • Needs open source platforms, such as OpenStack, to build a more customized cloud.

What does a cloud architect do to acquire insight into the programmable enterprise?

  • Tests the actual end-to-end cloud computing solution
  • Secures the cloud components from threats, exploits, malware, and other attacks
  • Accesses data for performance monitoring and intelligent traffic filtering

Wow, wait a minute, it seems like a cloud architect works on everything under the sun when building a cloud for the programmable enterprise. Let us look at how he ensures that the cloud implementation is secure and working per the design. In other words, how does the cloud architect obtain end-to-end visibility into the implementation? This is where Ixia can guide.

Definition of Visibility

Visibility is the ability to view your network traffic (application, data, voice, video, IoT, web services) from end-to-end and provide filtered streams of traffic to your tools for further analysis. This is a critical function of network and security operations.

Cloud Visibility Solution and Architecture

A Visibility architecture helps the cloud architect, the hero of the hour to see what's happening everywhere in the programmable enterprise, including the cloud.

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Ixia offers a flexible delivery model that supports any combination of on-premises, visibility-as-a-service (VaaS), or hybrid tool implementations, to monitor and analyze a variety of data sources. Ixia promises visibility into the programmable enterprise when you want to take the cloud journey (once, twice, or to your hearts content) with CloudLens public and CloudLens private solutions.

Ixia’s IxDeveloper is an agile application performance and security resilience VM test tool to help find bugs and integrates with the cloud pipelines for continuous testing through API’s.