Agility vs. Security in the Cloud Is No Longer a Balancing Act with Apprenda and Cisco ACI

By Atos Apprenda Support


Today Cisco announced new innovations in three keys areas: networking, hyper-converged infrastructure, and hybrid-cloud orchestration. They also highlighted Apprenda as an enterprise PaaS partner driving hybrid cloud use cases. The question is: why?

Let’s define the problem. Traditionally, IT organizations have had their applications residing in monolithic contiguous units, such as pods or racks. This made these applications extremely sticky or dependent on the infrastructure, and it required investments in infrastructure (more hardware, more virtual machines, and more networking) to scale across data centers.

In many cases, the infrastructure was optimized for the application and the app was written to run on specific versions of the operating systems and hardware, resulting in brittleness, complexity, and cost. The basic formula had been Applications + Infrastructure = tightly controlled system.

Public clouds offered a reprieve on scaling bottlenecks and capital expenditure, enticing lines of business to migrate workloads on demand. Developers, tired of using painstaking and arduous services in the enterprise, created shadow IT pockets in organizations by swiping their own credit card for compute. Organizations, in turn, started to write a new formula: Applications + Cloud = Agility.

What ultimately ended up getting sacrificed was the security, governance, reliability and operability of this new age of technology in large IT organizations. How are enterprise organizations going to mitigate shadow IT usage and govern standards? How do enterprises keep everything within the confines of their network, keeping it secure from outsiders attempting to steal sensitive data, or worse? What enterprises want is a new equation: Application + Enterprise IT + Cloud = Agility + Security + Governance.  

Platform as a Service (PaaS) from Apprenda and Software Defined Networking (SDN) from Cisco ACI are linked through API integration, and they now deliver agility, security, and governance. Apprenda, the leading enterprise PaaS in the market, provides a ‘grid’ for developers to enable cloud-like functionality with their existing application portfolio. To the developer, this gives them an accelerated, policy-governed means to push their application into production without the need for shadow IT. Cisco ACI, as the most application- and policy-aware software defined network, provides the ability to segregate and partition distributed cloud infrastructure into network isolated zones, controlling the network stack at all layers.

The integration of these two technology platforms is easily enabled by application APIs and provides IT organizations with highly agile “Secure, Enterprise PaaS,” a powerful force for enterprise cloud adoption. Most PaaS technologies do not provide an offering that both reduces operational and political friction for developers, but also provides a network isolated home for sensitive applications without massive configuration.

But what about these other clouds, like public cloud providers (Google, AWS, and Azure) and managed cloud providers (Rackspace)? The decision is less about the public cloud and more about which workloads should run on the public cloud versus the private cloud. Organizations want the ability to dynamically move applications between on premise (such as Cisco Metapod) and in the public cloud without having to rewrite or reconfigure the applications. Apprenda, along with Cisco, helps enterprises achieve the new formula: Application + Enterprise IT + Cloud = Agility + Security + Governance 

We move organizations closer to the vision in three ways: 

  1. Apprenda runs on top of any data center infrastructure.
  2. Apprenda runs on all public clouds.
  3. Apprenda is fully integrated with Cisco ACI to help you achieve dynamic isolation.

It’s now a policy decision on when and where an application should run. For example, organizations can now easily create policies that allow secure applications (HIPPA, ITAR, and PII) to run in isolation on secure infrastructure, while allowing enterprises applications the flexibility to run on any cloud (private, public, or hybrid) based on other parameters such as SLA, high availability, and cost.

We are getting closer to the equation where the coexistence of security and cloud is no longer a barrier for an enterprise, but a mere decision. Most importantly, our capabilities can help you execute the decision in minutes.


Find out more about Apprenda and Cisco ACI integration, here

Atos Apprenda Support