vCider creating safe, secure, multi-cloud networks

How can organizations safely deploy applications and application components in the cloud and still control access? vCider believes its virtual private network tools for cloud computing is the answer.

Chris Marino, the CEO and co-founder of vCider, stopped by to both introduce himself and introduce his company. vCider is offering tools to help organizations create their own virtual private networks to link applications and their components together as if they were all on the same local area network.

What vCider has to say about its offerings

vCider's on-demand secure cloud networking solution lets you connect all your systems, wherever they are, in your own secure Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Start by connecting all your systems—across regions and providers—with our distributed virtual switch. Next, extend your enterprise LAN securely into the cloud with our virtual network gateway. Finally, secure all your resources by 'cloaking' your cloud network, rendering it invisible to all malicious traffic.

Snapshot analysis

Security technology for cloud computing and virtual environments has been quite a lively space over the last year or so. The large suppliers, such as BMC, HP, IBM and others, have been extending their current offerings to support cloud computing. A whole host of smaller firms, such as BigSwitch, Embrane, ConteXtream, Nicira and others have jumped in to address requirements not addressed by the larger suppliers.

Quite a few of these suppliers are focused on helping service suppliers create a reliable and secure environment. Customers often don't feel that they have the access to the low level infrastructure to erect their own security barriers. vCider sees this as its primary opportunity.

vCider's focus is offering end users the tools needed to create their own private virtual networks that link their own data centers to those owned by the cloud service providers. This includes a virtual network switch that controls a virtual system's access to the network, a set of APIs allowing the network to be brought under control of a customer's favorite network management tool, a gateway to connect different data centers together safely and a dashboard making it easy for customers to define and control their virtual private clouds.

These tools make it possible for a complete cloud computing environment to be hidden behind a "cloak" so that the attack surface is much smaller. Within the network, the vCider software maintains a single network domain. All of the familier layer-2 functions, such as multicast, broadcast, address resolution protocol (ARP), etc., are made available. Customers are also able to assign IP addresses from a private address range or use some other scheme. Customers may create as many virtual networks as needed. Each virtual network is isolated from all of the rest even though they're sharing a common network infrastructure.

I like the fact that IT network administrators can manage the network linking together local data centers with those made available by one or more cloud service providers in the same way they mange networks today. There would be a very small learning curve and the levels of security would be greatly enhanced.