Cybersecurity has never been more important but keeping up with evolving technology standards can be a complicated, resource-intensive task. As organizations increasingly embrace the convenience of the cloud, security protocols have to adapt as well.
“Modern cloud deployment can be very complex,” says Gadi Naor, CTO & co-founder, Alcide.io, a Tel Aviv-based information security firm. “There are often lots of moving parts and shifting parameters that can be hard to operate and secure.” Alcide aims to provide a complete security solution designed specifically for cloud-based infrastructure. With a single platform, customers gain access to a threat intelligence solution using the company’s proprietary machine learning algorithms, a deep level of visibility into their systems, and security segmentation at the microservices level.
“In a cloud-native environment, services run on different workloads so you can’t base your security around servers,” says Gadi. “By focusing on the microservices, we’re taking firewalls to the next level.”
Over the last few years, cloud deployment has been shifting from virtual machine environments, based around servers and hardware, towards container-based systems, where the architecture is broken down into components. Each component performs a single task and they communicate with each other via APIs and messaging systems. A system like this makes it easier for companies to scale up and down quickly and maintain large workloads, compared to a more traditional architecture. Early on, Alcide developed its architecture around Kubernetes, an open source container solution from Google.
Even with Kubernetes, Alcide knew that it could make its deployments faster. “We were provisioning new clusters manually, which took days, even for experienced DevOps staff,” says Gadi. “That was too much time from our perspective.” In addition, the time and effort needed for maintaining clusters and managing security meant that Alcide’s tight resources were being stretched thin. In early 2017, the company began looking for managed services with Kubernetes.
Reduced deployment time for increased productivity
Kubernetes Engine and Google Cloud Platform have enabled Alcide and its security platform to achieve a new level of elasticity by slashing the time taken to deploy new environments. “Provisioning new clusters used to take two to three days,” says Gadi. “With our templates in Kubernetes Engine, we can now do it in 20 minutes.” This has helped Alcide scale its platform to accommodate large enterprise stacks with thousands of nodes and hundreds of thousands of workloads.
Meanwhile, Google’s managed services made maintaining and updating clusters much easier for Alcide. With much of the DevOps burden lifted, engineers could now work on more important business objectives.
“For a startup like ours, we want to move fast, close the gaps with our customers and provide as much feature functionality as we can,” says Gadi. “Google Cloud Platform lets us concentrate on writing our own business logic and implementing the application, without having to worry about the infrastructure.”