Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Amitabh Sinha

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Governance Strategies for Successful Cloud Initiatives

How to create and enforce policies and governance in an automated way, while maintaining cloud computing’s self-service promise

At the top of many IT group's list of concerns lie security, compliance and internal process governance - both in static data centers and in dynamic clouds. Indeed, governance should not be overlooked. And, as they say in many security circles, the best measure of successful security is silence. Although the discussion around governance in the cloud has evolved, many organizations still struggle with questions such as:

  • Which apps should we deploy to public clouds?
  • When and where should cloud environments be encrypted?
  • Who has access to cloud-based applications and infrastructure?
  • Which firewall rules should apply?
  • How do security rules differ from app to app based on the application's lifecycle phase?

At the heart of these questions and concerns is how to manage the security and compliance risks inherit in enterprises and how to build and apply fine-grain cloud controls to manage the deep complexity inherent within cloud environments. In this article, I'll take a look at how to create and enforce policies and governance in an automated way, while maintaining cloud computing's self-service promise.

Create and Enforce Governance Policies
Policy-based governance controls based on an extensible meta-model enable the creation and enforcement of an unlimited range of custom policies, which are critical for large enterprise success and innovation.

A broad range of policy types are needed to properly govern the deployment and management of applications and platforms in the cloud, especially when self-service, on-demand access is provided to business users and development teams. An enterprise-grade cloud governance model should be implemented with policy types that encompass:

  • User and group access
  • Deployment criteria that ensure workloads are deployed properly based on data and sensitivity level, such as geographical constraints or credit card data
  • Orchestration of configuration management controls; the ability to ensure secure and compliant versions of application artifacts, middleware and O/S are deployed across cloud environments and remediating any manual changes

In addition, IT should use policies to enforce security zone compliance, orchestrate host and hypervisor based firewalls, AV, HIDS, virtual networking, data encryption, and other security tools and utilities. All of these controls should be tuned to apply across the various stages of the application lifecycle (i.e., Development, QA, UAT, Production, etc.).

Fulfill the Self-Service Cloud Promise

Self-service and governance may seem at odds, but in the world of cloud computing, they come together to deliver agility with control. While the benefits of self-service are obvious - and the reason many enterprises embrace the cloud to begin with - allowing business users and developers to directly access needed IT resources through a self-service interface, IT resources become more responsive to business needs. As a result, business agility improves and the business as a whole benefits.

Governance exists to balance self-service as it imposes a set of rules for how resources should be accessed, by whom, at what times, in what quantities, and for which purposes. In the same way that traffic rules enable people to use roads to get where they need to go quickly while eliminating accidents, cloud governance seeks to ensure that cloud usage is well ordered so that self-service can happen seamlessly and without manual intervention for the business, ensuring ideal use of resources, compliance with regulatory mandates and, most important, optimal business outcomes.

Ensure Adaptability of Policy Controls
Regulations, industries and business don't stand still. As a result, when creating governance policies, IT must do so in a way that is easily adapted to meet future requirements. An extensible policy framework that allows IT to rapidly customize policies to address a broad range of current and future business needs is required for successful cloud governance. The ability to create and enforce an unlimited range of custom policies is accomplished through a policy engine with an extensible meta model, allowing enterprises to create new attributes that policies can reference to make decisions.

The dynamic nature of cloud computing may appear a hurdle to effective governance, but the reality is that static data centers also present their own, unique security, regulatory and governance challenges. While both can be secure and compliant, at the end of the day, it is about building and enforcing proper controls for the business's various activities. A policy-based security strategy will help enterprises simultaneously meet the promise of self-service cloud computing while providing a fully governed, successful cloud initiative.

More Stories By Eric Pulier

Eric Pulier, CEO at ServiceMesh, Inc. Named one of 30 e-Visionaries by VAR Business, he is a popular public speaker at premier technology conferences around the globe. Pulier is member of Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and is the Executive Director of the Enterprise Leadership Council.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...