Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins recently outlined what drives the company’s partnership with Google on a cloud network and his arguments mostly seem to come down to security. More specifically, the notion comes down to Google’s open-source cloud platform Istio, built in partnership with IBM and Lyft. According to Robbins, the network is an integral part of its services and “plays a tremendous role” in security. It also helps with policy, the CEO continued, pointing out that the platform allows customers to get work done while also enabling active defenses for their applications. The Istio platform allows for individualization of cloud applications and easy deployment of those across multiple cloud systems. In this case, Cisco is building its own solutions for customers on that platform which allow seamless integration with Google’s Cloud Platform.
Beyond that, Istio enables applications built on it to be moved from one cloud service to another seamlessly, which is precisely what Cisco was looking for in a partner to begin with. Those can be rolled out individually or to groups in a more granular fashion, with fine-tuned control over who sees which applications and on what platforms regardless of which platform it is deployed on. Because of those mesh-like capabilities, the platform is able to be more policy focused so that there is a lot more control over which apps can talk to each other, as well. In addition to the security that provides, and perhaps more importantly, all of that is authenticated and secured via mutual TLS connection. That brings a relatively high level of security, meeting SPIFFE specifications, without policy-makers needing to manage individual certificates. Finally, the platform touts the ability to let operators use retries, load balancing, flow-control, and circuit-breaking – which act to offset some common problems caused by network stability issues.
The CEO says that all of that is a key part of solving problems that need to be addressed in the connected tech world without compromising on the ability to take in data from multiple points and correlate that dynamically. It’s also what is enabling the company to face down more than “20 billion threats” every day but still defend against those in real-time and across its entire customer base.
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