AWS re:Invent – Day 1 Insights by Ethan Simmons, Managing Partner, PTP

The first full day of AWS re:invent is in the books and as you walk the show floor you can’t miss the number of booths sponsored by cloud security and networking companies. I spent some time visiting with a few of these companies and overheard many of the re:invent attendees asking the vendors why they need third-party services for network and security; can’t they just use the native tools that their cloud provider has developed? For organizations that are in their initial foray into delivering applications in the cloud, native services will do, but as these applications become mission critical, span multiple cloud providers, and their performance impacts end-user experience, a robust network and security framework, beyond what the cloud providers offer, is often required. The heterogeneous nature of cloud computing has led to levels of network and security complexity never experienced before by IT departments.

At PTP, we are working with organizations that are in various phases of cloud adoption. Most have some footprint in at least two of the major cloud providers and most have some need to connect their cloud infrastructure to third parties to share or transmit data. The early adopters of cloud computing within these organizations were typically the “DevOps guys” that started developing applications and services in AWS. Their grassroots efforts and sometimes rogue projects proved that developing and delivering applications in the cloud was a more effective model. During the application development process very little attention was paid to the networking and security aspects of their cloud infrastructures. As the applications became closer to production ready, the development teams engaged with their IT departments to discuss deployment of the application to end users. From this point on, IT departments are playing catch-up to provide solid security and networking practices that work in the cloud to securely connect users to applications, and applications to data that may reside in multiple clouds or legacy on-premises data centers. IT departments tried to use the native tools that their cloud provider offered but, due to unfamiliarity and lack of experience, implemented many of the legacy tools from their data center experience, such as load balancers, firewalls, and routers, building a Frankenstein network of native and non-native tools and creating an infrastructure that was overly complex and impossible to support at scale.

The pervasive use of cloud services for application development has allowed organizations of all sizes to accelerate their own innovation, bringing products to market faster, or develop lifesaving drugs more efficiently. The adoption of cloud native strategies has become the new normal. The PTP team’s DNA comes from years of helping organizations build robust networks with a security framework that is inherent in the design. Our team pivoted early on from traditional data center networking to the cloud models that our clients are looking for today. We have been an early advocate of many of the new cloud networking and security services that allow our clients to simplify their cloud networking and provide the security visibility that is needed. PTP will be sponsoring several cloud networking events in the near future. We hope that you will attend and hear more about the networking and security services highlighted at re:invent and in production at many of our clients today.

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