Article VMware’s Project Northstar: Navigating in Multi-Cloud Networking and Security
By Insight UK / 13 Sep 2022
By Insight UK / 13 Sep 2022
Do you wish that you could secure and manage all of your assets across multiple clouds using SaaS products? Products that can work hand in hand to enable you as a service provider and your customers innovate and get to market quicker? Then this is for you.
Many companies today have both multi-cloud and multi-site deployments to support their workloads and applications. Not surprisingly, it helps them to adapt quickly, both to external and internal developments. New tech enhances customer experience, helps the business grow and makes the new (digital) distributed workforce more productive and engaged. As a service provider you are enabling all this for your customers. After all, it is what the market is asking for nowadays.
Yet there is one BUT to this new reality: it's not getting any easier for you. Deploying, managing servicing, and securing all those diverse workloads in different clouds, often both private and public, brings enormous complexity. You wish you had a whole army of employees to do it all, but unfortunately the practice is more unruly. Moreover, new personnel are scarce and technology changes at lightning speed.
Like no other, you know the risks that a multi-cloud infrastructure brings. The architecture for connecting all the applications and clouds is becoming increasingly complicated. So are the security rules for protecting them. On the other hand, you have less and less overview and control on what is happening on all those devices and in all those applications, which makes it harder to intervene.
So, you need to find a smart solution that can meet the networking and security challenges. An integrated management and security platform that allows you to configure networks and set security policies for all your workloads, wherever they reside. That can be quite a search, but why make it difficult for yourself when such a solution already exists?
With VMware’s new evolution of existing and new products, this will become a reality. Announced at VM Explore 2022 US – VMworld now is VMware Explore – Project Northstar brings about an evolution of VMware’s NSX platforms and services.
Project Northstar is designed as in a holistic approach offering unified policies for managing a multi-cloud environment as a SaaS service from one console. According to VMware’s Umesh Mahajan: “Project Northstar is a SaaS-based network and security offering that will empower NSX customers with a set of on-demand multi-cloud networking and security services, end-to-end visibility, and controls through a centralised cloud console.” Project Northstar comes with the following components all offered as a service to help you deliver your services more quickly and securely with less resource:
Project Northstar will enable you to manage a single pane of glass to plan and deploy your policies across multi-cloud environments. This consistency will ensure that your in-house policies and guardrails are in place and active where you need them, wherever your assets are deployed.
NSX Intelligence service will be powered by a centrally managed, scalable data lake which is managed by VMware. This resource can absorb vast amounts of data, including traffic flow, to provide in-depth analysis and recommendations for your network and polices across your multi-cloud deployments. Presented with visualisation tools, it will provide real-time traffic and security insight.
This service will provide threat detection and response for your assets deployed across your multi-cloud environments. The service analyses the Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS), malware, and anomaly events providing up to the minute, clear and simple monitoring, and notifications into your Security Operations Centre.
This service will implement the advanced load balancer controller as a VMware-managed service that can be used stand-alone or in conjunction with other Project Northstar SaaS services. Customers will be able to access the VMware-managed Advanced Load Balancer provider, which is full-featured and multi-tenant, simplifying operations through central customer management.
Evolving from the functionality of VMware HCX, Workload Mobility provides secure orchestration of connectivity and workload mobility across multiple sites. This enables you to manage workload migration across and between multi-cloud environments to deploy your apps and services based around your specific requirements.
All of the above services are managed “as a service” by VMware. These SaaS services enable consistent policies, operations, and automation across your multi-cloud environments. By accessing the cloud console in Northstar provided by VMware, you will be able to apply networking, security and governance policies across their private cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments.
Siloed cloud operations and management vs. SaaS-managed Project Northstar
The North Star has been a guiding light for people to navigate in the right direction for ages. Project Northstar can be your guiding light in the ever more complex multi-cloud world.
If you are interested in more information on this and how will pertain to you and your customers, together with the opportunities that it will bring, please contact one of our cloud specialists for a talk. As a VMware Aggregator Partner, Insight is able to offer guidance on VMware’s portfolio within the VMware Cloud Provider and Managed Service Provider Programs.