Veriflow officials are rolling out a new service designed to give enterprises greater visibility and assurance into their network deployments into the public cloud, addressing a growing challenge as organizations continue to migrate more workloads into the cloud and adopt multicloud and hybrid cloud strategies.
The vendor’s CloudPredict SaaS offering is aimed at giving enterprise network teams a clearer view of what’s happening in their public cloud networking environments, enabling them to more quickly detect and find problems and resolve any vulnerabilities or outages. As the use of public clouds continues to grow, being able to rapidly address problems along the network becomes crucial, according to Veriflow officials.
“Although public cloud helps make it easy to rapidly spin up compute instances, it has made networking more difficult in several ways,” Brighten Godfrey, Veriflow co-founder and CTO, told eWEEK. “It’s important to understand what the cloud does for you, and what it doesn’t. Public cloud makes it easy to utilize resources on-demand, so you don’t have to deal with the physical hardware, but how to use it to get the job done—and done securely—is up to you.”
Cloud deployments tend to start simply, often being spun up by a DevOps or cloud team, Godfrey said. However, “as cloud adoption has expanded, these deployments have become more complex and more integrated into the enterprise, often with many VPCs [virtual private clouds], critical security requirements and interconnection with hybrid and multicloud infrastructure. Solutions for understanding cloud networks have not kept pace with this rapidly emerging cloud-focused need.”
Recent surveys have outlined the challenges facing enterprises as their cloud deployments expand. A report by Dimensional Research for Veriflow found that 97 percent of companies say they have problems with deploying and managing public clouds. In addition, 77 percent of respondents to the report’s survey said they regularly have problems with the public cloud portions of their networks, with 54 percent saying they need three or more hours to resolve such problems.
Cost Management, Governance Are Key Cloud Challenges
The report dovetails with a similar survey released this week by Flexera, which found that 84 percent of respondents pointed to cost management and governance as key challenges related to the cloud. This is particularly true given that on average, enterprises now are using almost five clouds—a combination of both public and private clouds—and that 84 percent of respondents have a multicloud strategy in place.
The Dimension Data report also highlighted another problem for enterprises. With the rapid expansion of cloud deployments underway, IT teams within enterprises are struggling to figure out who’s responsible for the network in public clouds, who approves network changes and whether the network team should be involved. At the same time, cloud and DevOps groups want their say regarding public cloud networks.
This disconnect plays out in the numbers: Almost 90 percent of networking teams say it’s their responsibility to approve changes to the public cloud portion of the network, while two-thirds of cloud teams say the duty lies with them. Sixty-five percent of cloud and DevOps teams say networking teams are moving too slowly, while only a small percentage of networking teams agree.
All this comes as the cloud continues to expand. Gartner analysts are predicting that the public cloud services market will hit $206.2 billion this year, a 17.3 percent increase over 2018. As cloud deployments become more complex, network issues around visibility, compliance and the time needed to resolve problems become a larger challenge, Veriflow officials said.
CloudPredict SaaS is designed to address the challenges by enabling network teams to visualize and search for paths and objects across multicloud environments, verify network segmentation to predict vulnerabilities in the infrastructure without impacting applications, ensure compliance and track changes via snapshots of the network from on-premises out to the cloud.
Once users log into the service, they can access their cloud providers and the software uses the providers’ APIs to automatically get a snapshot of the customer’s virtual network, from VPCs and instances to access control and routing, according to Godfrey.
“It builds a functional, predictive model of all possible data flow through these virtual networks,” he said, adding that with the software, “users can visualize their infrastructure, ask interactive questions about access paths and identify changes across time. Users can define intent—that is, the segmentation, reachability and other properties that should occur network-wide—and the software verifies with mathematical rigor whether the intent is actually implemented.”
The capabilities within the software provides collaboration among different IT teams, compliance and security assurance, and automation of intent verification, which allows networking teams to more quickly make changes, the CTO said. It also allows the team to be more proactive in its work.
“Existing products are focused on visibility into cloud applications and instances, or monitoring of traffic in the network,” Godfrey said. “However, monitoring traffic is fundamentally reactive. Veriflow provides proactive verification: It understands what could occur before it does and determines whether that meets the intent. For example, it can spot a vulnerability before it is exploited. This is intent-based verification and visualization for multicloud infrastructure.”