Article | May 17, 2023
Danny Cobb, fellow and vice president of engineering for Dell Technologies’ telco systems business, remembers his company cruising into early 2020: Kicking off a new fiscal year with its operating plan in place, supply chain nailed down and factories humming; people coming into the office each day to the usual routine of looking for parking spots and taking laptops down to the cafeteria.
Then came March, and the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit U.S. shores. In the course of one weekend, Dell pivoted to having more than 90% of its workforce working from home. That meant a dramatic shift in its network needs and operations – one that was only able to be accomplished so quickly because of virtualized infrastructure.
Article | September 9, 2022
Network virtualization combines network resources to integrate several physical networks, segment a network, or construct software networks among VMs.
IT teams can construct numerous separate virtual networks using network virtualization. Virtual networks can be added and scaled without changing hardware.
Teams can start up logical networks more rapidly in response to business needs using network virtualization. This adaptability improves service delivery, efficiency, and control.
Importance of Network Virtualisation
Network virtualization entails developing new rules for the delivery of network services. This involves software-defined data centers (SDDC), cloud computing, and edge computing.
Virtualization assists in the transformation of networks from rigid, wasteful, and static to optimized, agile, and dynamic. To ensure agility and speed, modern virtual networks must keep up with the needs of cloud-hosted, decentralized applications while addressing cyberthreats.
You can deploy and upgrade programs in minutes thanks to network virtualization. This eliminates the need to spend time setting up the infrastructure to accommodate the new applications.
What is the Process of Network Virtualization?
Several network functions that were previously done manually on hardware are now automated through network virtualisation. Network managers can construct, maintain, and provide networks programmatically in software while employing the hardware as a packet-forwarding backplane.
Physical network resources, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), load balancing, firewalling, routing, and switching, are pooled and supplied in software.
To do this, you merely require Internet Protocol (IP) packet forwarding from the hardware or physical network. Individual workloads, such as virtual machines, can access network services that have been distributed to a virtual layer.
There are several kinds of virtual machines accessible. The finest virtual machines enable network administrators to access all parts of a network from a single point of access.
Network virtualization will remain a critical component in both business and carrier network architectures. Network virtualization projects in the future will inevitably incorporate zero trust, automation, and edge and cloud computing.
Virtual Desktop Strategies
Article | July 26, 2022
Analyzing risks and implementing advanced mitigation strategies: Safeguard critical data, fortify defenses, and stay ahead of emerging threats in the dynamic realm of virtual machines in cloud.
2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing
3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise
Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate by providing flexible, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure for running applications and services. Virtual machines (VMs) are a key component of cloud computing, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical machine. However, the use of virtual machines in cloud computing introduces new security risks that need to be addressed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and services.
Effective VM security in the cloud requires a comprehensive approach that involves cloud providers and users working together to identify and address potential virtual machine security threats. By implementing these best practices and maintaining a focus on security, cloud computing can provide a secure and reliable platform for businesses to run their applications and services.
2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: These are attacks that aim to disrupt the availability of a VM or the entire cloud infrastructure by overwhelming the system with traffic or resource requests.
Insecure APIs: Cloud providers often expose APIs that allow users to manage their VMs. If these APIs are not properly secured, attackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to VMs or manipulate their configurations.
Data leakage: Virtual machines can store sensitive data such as customer information or intellectual property. If not secured, this data can be exposed to unauthorized access or leakage.
Shared resources: VMs in cloud environments often share physical resources such as memory, CPU, and network interfaces. If these resources are not isolated, a compromised VM can potentially affect the security and performance of other VMs running on the same physical host.
Lack of visibility: Virtual machines in cloud environments can be more difficult to monitor than physical machines. This can make it harder to detect security incidents or anomalous behavior.
Insufficient logging and auditing: If cloud providers do not implement appropriate logging and auditing mechanisms, it can be difficult to determine the cause and scope of a security incident.
VM escape: This is when an attacker gains access to the hypervisor layer and then escapes into the host operating system or other VMs running on the same physical host.
Side-channel attacks: This is when an attacker exploits the physical characteristics of the hardware to gain unauthorized access to a VM. Examples of side-channel attacks include timing attacks, power analysis attacks, and electromagnetic attacks.
Malware attacks: VMs can be infected with malware, just like physical machines. Malware can be used to steal data, launch attacks on other VMs or systems, or disrupt the functioning of the VM.
Insider threats: Malicious insiders can exploit their access to VMs to steal data, modify configurations, or launch attacks.
3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise
To mitigate these risks, there are several virtual machine security guidelines that cloud service providers and users can follow:
Keep software up-to-date: Regularly updating software and security patches for virtual machines is crucial in preventing known vulnerabilities from being exploited by hackers. Software updates fix bugs and security flaws that could allow unauthorized access, data breaches, or malware attacks.
According to a study, 60% of data breaches are caused by vulnerabilities that were not patched or updated in a timely manner.(Source: Ponemon Institute)
Use secure hypervisors: A hypervisor is a software layer that enables multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical server. Secure hypervisors are designed to prevent unauthorized access to virtual machines and protect them from potential security threats. When choosing a hypervisor, it is important to select one that has undergone rigorous testing and meets industry standards for security.
In 2018, a group of researchers discovered a new type of attack called "Foreshadow" (also known as L1 Terminal Fault). The attack exploits vulnerabilities in Intel processors and can be used to steal sensitive data from virtual machines running on the same physical host. Secure hypervisors that have implemented hardware-based security features can provide protection against Foreshadow and similar attacks.
Implement strong access controls: Access control is the practice of restricting access to virtual machines to authorized users. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide more than one type of authentication method before accessing VMs. Strong access controls limit the risk of unauthorized access and can help prevent data breaches.
According to a survey, organizations that implemented multi-factor authentication saw a 98% reduction in the risk of phishing-related account breaches.
(Source: Duo Security)
Monitor VMs for anomalous behavior: Monitoring virtual machines for unusual or unexpected behavior is an essential security practice. This includes monitoring network traffic, processes running on the VM, and other metrics that can help detect potential security incidents. By monitoring VMs, security teams can detect and respond to security threats before they can cause damage.
A study found that 90% of organizations that implemented a virtualized environment experienced security benefits, such as improved visibility into security threats and faster incident response times.
Use Encryption: Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. Encrypting data both in transit and at rest protects it from interception or theft by hackers. This can be achieved using industry-standard encryption protocols and technologies.
According to a report by, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. The report also found that organizations that implemented encryption had a lower average cost of a data breach compared to those that did not
Segregate VMs: Segregating virtual machines is the practice of keeping sensitive VMs separate from less sensitive ones. This reduces the risk of lateral movement, which is when a hacker gains access to one VM and uses it as a stepping stone to gain access to other VMs in the same environment. Segregating VMs helps to minimize the risk of data breaches and limit the potential impact of a security incident.
A study found that organizations that implemented a virtualized environment without adequate segregation and access controls were more vulnerable to VM security breaches and data loss.
(Source: Ponemon Institute)
Regularly Back-up VMs: Regularly backing up virtual machines is a critical security practice that can help mitigate the impact of malware attacks, system failures, or other security incidents. Backups should be stored securely and tested regularly to ensure that they can be restored quickly in the event of a security incident.
A survey conducted found that 42% of organizations experienced a data loss event in 2020 with the most common cause being accidental deletion by an employee (29%).
The complexity of cloud environments and the shared responsibility model for security require organizations to adopt a comprehensive security approach that spans multiple infrastructure layers, from the physical to the application layer.
The future of virtual machine security concern in cloud computing will require continued innovation and adaptation to new threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations must remain vigilant and proactive in their security efforts, leveraging the latest technologies and best practices to protect their virtual machines, the sensitive data and resources they contain.
Article | May 17, 2023
Learn setting up a Docker and Kubernetes environment with the right considerations and choose the best-suited software from ten leading tools, softwares and platforms for your business needs.
The blog discusses how Kubernetes and Docker can boost software development and deployment productivity. In addition, it covers the benefits of the role of Kubernetes in orchestrating containerized applications and best practices for implementing these technologies to improve efficiency and streamline workflows. Docker and Kubernetes are both essential containerization ecosystem utilities. Kubernetes, an excellent DevOps solution, manages and automates containers' deployment and scaling, along with operating across clusters of hosts, whereas Docker is used for creating and operating containers. The blog covers tips to consider while choosing tools/platforms. It further enlists ten platforms providing Kubernetes and Docker, featuring their offerings.
1. Considerations While Setting Up a Development Environment with Kubernetes and Docker
1.1 Fluid app delivery
A platform for application development must provide development teams with high velocity. Two factors contribute to high velocity: rapid application delivery and brief development cycles. Application platforms must support build processes that start with source code. The platforms must also facilitate the repetitive deployment of applications on any remote staging instance.
1.2 Polyglot support
Consistency is the defining characteristic of an application platform. On-demand, repetitive, and reproducible builds must be supported by the platform. Extending a consistent experience across all languages and frameworks elevates the platform experience. The platform must support a native build process and the ability to develop and customize this build process.
1.3 Baked-in security
Containerized environments are secured in a significantly different manner than conventional applications. A fundamental best practice is to utilize binaries compiled with all necessary dependencies. The build procedure should also include a directive to eliminate unnecessary components for the application's operation. Setting up a zero-trust architecture between platform components that orchestrate deployments significantly improves the workloads' security posture.
1.4 Adjustable abstractions
A platform with paved paths and the flexibility to accommodate the requirements of software engineering teams has a greater chance of success. Open-source platforms score highly in this regard, particularly those with modular architectures that allow the team to swap out parts as they adjust.
2.Top Tips to Consider While Choosing Tools and Platforms for Kubernetes and Docker
Configuring Kubernetes or Docker can be complex and resource-intensive. A production-ready platform will ensure having the necessary fully automated features without the need for configuration. Security is an essential aspect of production readiness. Additionally, automation is critical, as production readiness requires that the solution manage all cluster management duties. Automated backup, recovery, and restore capabilities must be considered. Also, ensure the high availability, scalability, and self-healing of the cluster's platform.
As the cloud and software evolve, a system's hosting location may affect its efficacy. The current trend is a multi-cloud strategy. Ensure that the platform can support abstracting from cloud or data center providers and building a shared infrastructure across clouds, cloud regions, and data centers, as well as assist in configuring them if required. According to a recent study, nearly one-third of organizations are already collaborating with four or more cloud service providers. (Source: Microsoft and 451 Research)
2.3 Ease of Administration
Managing a Docker or Kubernetes cluster is complex and requires various skill sets. Kubernetes generates a lot of unprocessed data, which must be interpreted to comprehend what's happening with the cluster. Early detection and intervention are crucial to disaster prevention. Identifying a platform that eliminates the issue of analyzing raw data is essential. By incorporating automated intelligent monitoring and alerts, such solutions can provide critical status, error, event, and warning data to take appropriate action.
2.4 Assistance and Training
As the organization begins to acquire Kubernetesor Docker skills, it is essential to have a vendor that can provide 24/7 support and training to ensure a seamless transition. Incorrect implementation will add a layer of complexity to infrastructure management. Leverage automation tools that offer the support needed to use Kubernetes and Docker without the management burden.
3. 10 Tools and Platforms Providing Kubernetes and Docker
3.1 Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform:
Aqua Security provides the Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform, a comprehensive security solution designed to protect cloud-native applications and microservices. Aqua offers end-to-end security for applications operating on Docker Enterprise Edition (Community Edition), protecting the DevOps pipeline and production workloads with complete visibility and control. It provides end-to-end security across the entire application lifecycle, from development to production, for both containerized and serverless workloads. In addition, it automates prevention, detection, and response across the whole application lifecycle to secure the build, cloud infrastructure, and operating workloads, regardless of where they are deployed.
3.2 Weave Gitops Enterprise
Weave GitOps Enterprise, a full-stack, developer-centric operating model for Kubernetes, creates and contributes to several open-source projects. Its products and services enable teams to design, build, and operate their Kubernetes platform at scale. Built by the creators of Flux and Flagger, Weave GitOps allows users to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters and applications in the public or private cloud or their own data center. Weave GitOps Enterprise helps simplify Kubernetes with fully automated continuous delivery pipelines that roll out changes from development to staging and production. Weaveworks has used Kubernetes in production for over eight years and has developed that expertise into Weave GitOps Enterprise.
3.3 Mirantis Kubernetes Engine
Mirantis provides the Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, a platform designed to help organizations deploy, manage, and scale their Kubernetes clusters. It includes features such as container orchestration, automated deployment, monitoring, and high availability, all designed to help organizations build and run their applications at scale. Mirantis Kubernetes Engine also includes a set of tools for managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters, including cluster deployment, upgrades, and patching. It also has security scanning and policy enforcement features, as well as integration with other enterprise IT systems such as Active Directory and LDAP.
3.4 Portworx by Pure Storage
Portworx's deep integration into Docker gives Portworx container data services benefits directly through the Docker Swarm scheduler. Swarm service creation brings the management capability of Portworx to the Docker persistent storage layer to avoid complex tasks such as increasing the storage pool without container downtime and problems like stuck EBS drives. Portworx is also a multi-cloud-ready Kubernetes storage and administration platform designed to simplify and streamline data management in Kubernetes. The platform abstracts the complexity of data storage in Kubernetes. Additionally, it serves as a software-defined layer that aggregates Kubernetes nodes' data storage into a virtual reservoir.
Platform9 provides a powerful IDE for developers for simplified in-context views of pods, logs, events, and more. Both development and operations teams can access the information they need in an instant, secured through SSO and Kubernetes RBAC. The industry’s first SaaS-managed approach combined with a best-in-class support and customer success organization with a 99.9% consistent CSAT rating delivers production-ready K8s to organizations of any size. It provides services to deploy a cluster instantly, achieve GitOps faster, and take care of every aspect of cluster management, including remote monitoring, self-healing, automatic troubleshooting, and proactive issue resolution, around the clock.
3.6 Kubernetes Network Security
Sysdig provides Kubernetes Network Security, a solution that offers cloud security from source to run. The product provides network security for Kubernetes environments by monitoring and blocking suspicious traffic in real time. It helps organizations protect their Kubernetes clusters against advanced threats and attacks. The product and Sysdig Secure offer Kubernetes Network Monitoring to investigate suspicious traffic and connection attempts, Kubernetes-Native Microsegmentation to enable microsegmentation without breaking the application, and Automated Network Policies to save time by automating Kubernetes network policies.
3.7 Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge
Rafay delivers a production-ready Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge, streamlining ongoing operations for edge applications. It provides centralized multi-cluster management to deploy, manage, and upgrade all Kubernetes clusters from a single console across all edge nodes. In addition, it offers comprehensive lifecycle management, with which users can quickly and easily provision Kubernetes clusters at the edge, where cluster updates and upgrades are seamless with no downtime. Furthermore, the KMC for Edge quickly integrates with enterprise-class SSO solutions such as Okta, Ping One, and Azure AD, among others. Other features include standardized clusters and workflows, integration and automation, and centralized logging and monitoring.
3.8 Opcito Technologies
Opcito provides simplified container management with efficient provisioning, deployment, scaling, and networking. Its application containerization expertise helps containerize existing and new applications and dependencies. Opcito is well-versed in leading container orchestration platforms like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes. While it helps choose the container platform that best suits specific application needs, it also helps with the end-to-end management of containers so clients can release applications faster and focus on innovation and business. The container management and orchestration services include: building secured microservices, Enterprise-scale Container Management and Orchestration, Orchestration, and Container Monitoring.
3.9 D2iQ Kubernetes Platform (DKP)
D2iQ (DKP) enables enterprises to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud-native Kubernetes while laying the groundwork for intelligent cloud-native innovation by simplifying Kubernetes deployment and maintenance. It simplifies and automates the most difficult parts of an enterprise Kubernetes deployment across all infrastructures. DKP helps enterprises easily overcome operational barriers and set them up in minutes and hours rather than weeks and months. In addition, DKP simplifies Kubernetes management through automation using GitOps workflow, observability, application catalog, real-time cost management, and more.
Spektra, by Diamanti, a multi-cluster management solution for DevOps and production teams, provides centralized multi-cluster management, a single control plane to deliver everything needed to provision and manage the lifecycle of multiple clusters. Spektra is built to cater to business needs, from air-gapped on-prem deployments to hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures. It also enables stretching resources across different clusters within the tenant. Furthermore, it allows you to move workloads and their associated data from one cluster to another directly from its dashboard. Spektra integrates with lightweight directory access protocols (LDAP) and Active Directory (AD) to enable user authentication and streamline resource access. In addition, it offers application migration, data mobility, and reporting.
It is evident that Kubernetes and Docker can significantly boost software development and deployment productivity. By adopting appropriate containerization platforms and leveraging Kubernetes for orchestration, organizations can streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and enhance the reliability of their applications. Furthermore, following the tips to choose the tools or platform carefully can further improve productivity.