Fortinet recently sat down with Amir Levy, Director, Technical Market Development, CTO Office, Cloudify, a new Fabric-Ready Partner, to learn more about their solution, how they solve customer challenges, and why they have chosen to become part of our Fabric-Ready Partner program.
Tell us a bit about Cloudify’s business and the types of customers that you serve. What is the top IT challenge or concern that your customers face today?
Cloudify’s customer base spans a diversity of industries - from financial services, telecom, service providers, insurance, biotech, transportation and many other types of large-scale organizations. The one thing these organizations have in common is that they are all struggling with the automation and orchestration of IT operations for applications and network services. The more complex, distributed, and heterogeneous the stack the better equipped Cloudify is to provide the dynamic services required to leverage the promise of the cloud, alongside existing technology stacks.
Today, cloud resources and other technologies are available at the click of a button, and this has resulted in a growing amount of fragmentation of technology that has become an operational nightmare to control, secure, and manage. In addition, most organizations are using one or more clouds, as can be seen from a recent survey we conducted.
Such easy access to resources has unfortunately also been the source of security breaches, unmanaged costs, and many other IT complexities and challenges. Cloudify provides a single pane of glass to manage all IT resources, from applications through to networking services and infrastructure.
This, coupled with Fortinet’s FortiGate technology, demonstrates that robust, enterprise-grade security can still be possible even while rapidly adopting new technologies and services.
Cloudify recently joined Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program. Can you share a bit about your history of working with Fortinet and why being an alliance partner in our program is important for your business and customers?
Cloudify was built to power the NFV revolution, and work with VNF vendors like Fortinet that provide a diversity of necessary network security functions. Our partnership enables Fortinet to focus on their core business, building best of breed security products, while Cloudify provides customers with a fully tested and validated solution with a layer of dynamic services on top that enables them to leverage the promise of the cloud. Together, Cloudify and Fortinet can power the next wave of Security-as-a-Service, where Cloudify provides a necessary layer of self-service and zero-touch automation to enable greater flexibility with regards to securing workloads. Having blueprint control over services and ports, etc., enables continuous security - even post-deployment by allowing changes to be made even during runtime.
Being infrastructure agnostic, Cloudify is able to provide full redundancy and high availability across hybrid cloud models, along with data center and bare metal cloud support, for full flexibility, robustness, and synchronization between remote sites in a reliable manner. On top of this, Cloudify offers out of the box SSL for enhanced client-server communication and manager access control through authorization and authentication, alongside auditing capabilities to complement Fortinet’s security suite.
Are you seeing a shift in IT, networking and cybersecurity buying criteria from your customers for solutions that are by nature more open, automated, and able to interoperate with their existing infrastructure?
If open source was formerly a non-starter when it came to competing for an account, it is now a prerequisite. The largest organizations today are now wary of lock-in and monolithic solutions, and are instead looking for solutions that are more open and interoperable so that they can keep their options open, and be able to adopt new and innovative technology as they mature. This is where the Fortinet and Cloudify relationship delivers the best of both worlds. Cloudify offers an open source and standard-based solution that enables easy interoperability and portability between environments, while Fortinet provides robust and proven technology that is built for automation and evolvability through the integration with Cloudify.
Cloudify makes it possible for VNF providers like Fortinet to simplify the transition from non-virtualized appliance to virtualized, all the way through cloud-native VNF, combined with full lifecycle management and orchestration - providing the self-management and scale required today. This includes the deployment phases, with intelligent placement awareness that leverages the capabilities of the underlying infrastructure (DPDK, NUMA, SR-IOV) - i.e. EPA and DPA. A cloud native VNF can be built to fit within a DevOps environment and expose APIs to control all of the aspects of the VNF by other software, thereby allowing continuous upgrades of the service without any downtime.
In an industry where continued technology innovation is a business driver imperative, how do coopetition and open collaboration across multi-vendor ecosystems, like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Program, give you a leg up to deliver what your customers demand today and into the future?
Cloudify is open source and built from the bottom up with integration as a key driver. It is also technology-agnostic as it is based on the TOSCA standard. This means that the larger the ecosystem of interoperable technologies, the better. Cloudify is API-driven, and can plug into any technology and enable it to be managed and monitored, scaled, and healed – all through a single application blueprint and UI platform. This includes additional orchestrators, where Cloudify is able to serve as a northbound or southbound NFVO (NFV orchestrator) or VNFM (VNF manager), and even provide dynamic services and fault tolerance for orchestrators that are not infrastructure- or self-aware.
Cloudify brings network virtualization and cloud-native approaches together to leverage many of the best practices and tooling developed to meet web-scale deployments and apply them to new network services built for massively growing amounts of data - from 5G through to IoT and more. This is made possible through the Cloudify architecture that is constructed out of simple yet very scalable components starting from the message bus all the way through the web framework behind the REST API, datastore, task broker, and the workflow engine. Each of these can separately fully scale-out to meet the requirements of a large deployment, and can be deployed in a manner that matches the performance requirements at such a scale.
The Cloudify cloud-native approach takes care of the heavy lifting required to automate and implement the next generation of telco-grade network services by providing a generic substrate for handling things like service composition and chaining, continuous deployment, as well as fault tolerance through self-healing and auto-scaling - while Fortinet simultaneously handles and scales to the security and threat management required by today’s enterprises.
- Video: Orchestrating Fortigate Firewall VNF On Boarding and Security Policy Instantiation
- Cloudify’s Live Virtual NFV Lab
Read more about Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program a premium category of Fortinet’s technology alliance partnerships.
For more information, download our paper and learn about the top threats that enterprise security leaders are being forced to address and the security approaches to evalutate to protect against them.