Intelligent Workload Management Is Cloud Security
It seems every other IT article these days mentions the cloud. (I guess you can add this one to the tally as well.) But has the cloud really arrived? While the conversation around cloud computing is hot, usage is quite a bit cooler. As I stated previously in this blog, enterprises and VARs are taking their time transitioning workloads to the cloud.
Why the delay? In a word: security. Or more precisely, questions about security. Once you put a critical workload “out there” in a public cloud—or even a private cloud for that matter—how can you guarantee it’s safe from hackers and thieves? How do you maintain compliance? And who’s accountable? Needless to say, business and IT managers alike have their concerns.
Organizations need to secure data while still allowing users the required levels of access to do their jobs. Novell CEO, Ron Hovsepian, explains, “The emergence of virtual and cloud-driven business models has created new challenges around identity and access management. CIOs need a consistent, extensible platform for managing identities inside and outside the walls of their enterprise—or their cloud strategy will fail.”
One approach that’s helping minimize concerns about cloud computing is intelligent workload management (IWM). IWM integrates identity management capabilities directly into application workloads, thus enabling built-in security, manageability, regulatory compliance and portability.
In its June 2010 white paper, titled Intelligent Workload Management: Opportunities and Challenges, IDC analysts insist that, “Enterprises are wise to consider how these automation and security investments play into a more robust intelligent workload management strategy so as to be able to transparently exploit new application packaging models as they become available.”
To enable location-independent delivery and access of critical business services, you must provide proven, future-friendly capabilities to secure, provision, manage and measure these services. Moreover, to deliver the true value of IWM and other utility computing models, all of these capabilities must be delivered as well-integrated solutions.
Many analysts believe policy-based access and identity management is the gating item to the rapid adoption of IWM. With the recent launch of Novell Identity Manager 4, Novell delivers both policy-based access and identity management. Identity Manager 4 is the industry’s first identity management solution to include cloud-aware SaaS drivers, so companies can easily tackle cloud application provisioning and deprovisioning, and have insight into users’ real-time access rights and actions in the cloud.
The future of computing will include a diverse combination of internal applications on physical hardware as well as virtually hosted and remote SaaS applications. Companies must be able to enforce their access and security processes across all of these workloads and ensure compliance practices are extended to the cloud—without totally redesigning their systems and processes. Therefore, regardless of which identity and access management solution you choose to recommend to customers, you would be well advised to examine the capabilities of Novell Identity Manager 4.
In next month’s blog, I’ll look at what’s required to manage IWM and related channel opportunities.