In my two prior pieces on public cloud security, we viewed the subject from both high-level overview and customer priority viewpoints. But in this third and final article in the series, we turn to the public cloud security providers and question what types of security services they provide. No one approach is "correct," and managers should view the type of security solution as a jumping-off point to begin asking more and better questions.
Three Solutions to One Problem
Public cloud services and virtualization go hand-in-hand. Very few companies can justify the considerable expense of carving out dedicated infrastructure from a public provider, and such providers often don’t want to provide such separate services. It flies against their normal operational model. However, virtualization obviously requires hypervisors, but hypervisors are not inherently secure. Because of this, according to Johnnie Konstantas, director of product marketing for the Security Business Unit at Juniper Networks, most early VMware adoption was used for noncritical workloads.
“As we started to take Internet-facing workloads -- traffic, CRMs, Web servers -- to the virtual machine model, VMware themselves said, ‘Uh-oh, customers are afraid of us. Public or private cloud, they don't want to implement us as a virtual machine because they’re worried about security. Because they did not have the means for access control and all these things they enabled and opened up the API to the hypervisor that allowed certain vendors to plug in and provide that security."
From this limited opening of VMware’s platform, three main security models have emerged in the public cloud security market.
William Van Winkle has been a full-time tech writer and author since 1998. He specializes in a wide range of coverage areas, including unified communications, virtualization, Cloud Computing, storage solutions and more. William lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his wife and 2.4 kids, and—when not scrambling to meet article deadlines—he enjoys reading, travel, and writing fiction.
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