When you're hoping to spend a day at the beach, a break in the clouds is a good thing. But if you've tied your business to platform-as-a-service (PaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS), or identity-as-a-service (IaaS) then a break in those clouds could spell disaster.
But there is hope, I might even say a silver lining (but that would be worthy of a groan or two) in the announcements coming out of this week's Cloud Computing Expo, especially the one talking about the three new releases from Layer 7, parts of the Layer 7 CloudSpan cloud broker suite. The suite is designed to remove adoption barriers (and the critical objections that create them) for cloud consumers and providers wanting to more easily access cloud services, run applications safely in the cloud or deliver cloud IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services to clients, partners and developers. Each of Layer 7's CloudSpan products addresses a critical need for cloud computing:
* CloudConnect -- serves as an organization's gateway to the cloud. Using a combination of access control, secure integration and aggregated usage tracking, Layer 7 CloudConnect makes it possible for enterprises to create a secure channel to SaaS providers.
* CloudProtect -- provides security in the cloud. Layer 7 CloudProtect helps enterprises establish secure perimeters around each cloud application (virtual private applications), ensuring data isolation and central policy control.
* CloudControl -- gives service providers the ability to manage and control how their cloud services get published to clients, partners and developers. With Layer 7 CloudControl, service providers can secure, manage and orchestrate how third parties invoke their provisioning and application APIs.
I'm particularly exited about CloudConnect. This allows the enterprise to retain authentication and authorization control within their hard-wired perimeter while still allowing users to access, seamlessly, applications and services from multiple cloud-based service providers in a browser-based, portal-like configuration. Users aren't bogged down with remembering security controls nor do they need to know where a service they're using resides -- which, in itself, is one more security control. Provisioning and de-provisioning are likewise made much easier.
Easier access for the users, less work for IT and help desk and better security for the enterprise's assets. What's not to like? Visit the Web site to learn more, or come to the European Identity Conference in a couple of weeks where Layer 7's Francois Lascelles (Technical Director, EMEA) will join me for a discussion of cloud security and data portability.
Before that, though, is next week's Las Angeles edition of The Experts Conference. Hope to see you there!