Updated 2015 Predictions for Cloud Network Infrastructure Security

Draft – Blog 2015 Predictions
  1. Everything as a service will continue to dominate as the software defined data-center initiatives mature. More vendors and network equipment manufactures are ensuring their products work via a standardized Open REST API framework. New NFV and SDN solutions will not even offer a GUI or CLI and must be provisioned via automation.
  2. Open Source initiatives become mainstream with every major commercial product vendor having a free offering.  Just look at the examples from 2014 with news that Midokura and Microsoft have both taken their initially closed source solutions and released the source code. OpenStack has become the de-facto cloud management solution for many organizations with over 8000 attendees at the Paris Summit. OpenDaylight and OpNFV are gaining steam and have some big backing.  All these solutions have big company backing and lots of investment. Growth is accelerating and many commercial products are due to be released in 2015.
  3. As competition increases and public cloud providers now offering feature parity with legacy private cloud services customers are leveraging hybrid private/public IaaS services for the entire software development lifecycle including testing and production. This Hybrid Cloud adoption is accelerated by Orchestration solutions that allow bursting of workloads to public IaaS cloud resources for less critical functions where security controls can be relaxed.
  4. Software as a Service cloud based DevOps tools such as Jenkins and Git will enable Network Testing to be included as part of a rich Continuous Integration Pipeline. These cloud based services will work connect to in house infrastructure where the most precious Intellectual Property (IP) is kept. Initially an easy choice for smaller companies and startups wanting to minimize their capital equipment investment more established companies are choosing to buy these services instead of building their own.
  5.  As we predicted last year most security appliance vendors now offer versions of their products available in the app store of public cloud providers. New for 2015 are the vendors making these products available for Private Cloud on the OpenStack platform and supporting multiple hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere ESXi, RedHat CentOS Debian Ubuntu KVM, or Citrix Xen. In order for this to take off these NFV vendors will need to ensure their VNFs support an automated provisioning standard such as CloudInit and there’s an ability to work for an initial setup or evaluation period without a license being applied.
  6. We talked about automation last year. Even legacy infrastructure can be orchestrated with scripts and YANG/Netconf will become more mainstream in 2015 with organizations pushing for greater automation and orchestration of physical network appliances in their legacy data centers. This is the “Meat versus metal” discussion organizations are having when adopting the “Everything as a service” model.
  7. Last year we said policy will become a main focus.  We all understand that the software defined datacenter is dynamic and workloads are mobile, even between cloud providers. The new buzzword for 2015 is “context”.  The automation capabilities are in place. The Policy engines are up and running. Now what do we do?  We need context aware apps with meta data to self provision the policy and automate the infrastructure profiles to be built out in the cloud.
  8. I may be living on another planet but last year we predicted more adoption of single vendor products and pre-bullt pre-integrated solutions. What happened? VCE seems to be falling apart and more companies are looking to multi-vendor and Open Source and with a lot of confusion as to what to do. We see more resistance actually to “putting all you eggs in one basket” and less of an appetite for that “one throat to choke” concept. We seem to be disillusioned that anyone one vendor or reseller can provide us everything we need and are looking to diversify our investments. If anything these new Open SDN (OpenDaylight – http://www.opendaylight.org/) and NFV (OPNFV – https://www.opnfv.org/) initiatives have given the enterprises and service providers they idea that they can pull in multiple suppliers as they wish and just use the product of the day (firewall du jour anyone?) swapping out virtual services based on continuous security testing results, cost, and other criteria such as performance and ease of use.
  9. The push for leveraging commodity hardware is not just for compute and networking. Storage as a Service will see strong growth as OpenStack – http://www.openstack.org/ implementations reach the limits of what their traditional solutions can provide. Expect to see innovation here from solutions with enhanced IO drivers, Integrated intelligent management plane, and distributed “run anywhere” capabilities. These solutions will be faster, scale larger, and cost less that existing options. There will be a lot of competition in the storage market with testing becoming more important to understand the pros and cons.
  10. Did we mention OpenSource already?  That was more about software and services. 2015 will see the Open Compute – http://www.opencompute.org/ hardware projects pick up steam and become more mainstream. Expect big things from OCP servers AND network equipment with Cumulus – http://cumulusnetworks.com/ taking the lead to deliver commodity switches with enhanced features and support on par with the legacy vendors.

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