The VAR Guy Blog

Intelligent Workload Management Is Cloud Security

It seems every other IT article these days mentions the cloud. (I guess you can add this one to the tally as well.) But has the cloud really arrived? While the conversation around cloud computing is hot, usage is quite a bit cooler. As I stated previously in this blog, enterprises and VARs are taking their time transitioning workloads to the cloud.

Why the delay? In a word: security. Or more precisely, questions about security. Once you put a critical workload “out there” in a public cloud—or even a private cloud for that matter—how can you guarantee it’s safe from hackers and thieves? How do you maintain compliance? And who’s accountable? Needless to say, business and IT managers alike have their concerns.

Organizations need to secure data while still allowing users the required levels of access to do their jobs. Novell CEO, Ron Hovsepian, explains, “The emergence of virtual and cloud-driven business models has created new challenges around identity and access management. CIOs need a consistent, extensible platform for managing identities inside and outside the walls of their enterprise—or their cloud strategy will fail.”

One approach that’s helping minimize concerns about cloud computing is intelligent workload management (IWM). IWM integrates identity management capabilities directly into application workloads, thus enabling built-in security, manageability, regulatory compliance and portability.

In its June 2010 white paper, titled Intelligent Workload Management: Opportunities and Challenges, IDC analysts insist that, “Enterprises are wise to consider how these automation and security investments play into a more robust intelligent workload management strategy so as to be able to transparently exploit new application packaging models as they become available.”

To enable location-independent delivery and access of critical business services, you must provide proven, future-friendly capabilities to secure, provision, manage and measure these services. Moreover, to deliver the true value of IWM and other utility computing models, all of these capabilities must be delivered as well-integrated solutions.

Many analysts believe policy-based access and identity management is the gating item to the rapid adoption of IWM. With the recent launch of Novell Identity Manager 4, Novell delivers both policy-based access and identity management. Identity Manager 4 is the industry’s first identity management solution to include cloud-aware SaaS drivers, so companies can easily tackle cloud application provisioning and deprovisioning, and have insight into users’ real-time access rights and actions in the cloud.

The future of computing will include a diverse combination of internal applications on physical hardware as well as virtually hosted and remote SaaS applications. Companies must be able to enforce their access and security processes across all of these workloads and ensure compliance practices are extended to the cloud—without totally redesigning their systems and processes. Therefore, regardless of which identity and access management solution you choose to recommend to customers, you would be well advised to examine the capabilities of Novell Identity Manager 4.

In next month’s blog, I’ll look at what’s required to manage IWM and related channel opportunities.

Dan Dufault is global director of partner marketing at Novell. Guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship program. Read all of Dufault's guest blogs here.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Tim Wessels (not verified)
on Jul 11, 2010
Intelligent workload management (IWM) is a given for anyone with more than the simplest virtualization environment. Novell's agnostic approach to IWM is based on PlateSpin's technology, which is currently available for use in on-premises virtualized environments. Last November Novell made their initial announcements about IWM and the eight product mashup that would be brought to bear on the matter. In June Novell announced Novell Cloud Manager, which is in private beta and won't be released until Q4 2010. It seems to be focused on private cloud management and not on public or hybrid cloud management. Private clouds are in their formative stages and Eucalyptus is about all you have to work with right now. Private clouds seem to be of interest to enterprise customers eager to re-tool their virtualized data centers into self-provisioning private clouds. The SMB market, which doesn't own data centers, will be moving to the public cloud providers, so let's hope Novell has thought about their needs too for management and self-provisioning. With regard to cloud security, Novell has the right idea with SUSE Studio and the JeOS approach to creating secure virtual appliances that are ready-to-run in the cloud. And a couple of months ago Novell announced their big deal with Verizon to provide Novell Cloud Security Service to be used by Verizon on their customer portals. The "cloud aware" IDM4 was part of the deal. I hope it is easier to work with than the previous IDM releases. Even Novell Press was never able to get a book published on how to use IDM. I expect that enterprise customers will be interested in leveraging their legacy directory technology into the cloud by using some form of cloud federation...I've seen some of the BrainShare 2010 slidedecks from Novell's Dale Olds and they are informative to look at. However, I think most SMBs will find it easier to just obsolete their legacy directory technology, if they have one, and move their IDM into the cloud. So what I want to know from Novell is who they are trying to reach with Novell Cloud Services and Novell Cloud Manager? Right now it looks like the SMB customer will need to go elsewhere, since I get the strong scent of "enterprise" wafting from these two Novell offerings.
Post new comment
or register to use your The VAR Guy ID

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×