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Cloud / March 18, 2021

You Can’t Trust All Abstraction Layers

Updated September 30, 2021.

“All of this has happened before and will happen again” is one of my favorite sayings on the TV show Battlestar Galactica (2005–2009). Humans have relatively short memories. What seems new to us now is an evolution of activities and events from the past. This theme plays out in civilizations, fashion, ideology, philosophy — and especially in information technology.

We had the mainframes of the 1980s with time sharing user access.

We had the decentralization of data with Microsoft Windows NT (Windows Server) in the 1990s.

We had the virtualization revolution of the 2000s with VMware.

We had the bursting of clouds with Amazon Web Services in the 2010s.

Are you seeing the pattern here?

Marketers reimagine the old, slap a catchy name on it, and sell the idea as something brand new. Don’t get me wrong, though — the world changed dramatically with the introduction of the World Wide Web.

For example, Zoom, the app that has been powering most of the globe’s teleconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, is a combination of 30 years of technological advancements wrapped up into an efficient, easy-to-use solution.

But I’m here to warn you that we should not trust all abstraction technologies.

None of us worry too much about Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) abstraction layers; it’s easy to trust Amazon to provide a secure physical infrastructure of CPU, memory, and storage. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons to rent compute space from Amazon; they buy and build in bulk and pass on the cost savings to us. (And it’s super nice to outsource the headache of managing the hardware.)

However, many also feel secure with the network abstractions that the public cloud provides. Software-defined networking (SDN) evolved from a concept that emerged in the 1970s, but we need to remember this network is a highway into our intellectual property. Just as we provide guardrails on dangerous, winding mountain roads, we need to add safeguards in the highly dynamic world of container-based microservices, at the forefront of what’s known as digital transformation (DX).

Thanks to DX, innovation is happening at the speed of light, bringing new challenges that we want our developers to solve in innovative ways. Increasingly, this involves recruiting public cloud services — bringing private and public together in a hybrid cloud network. However, we shouldn’t trust all the abstractions available in the public cloud.

That doesn’t mean the choice has to be binary, though. Gigamon Hawk, the industry’s first elastic visibility fabric for all data in motion, can help you extend the life and reach of your on-premises gear, security tool stack, and know-how to the global scale of the public cloud. You can utilize the best of both private and public cloud to solve your business needs, while still running fast and staying secure.

Technology keeps evolving, and Gigamon is here to help you keep up. As IT moves into its latest phase, Gigamon Hawk helps you close the security and visibility gap between private and public cloud, and take advantage of everything the hybrid cloud has to offer.

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