Windows 10 security: Microsoft reveals 'Secured-core' to block firmware attacks

LIAM TUNG | October 21, 2019 | 197 views

While Apple has complete control over the hardware and operating system, Microsoft historically has not. But now Microsoft is aiming to bring its control over hardware up to Apple's level through partnerships with Windows PC makers. The goal is to protect devices from attacks that exploit the fact that firmware has higher privileges than the Windows kernel. Microsoft these days is also a hardware company and it's taken DRM-hacking lessons learned from the Xbox and applied them to the Windows hardware ecosystem under the new 'Secured-core' initiative. Consumers won't see any 'Secured-core' branding on PCs and the technology will only exist on the latest Windows 10 hardware with chipsets from Intel, Qualcomm, and AMD.

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Boosting Productivity with Kubernetes and Docker

Article | May 2, 2023

Learn setting up a Docker and Kubernetes environment with the right considerations and choose the best-suited software from the ten leading tools, softwares and platforms for your business needs.. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Considerations while Setting Up a Development Environment with Kubernetes and Docker 2.1. Fluid app delivery 2.2. Polyglot support 2.3 Baked-in security 2.4 Adjustable abstractions 3 .Top Tips to Consider While Choosing Tools/Platforms for Kubernetes and Docker 3.1. Production-Readiness 3.2. Future-Readiness 3.3. Ease of Administration 3.4. Assistance and Training 4 .10 Tools/Platforms providing Kubernetes and Docker 4.1. Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform: 4.2. Weave Gitops Enterprise 4.3. Mirantis Kubernetes Engine 4.4. Portworx by Pure Storage 4.5. Platform9 4.6. Kubernetes Network Security 4.7. Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge 4.8. Opcito Technologies 4.9. D2iQ Kubernetes Platform (DKP) 4.10. Spektra 5. Conclusion: 1. Introduction 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. 2. Considerations While Setting Up a Development Environment with Kubernetes and Docker 2.1. 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. 2.2. 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. 2.3. 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. 2.4. 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. 3. Top Tips to Consider While Choosing Tools and Platforms for Kubernetes and Docker 3.1. Production-Readiness 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. 3.2. Future-Readiness 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) 3.3. 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. 3.4. 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. 4. 10 Tools and Platforms Providing Kubernetes and Docker 4.1. 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. 4.2. 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. 4.3. 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. 4.4. 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. 4.5. Platform9 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. 4.6. 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. 4.7. 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. 4.8. 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. 4.9. 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. 4.10. Spektra 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. 5. Conclusion 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.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Top 15 Virtualization Events to Attend in 2023

Article | May 17, 2023

Introduction Virtualization has become integral to modern computing, enabling organizations to optimize their resources and increase efficiency. Following are the upcoming events taking place in France, China, USA, Netherlands, and Germany, from April 2023 to December 2023. Let's take a closer look at each of these events and know what attendees can expect to gain from them. The following events will provide insight into the growing impact of virtualization on upcoming as well as established organizations. The renowned speakers in the following events will give economic value to the concept of virtualization and how it can transform business operations. By attending these events, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the latest trends, technologies, and strategies in virtualization, as well as the potential benefits and challenges associated with its implementation. 1. 18th Workshop on Virtualization in High-Performance Cloud Computing May 25, 2023 | Hamburg (Germany) The VHPC workshop at the International Supercomputing Conference - High Performance 2023 invites researchers and industrial practitioners to submit original and high-quality papers on virtualization in HPC, containers, virtualization, and cloud computing. The workshop will cover a broad range of topics related to virtualization, including virtualization for scientific computing and big data analytics, virtualization for high-performance computing and data centers, and virtualization for edge, fog computing, and more. The workshop will provide a forum for researchers to present their latest research findings, share ideas, and collaborate on new research directions. 2. VMware Explore 2023 August 5-10, 2023 | Nevada (USA) The VMware Explore 2023 conference is a specialized event focusing on virtualization and cloud computing technologies for data centers and virtual workspace infrastructure. It will cover topics on cloud & edge infrastructure, networking & security, modern applications & cloud management, hybrid workforce, vision & innovation. VMware Explore 2023 will host a community of technology users and leaders involved in enterprise applications, cloud architecture, infrastructure, end users, networking, and security. 3. Data Center World May 8 - 11, 2023 | Texas (USA) This is the only global event that brings together the entire data center industry, making it the go-to resource for anybody looking to optimize their data center strategy. Data Center World is the premier event for digital infrastructure, that will cater to the needs of data center managers, IT executives, and the pioneers who will shape the future of the digital sector. The technologies and concepts for designing, managing, and optimizing data centers will be presented at the event, along with expert advice and guidance. 4. The Fourteenth International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization June 26 - 30, 2023 | Saint-Laurent-du-Var (France) The Fourteenth International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization is an upcoming conference that will provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest research, trends & practical applications in cloud computing, grids, and virtualization. The conference will cover various topics related to these fields, including cloud security and privacy, cloud storage, cloud economics, and more. The conference will provide a platform for attendees to discuss emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in these fields, as well as present their research findings and insights. 5. Knowledge 2023 May 16 - 18, 2023 | Las Vegas (United States) The event is organized by ServiceNow, which provides cloud-based IT service management, IT operations management, and IT business management solutions. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott will deliver the opening keynote address. The event will include a wide range of sessions: Hands-on Labs, Presentations from Experts, Art of the Possible HackZone Demo, Annual Hackathon, Community Meetups, challenges, and more. Attendees will be able to connect with visionaries worldwide and gain new ServiceNow skills and fresh insights into the power of digital transformation. 6. 2023 5TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HARDWARE SECURITY AND TRUST (ICHST 2023) July 8 - 10, 2023 | Wuxi (China) The 5th International Conference on Hardware Security and Trust (ICHST 2023) will serve as a workshop for ICSIP 2023 and is sponsored by Southeast University, China, with co-sponsorship from Southeast University Wuxi Campus and the School of Cyber Science and Engineering. ICHST is an annual symposium that will seek to promote the rapid growth of hardware-based security research and development. It will focus on presenting new findings in hardware and system security, covering topics such as secure hardware techniques, tools, design and test methods, architectures, circuits, and applications. 7. .NEXT May 9 - 10, 2023 | Chicago (USA) .NEXT conference is a series of annual events organized by Nutanix, a cloud computing and hyper-converged infrastructure company. It will cover fascinating insights about new work, global supply chains, utopian visions, the metaverse and Web3, smart technology, intelligence, and many more. The conference will typically feature keynote presentations, technical sessions, and hands-on labs focused on cloud computing, data center infrastructure, and digital transformation. Attendees will also be able to experience test-drive demos. 8. Wan Summit: Enterprise Networks Chicago September 28, 2023 | Chicago (USA) Connectivity infrastructure is the main topic of discussion at WAN Summit, an invitation-only conference for network and engineering professionals shaping the future of the workplace. In order to help businesses, provide a better experience for their customers, the WAN Summit will discuss the issues that persist in the networking department. The event will have sessions as network manager focus, enterprise case studies, exhibition and networking drinks reception, and so on. 9. Black Hat USA August 5 -10, 2023 | Nevada (USA) This year marks the 26th annual Black Hat USA conference, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Attendees of all experience levels can participate in four days of intensive cybersecurity training. More than a hundred carefully-chosen briefings, hundreds of open-source tool demonstrations in Arsenal, a robust business hall, networking and social events, and much more will fill the two days of the main conference. This year, Black Hat will also debut a live, in-person Certification program that will last for a whole day. 10. Gartner IT Symposium | Xpo October 16 -19, 2023 | Orlando (USA) The strategic concerns of enterprise CIOs and their executive teams are the focus of the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo. At the Gartner IT Symposium, a worldwide network of experts and peers will talk about game-changing innovations. Chief Information Officers and other IT executives will discuss the latest developments in the fields of accelerating business transformation, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, customer experience, data analytics, executive leadership, and many other topics that will shape the future of IT and business. 11. Container Days September 11 -13, 2023 | Hamburg (Germany) An amazing learning experience on Kubernetes, Cloud Native, Container Security, DevOps, GitOps, Edge Computing, and more is available at CDS, where the CDS family increases yearly. Global tycoons will gather in person and online to share insights, make connections, and do business. Opportunities to meet like-minded people and open discussion forums are favorites among open-source and cloud-native project fans. More in-depth technical presentations and engaging panel discussions will be live across five stages this year. 12. Big Data Expo September 12 - 13, 2023 | Utrecht (Netherlands) Supply and demand in the big data industry are finally brought together at Big Data Expo. This is the only conference in the Benelux region covering every data management facet. Exhibitors are prioritized who regularly engage in data aggregation, generation, analysis, optimization, and application across a variety of scales and contexts. The two-day conference will cover various topics, from cloud computing and data visualization to data security and machine learning/artificial intelligence. If you're interested in data, the Big Data Expo is the place to be. 13. Red Hat Summit May 23 - 25, 2023 | Massachusetts (USA) The seminars, workshops, demos, laboratories, and training opportunities at Red Hat Summit 2023 in Boston (Massachusetts), will be invaluable to the individuals and their teams. In addition, this year's event will be held in conjunction with AnsibleFest, adding automation to the diverse mix of offerings that are used to address a world of IT challenges, in addition to keynotes, customer and partner stories, topics, and tracks designed to help you make the most of hybrid cloud technology. Participants will be able to watch or rewatch major announcements and view dozens of new sessions and recorded sessions from Boston—at no cost to you. 14. TechNet Cyber 2023 May 2 -4, 2023 | Baltimore convention center, Maryland (USA) TechNet Cyber is the best chance to showcase products & services to the nation's top network security, operations, and defense decision-makers. The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency is always on the lookout for fresh concepts to help standardize and streamline cyber operations throughout the Department of Defense and the armed forces' various components. To tackle global security concerns and successfully function in a digital world, AFCEA's TechNet Cyber acts as a focal point for a government-wide effort to consolidate the policy, strategic architecture, operations, and C2, as well as the combined capabilities necessary to do so. 15. IEEE International Conference On Smart Information Systems and Technologies May 4 - 6, 2023 | Scientific Society (Kazakhstan) The 2023 IEEE SIST International Conference, technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Ukraine Section, is an essential event in the scientific society of Kazakhstan. Professionals, researchers, scientists, specialists, and students from a unique opportunity for participants to expand their knowledge and various areas of the IT industry from around the globe will attend this conference. The conference will offer perspectives on specific topics, and contribute to finding solutions to current IT trends. Additionally, the conference will be covering several research areas, including technology and engineering management, governance, finance, economy, and more. Conclusion The events will help organizations capitalize on the opportunities presented by virtualization and remain ahead of the curve in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. The purpose of the events is to facilitate collaboration, the exchange of knowledge, and the discussion of innovative solutions for virtualized computing systems of the future.

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SERVER HYPERVISORS

Virtual Machine Security Risks and Mitigation in Cloud Computing

Article | September 9, 2022

Contents 1. Introduction 2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing 3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise 4. Conclusion 1. Introduction 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. (Source: Foreshadow) 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. (Source: VMware) 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 (Source: IBM) 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%). (Source: Veeam) 4. Conclusion 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.

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VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES, SERVER HYPERVISORS

Efficient Management of Virtual Machines using Orchestration

Article | April 27, 2023

Contents 1. Introduction 2. What is Orchestration? 3. How Orchestrating Help Optimize VMs Efficiency? 3.1. Resource Optimization 3.2 Dynamic Scaling 3.3 Faster Deployment 3.4 Improved Security 3.5 Multi-Cloud Management 3.6 Improved Collaboration 4. Considerations while Orchestrating VMs 4.1. Together Hosting of Containers and VMs 4.2 Automated Backup and Restore for VMs 4.3 Ensure Replication for VMs 4.4 Setup Data Synchronization for VMs 5. Conclusion 1. Introduction Orchestration is a superset of automation. Cloud orchestration goes beyond automation, providing coordination between multiple automated activities. Cloud orchestration is increasingly essential due to the growth of containerization, which facilitates scaling applications across clouds, both public and private. The demand for both public cloud orchestration and hybrid cloud orchestration has increased as businesses increasingly adopt a hybrid cloud architecture. The quick adoption of containerized, micro-services-based apps that communicate over APIs has fueled the desire for automation in deploying and managing applications across the cloud. This increase in complexity has created a need for VM orchestration that can manage numerous dependencies across various clouds with policy-driven security and management capabilities. 2. What is Orchestration? Orchestration refers to the process of automating, coordinating, and managing complex systems, workflows, or processes. It typically entails the use of automation tools and platforms to streamline and coordinate the deployment, configuration, management of applications and services across different environments. This includes development, testing, staging, and production. Orchestration tools in cloud computing can be used to automate the deployment and administration of containerized applications across multiple servers or clusters. These tools can help automate tasks such as container provisioning, scaling, load balancing, and health monitoring, making it easier to manage complex application environments. Orchestration ensures organizations automate and streamline their workflows, reduce errors and downtime, and improve the efficacy and scalability of their operations. 3. How Orchestrating Help Optimize VMs Efficiency? Orchestration offers enhanced visibility into the resources and processes in use, which helps prevent VM sprawl and helps organizations trace resource usage by department, business unit, or individual user. Fig. Global Market for VNFO by Virtualization Methodology 2022-27($ million) (Source: Insight Research) The above figure shows, VMs have established a solid legacy that will continue to be relevant in the near to mid-term future. These are 6 ways, in which Orchestration helps vin efficient management of VMs: 3.1. Resource Optimization Orchestrating helps optimize resource utilization by automating the provisioning and de-provisioning of VMs, which allows for efficient use of computing resources. By using orchestration tools, IT teams can set up rules and policies for automatically scaling VMs based on criteria such as CPU utilization, memory usage, network traffic, and application performance metrics. Orchestration also enables advanced techniques such as predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize resource utilization. These technologies can analyze historical data and identify patterns in workload demand, allowing the orchestration system to predict future resource needs and automatically provision or de-provision resources accordingly 3.2. Dynamic Scaling Orchestrating helps automate scaling of VMs, enabling organizations to quickly and easily adjust their computing resources based on demand. It enables IT teams to configure scaling policies and regulations for virtual machines based on resource utilization and network traffic along with performance metrics. When the workload demand exceeds a certain threshold, the orchestration system can autonomously provision additional virtual machines to accommodate the increased load. When workload demand decreases, the orchestration system can deprovision VMs to free up resources and reduce costs. 3.3. Faster Deployment Orchestrating can help automate VM deployment of VMs, reducing the time and effort required to provision new resources. By leveraging advanced technologies such as automation, scripting, and APIs, orchestration can further streamline the VM deployment process. It allows IT teams to define workflows and processes that can be automated using scripts, reducing the time and effort required to deploy new resources. In addition, orchestration can integrate with other IT management tools and platforms, such as cloud management platforms, configuration management tools, and monitoring systems. This enables IT teams to leverage various capabilities and services to streamline the VM deployment and improve efficiency. 3.4. Improved Security Orchestrating can help enhance the security of VMs by automating the deployment of security patches and updates. It also helps ensure VMs are deployed with the appropriate security configurations and settings, reducing the risk of misconfiguration and vulnerability. It enables IT teams to define standard security templates and configurations for VMs, which can be automatically applied during deployment. Furthermore, orchestration can integrate with other security tools and platforms, such as intrusion detection systems and firewalls, to provide a comprehensive security solution. It allows IT teams to automate the deployment of security policies and rules, ensuring that workloads remain protected against various security threats. 3.5. Multi-Cloud Management Orchestration helps provide a single pane of glass for VM management, enabling IT teams to monitor and manage VMs across multiple cloud environments from a single platform. This simplifies management and reduces complexity, enabling IT teams to respond more quickly and effectively to changing business requirements. In addition, orchestration also helps to ensure consistency and compliance across multiple cloud environments. Moreover, orchestration can also integrate with other multi-cloud management tools and platforms, such as cloud brokers and cloud management platforms, to provide a comprehensive solution for managing VMs across multiple clouds. 3.6. Improved Collaboration Orchestration helps streamline collaboration by providing a centralized repository for storing and sharing information related to VMs. Moreover, it also automates many of the routine tasks associated with VM management, reducing the workload for IT teams and freeing up time for more complex tasks. This can improve collaboration by enabling IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives. In addition, orchestration provides advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling IT teams to track performance, identify bottlenecks, and optimize resource utilization. This improves performance by providing a data-driven approach to VM management and allowing IT teams to work collaboratively to identify and address performance issues. 4. Considerations while Orchestrating VMs 4.1. Together Hosting of Containers and VMs Containers and virtual machines exist together within a single infrastructure and are managed by the same platform. This allows for hosting various projects using a unified management point and the ability to adapt gradually based on current needs and opportunities. This provides greater flexibility for teams to host and administer applications using cutting-edge technologies and established standards and methods. Moreover, as there is no need to invest in distinct physical servers for virtual machines (VMs) and containers, this approach can be a great way to maximize infrastructure utilization, resulting in lower TCO and higher ROI. In addition, unified management drastically simplifies processes, requiring fewer human resources and less time. 4.2. Automated Backup and Restore for VMs --Minimize downtime and reduce risk of data loss Organizations should set up automated backup and restore processes for virtual machines, ensuring critical data and applications are protected during a disaster. This involves scheduling regular backups of virtual machines to a secondary location or cloud storage and setting up automated restore processes to recover virtual machines during an outage or disaster quickly. 4.3. Ensure Replication for VMs --Ensure data and applications are available and accessible in the event of a disaster Organizations should set up replication processes for their VMs, allowing them to be automatically copied to a secondary location or cloud infrastructure. This ensures that critical applications and data are available even during a catastrophic failure at the primary site. 4.4. Setup Data Synchronization for VMs --Improve overall resilience and availability of the system VM orchestration tools should be used to set up data synchronization processes between virtual machines, ensuring that data is consistent and up-to-date across multiple locations. This is particularly important in scenarios where data needs to be accessed quickly from various locations, such as in distributed environments. 5. Conclusion Orchestration provides disaster recovery and business continuity, automatic scalability of distributed systems, and inter-service configuration. Cloud orchestration is becoming significant due to the advent of containerization, which permits scaling applications across clouds, both public and private. We expect continued growth and innovation in the field of VM orchestration, with new technologies and tools emerging to support more efficient and effective management of virtual machines in distributed environments. In addition, as organizations increasingly rely on cloud-based infrastructures and distributed systems, VM orchestration will continue to play a vital role in enabling businesses to operate smoothly and recover quickly from disruptions. VM orchestration will remain a critical component of disaster recovery and high availability strategies for years as organizations continue relying on virtualization technologies to power their operations and drive innovation.

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