One of the biggest challenges faced by IT is how to provide services not just quickly but cost-effectively and safely.
The thing that makes provisioning such a hard problem to handle is that in an enterprise network environment there are so many moving parts; routers, switches, storage devices, firewalls, load-balancers, real servers, virtual servers… it’s a long list. And coming, as each type of device usually does, from multiple vendors, each with a different set of configuration rules, there’s a continuously expanding explosion of complexity for IT to deal with.
In such an environment, change management becomes a nightmare and a single error can have a domino effect causing a cascade of problems that lead to outages and downtime that result in huge costs and business loss.
It’s a problem that sounds like it might be constrained by the “Iron Triangle of Project Management” ... the Iron Triangle says you can have it fast, good, and cheap, just not all three at the same time; you get to pick two out of three. It turns out that IT can defeat the Iron Triangle or, at the very least, reduce the costs of the tradeoffs by using orchestration.
A simple definition of orchestration is a system of automated rule-based management of the moving parts to make modifications to infrastructure and services fast, safe, and cheap. A company with a great story on IT orchestration is Tufin Software Technologies Ltd. Their products sit between the network infrastructure and enterprise applications providing unified firewall management, network change automation, and application delivery management.
Tufin's SecureTrack unified firewall management dashboard
SecureTrack, Tufin’s unified firewall management system, provides central management of devices with change tracking, alerting and reporting; policy configuration analysis and optimization; and rule recertification. Network change management is provided by SecureChange which provides IT automation and service provisioning, enforcement of corporate security policies, proactive risk analysis, SLA tracking, ticketing and help desk systems integration while application delivery management is handled by Tufin’s SecureApp which handles application definition, automatic application discovery, migration and decommissioning, connectivity monitoring and troubleshooting, service dependency analysis, and self-service portals.
Tufin's orchestration products work with traditional network devices (Juniper, Check Point, and Cisco) as well as software defined networks (OpenFlow, Open Daylight, and HP SDN), virtual networks (VMware, Plumgrid, and Openstack), and cloud services (Amazon Web Services and Openstack).
What’s so interesting about orchestration is that it moves IT out of the artisanal plumbing management business into being a virtually turnkey services provider. Most importantly, operational errors are eliminated and structural change problems avoided (check out Tufin’s collection of case studies).
Tufin has a very impressive story that’s worth checking out. Just imagine your IT operations streamlined and error-free ... all you stand to lose is the Iron Triangle that’s strangling your IT efficiency