Virtual Desktop Strategies, Server Hypervisors
Article | April 27, 2023
Network virtualization has emerged as the widely recommended solution for the networking paradigm's future. Virtualization has the potential to revolutionize networks in addition to providing a cost-effective, flexible, and secure means of communication.
Network virtualization isn't an all-or-nothing concept. It can help several organizations with differing requirements, or it can provide a bunch of new advantages for a single enterprise. It is the process of combining a network's physical hardware into a single, virtual network. This is often accomplished by running several virtual guest machines in software containers on a single physical host system.
Network virtualization is indeed the new gold standard for networking, and it is being embraced by enterprises of all kinds globally. By integrating their current network gear into a single virtual network, businesses can reduce operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and lay the groundwork for future growth.
Network virtualization also enables organizations to simulate traditional hardware like servers, storage devices, and network resources. The physical network performs basic tasks like packet forwarding, while virtual versions handle more complex activities like networking service management and deployment.
Addressing Network Virtualization Challenges
Surprisingly, IT teams might encounter network virtualization challenges that are both technical and non-technical in nature. Let's look at some common challenges and discuss how to overcome them.
Change in Network Architecture
Practically, the first big challenge is shifting from an architecture that depends heavily on routers, switches, and firewalls. Instead, these services are detached from conventional hardware and put on hypervisors that virtualize these operations. Virtualized network services are shared, scaled, and moved as required.
Migrating current LANs and data centers to a virtualized platform require careful planning. This migration involves the following tasks:
Determine how much CPU, computation, and storage resources will be required to run virtualized network services.
Determine the optimal approach for integrating network resilience and security services.
Determine how the virtualized network services will be implemented in stages to avoid disrupting business operations.
The key to a successful migration is meticulous preparation by architects who understand the business's network requirements. This involves a thorough examination of existing apps and services, as well as a clear knowledge of how data should move across the company most effectively.
Moreover, a progressive approach to relocation is often the best solution. In this instance, IT teams can make changes to the virtualization platform without disrupting the whole corporate network.
Network virtualization has the potential to considerably expand the number of logical technology layers that must collaborate. As a result, traditional network and data center monitoring technologies no longer have insight into some of these abstracted levels. In other circumstances, visibility can be established, but the tools fail to show the information correctly so that network operators can understand it. In either case, deploying and managing modern network visibility technologies is typically the best choice. When an issue arises, NetOps personnel are notified of the specific service layer.
Automation and AI
The enhanced level of automation and self-service operations that can be built into a platform is a fundamental aspect of network virtualization. While these activities can considerably increase the pace of network upgrades while decreasing management overhead, they need the documentation and implementation of a new set of standards and practices. Understand that prior network architectures were planned and implemented utilizing actual hardware appliances on a hop-by-hop basis. A virtualized network, on the other hand, employs a centralized control plane to govern and push policies to all sections of the network. Changes may occur more quickly in this aspect, but various components must be coordinated to accomplish their roles in harmony.
As a result, network teams should move their attention away from network operations that are already automated. Rather, their new responsibility is to guarantee that the core automation processes and AI are in sync in order to fulfill those automated tasks.
Driving Competitive Edge with Network Virtualization
Virtualization in networking or virtual machines within an organization is not a new trend. Even small and medium businesses have realized the benefits of network virtualization, especially when combined with a hosted cloud service provider. Because of this, the demand for enterprise network virtualization is rising, driving higher end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business tools. These network virtualization benefits can help boost business growth and gain a competitive edge.
Gaining a Competitive Edge: Network Virtualization Benefits
Cost-Savings on Hardware
Faster Desktop and Server Provisioning and Deployment
Improved Data Security and Disaster Recovery
Increasing IT Operational Efficiency
Small Footprint and Energy Saving
Network Virtualization: The Path to Digital Transformation
Business is at the center of digital transformation, but technology is needed to make it happen. Integrated clouds, highly modern data centers, digital workplaces, and increased data center security are all puzzle pieces, and putting them all together requires a variety of various products and services that are deployed cohesively.
The cloud revolution is still having an influence on IT, transforming how digital content is consumed and delivered. This should come as no surprise that such a shift has influenced how we feel about current networking. When it boils down to it, the purpose of digital transformation for every company, irrespective of industry, is the same: to boost the speed with which you can respond to market changes and evolving business needs; to enhance your ability to embrace and adapt to new technology, and to improve overall security. As businesses realize that the underlying benefit of cloud adoption and enhanced virtualization isn't simply about cost savings, digital strategies are evolving, becoming more intelligent and successful in the process.
Network virtualization is also a path toward the smooth digital transformation of any business.
How does virtualization help in accelerating digital transformation?
Combining public and private clouds, involving hardware-based computing, storage, and networking software definition. A hyper-converged infrastructure that integrates unified management with virtualized computing, storage, and networking could be included.
Creating a platform for greater productivity by providing the apps and services consumers require when and when they utilize them. This should include simplifying application access and administration as well as unifying endpoint management.
Improving network security and enhancing security flexibility to guarantee that quicker speed to market is matched by tighter security.
Virtualization will also help businesses to move more quickly and safely, bringing products—and profits—to market faster.
Enhancing Security with Network Virtualization
Security has evolved as an essential component of every network architecture. However, since various areas of the network are often segregated from one another, it might be challenging for network teams to design and enforce network virtualization security standards that apply to the whole network.
Zero trust can integrate such network parts and their accompanying virtualization activities. Throughout the network, the zero-trust architecture depends on the user and device authentication. If LAN users wish to access data center resources, they must first be authenticated.
The secure connection required for endpoints to interact safely is provided by a zero-trust environment paired with network virtualization. To facilitate these interactions, virtual networks can be ramped up and down while retaining the appropriate degree of traffic segmentation.
Access policies, which govern which devices can connect with one another, are a key part of this process. If a device is allowed to access a data center resource, the policy should be understood at both the WAN and campus levels.
Some of the core network virtualization security features are:
Isolation and multitenancy are critical features of network virtualization.
Segmentation is related to isolation; however it is utilized in a multitier virtual network.
A network virtualization platform's foundation includes firewalling technologies that enable segmentation inside virtual networks.
Network virtualization enables automatic provisioning and context-sharing across virtual and physical security systems.
Investigating the Role of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
Virtualization in the cloud computing domain refers to the development of virtual resources (such as a virtual server, virtual storage device, virtual network switch, or even a virtual operating system) from a single resource of its type that also shows up as several personal isolated resources or environments that users can use as a separate individual physical resource.
Virtualization enables the benefits of cloud computing, such as ease of scaling up, security, fluid or flexible resources, and so on. If another server is necessary, a virtual server will be immediately created, and a new server will be deployed. When we need more memory, we increase the virtual server configurations we currently have, and we now have the extra RAM we need. As a result, virtualization is the underlying technology of the cloud computing business model.
The Benefits of Virtualization in Cloud Computing:
Efficient hardware utilization
Virtualization improves availability
Disaster recovery is quick and simple
Energy is saved by virtualization
Setup is quick and simple
Cloud migration has become simple
Motivating Factors for the Adoption of Network Virtualization
Demand for enterprise networks continues to climb, owing to rising end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business software. Thanks to network virtualization, IT companies are gaining the ability to respond to shifting demands and match their networking capabilities with their virtualized storage and computing resources. In fact, according to a recent SDxCentral report, 88% of respondents believe it is "important" or "mission critical" to implement a network virtualization software over the next two to five years.
Virtualization is also an excellent alternative for businesses that employ outsourced IT services, are planning mergers or acquisitions or must segregate IT teams owing to regulatory compliance.
Reasons to Adopt Network Virtualization:
A Business Needs Speed
Security Requirements Are Rising
Apps can Move Around
IT Automation and Orchestration
Reduce Hardware Dependency and CapEx: Adopt Multi-Tenancy Cloud
Network virtualization and cloud computing are emerging technologies of the future. As CIOs get actively involved in organizational systems, these new concepts will be implemented in more businesses. As consumer demand for real-time services expands, businesses will be driven to explore network virtualization as the best way to take their networks to the next level. The networking future is here.
Why is network virtualization important for business?
By integrating their current network gear into a single virtual network, businesses can reduce operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and set the stage for future growth.
Where is network virtualization used?
Network virtualization can be utilized in application development and testing to simulate hardware and system software realistically. Network virtualization in application performance engineering allows for the modeling of connections among applications, services, dependencies, and end users for software testing.
How does virtualization work in cloud computing?
Virtualization, in short, enables cloud providers to provide users alongside existing physical computer infrastructure. As a simple and direct process, it allows cloud customers to buy only the computing resources they require when they want them and to maintain those resources cost-effectively as the demand grows.
Virtual Desktop Tools
Article | August 12, 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 18, 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.
Article | May 26, 2021
System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is a management tool for Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform. It is part of Microsoft’s System Center product suite, which also includes Configuration Manager and Operations Manager, among other tools. SCVMM provides a single pane of glass for managing your on-premises and cloud-based Hyper-V infrastructures, and it’s a more capable alternative to Windows Server tools built for the same purpose.