Our digital world is characterized by relentless data growth and technology innovation, and increasingly advanced persistent threats. In this environment, security of the data center – as the foundation of the IT enterprise – is absolutely critical. And it demands a new strategy to overcome the vulnerabilities associated with Data Center 1.0.
In this final installment of our three-part series written for the enterprise CSO, we’ll explore that new strategy – Data Center 2.0 – and why it is the only road toward ensuring data security into the future.
Hardware standardization and software-enabled Intelligent Control
I ended my last post calling for a new, bottom-up strategy and a set of capabilities to integrate and optimize the security in our data centers. We call this strategy Data Center 2.0. From a security standpoint, Data Center 2.0 focuses on hardware standardization and software-enabled intelligent control to help us better see, know, and secure.
By using a standardized manufacturing approach with repeatable processes, Data Center 2.0 offers a baseline for understanding and deploying secure data center infrastructure in standardized units. At IO, these standardized units are called IO.Anywhere modules. The standardized approach at IO Factory includes assembling tested and certified modular data center infrastructure using a vetted supply chain.
The key security attributes of the Data Center 2.0 strategy include:
1. Tested, certified, standardized data center infrastructure built within repeatable manufacturing processes, using a trusted and vetted supply chain that includes an assembly process in which modules can be hardened and tested even to the highest levels of national security requirements
2. A data center operating system that establishes a baseline and framework for information sharing across the IT stack
3. A hardened applications program interface that allows enterprise leaders to see and know their enterprises in new ways – from the foundation of the IT stack and up – providing analytics that can proactively detect and mitigate threats to the IT stack
In a January 2013 report furthering recommendations for Cloud deployment, the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Science Board independently validated these points. Among the report’s findings: “New modular cloud data center hardware offers the DoD an opportunity for rapid enhancement of the overall computing enterprise in a secure and resilient manner.” As the DoD – with about 15,000 networks and 7 million servers – recommends modular data center strategies and technology, other critical government and business enterprises would do very well to consider the same, to improve their efficiency and security and to reduce their overall enterprise risk.
At IO, we’re committed to helping our partners in government and private enterprise implement the Data Center 2.0 strategy. That begins with an assessment of the status quo of data center infrastructure security, which we’re doing in collaboration with clients using penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. Beyond this, we seek to position our intelligent operating system as a baseline to better understand, know, and secure legacy and new modular data center environments.