June 16, 2016 | Written by: Jason Gartner
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A perfect storm is defined as an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. It generally builds quickly to a point where it possesses tremendous energy which must be dissipated. Depending on the specifics of the situation, it can potentially lead to a violent reaction creating significant collateral damage.
A perfect storm is brewing in the IT world. It is no secret that all industries are undergoing a transformation towards digital, driving enterprises toward cloud, API and cognitive solutions. In a digital, cloud and cognitive world, applications are only as valuable as the information and data they access. For most companies, data is a strategic advantage over new competitors, safely locked away behind the walls of their data center. The data is exposed in a secure and controlled way to feed these innovative digital apps. In the middle of this connection between the cloud and your data center is the edge gateway, which must provide both awareness and control of digital traffic. As it turns out, the gateway is in the middle of its own perfect storm. Let me describe the various elements of this perfect storm:
New services, APIs and workloads are created quickly, but so are new security hacks and denial of service attacks. Businesses no longer have patience for traditional service delivery models, and new marketing campaigns and applications are rolling out on a daily basis. This speed of delivery is adding volatility and uncertainty to the workload.
The skills in the gateway world have not kept up with the speed of transformation taking place in many businesses. Scaling, testing, security policies, management and maintenance are all still largely done with a traditional mindset. The lack of agile processes, configurations, scaling clusters and isolation environments are creating unwanted side effects in a world that has been very closely managed inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
Vendors and some businesses have not been quick to recognize this fundamental change in requirements for an edge gateway. New innovative capabilities need to be created to address these new volatile workloads, security threats and agile processes. Innovation in this space has largely been incremental, not transformative.
The gateway solution
To weather this perfect storm, enterprises need a gateway solution to combat these growing elements. Businesses need a secure and reliable edge gateway with flexible and robust capabilities to field new workloads. There are two important solutions that need to be addressed if businesses hope to make it through: A dashboard system to oversee the environment and a secure and scalable gateway infrastructure.
First, a dashboard is like a weather forecasting system. Businesses should no longer rely on the stars for navigation, but should use real data instead to analyze real services. A dashboard provides a single view to help understand the ever-changing environment of your services across all physical or virtual instances. Embracing the unpredictability of your workload is the first step toward controlling it and an operations dashboard will help you do just that.
Second, enterprises need a cloud-native and virtual image form factors to drive the creation of an agile gateway infrastructure that is secure and scalable. This provides the same level of security and peace of mind as with a hardened appliance, while also taking agility, deployability and scalability to a whole new level. Integrating the gateway directly into your automated DevOps environments will help you to address the incoming storm front.
With a trusted navigator by your side, solutions can be provided to guide you through the gateway storm. The new IBM DataPower Operations Dashboard and Datapower Docker solutions can help businesses weather the gateway storm by providing oversight of the gateway environment while nurturing an agile DevOps environment. If you would like to learn more about IBM’s gateway solutions, please click here.