Elasticity of Scale: Can Your Cloud Security Keep Up?

Nov 20, 2019
3 minutes

As you move your security to the cloud, your users benefit from uniform security and improved experience, but one consideration is consistent with traditional security methods. Capacity planning is critical for both on-premises and cloud security solutions to prevent slow downs or disruptions to your business. 

As time passes, your user count will typically increase as well as the bandwidth requirements of their devices and applications. 5G wireless technology will create a new generation of always-on, connected mobile users, with high expectations for experience and performance. Additionally, more applications are moving to the cloud, with ever increasing complexity and performance requirements. Your cloud security will almost certainly need to scale up to address these increases. If your cloud security vendor has to rack and stack boxes in order to do this, are they really cloud?

We all know the time and complexity involved in adding resources to co-located data centers. It can take months or even years to add capacity, refresh aging equipment or expand to new locations, especially when specialized hardware and software is involved. For example, if electric companies had to rack and stack individual generators in order to scale their capacity, two things would happen: First, the cost of electricity would increase drastically. Second, the reliability of service delivery would severely degrade.

The same can be said for your security vendor, and despite what might be said in the sales pitch, every company is limited by real-world factors. If your vendor has not built a truly elastic solution, your business will suffer. Be sure to select a cloud environment that has the scale and efficiency to deliver a reliable security experience to users across the globe.

Some things to consider and ask when selecting your vendor:

  • Can the vendor dynamically auto-scale? What is the timeline to double capacity in the geographic regions that matter to my business?
  • How often has the vendor forced customers to fail-over their traffic to a different region or datacenter due to a performance related issue?
  • Can traffic from other companies impact the performance of my business traffic? What happens if a large customer is onboarded in my region?
  • Is my vendor dependent on specialized hardware offload cards in order to perform SSL inspection?
  • Regardless of how many points of presence the vendor advertises, how many are accessible and usable by my organization? Do any carry additional surcharges?
  • Will my vendor be able to accommodate my bandwidth requirements as my locations gain access to faster broadband links?
  • Can I use dedicated IP addresses or will my traffic egress from IP addresses shared by other customers?

Strides have been made in technology in the past few years, but we are just arriving at the advent of the Internet age. According to the Global Digital Report 2019 from the London media company We Are Social, only 57% of the world’s population currently uses the Internet in some capacity. That percentage seems bound to rise. As technology accelerates and accessibility increases, customers and vendors alike must be as agile as possible to meet demand. Not every business will survive in a cloud-first world. Will yours?

Learn more about protecting your headquarters, data centers, branch offices and mobile users as you journey to the cloud.

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