2019 Prediction: Enterprises Will Use AI to Replace VPNs with Micro-Perimeters to Optimize Hybrid Cloud Application Performance
January 24, 2019

Don Boxley
DH2i

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Many enterprises are pursuing a hybrid IT strategy involving integrated on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources. This pursuit will create application performance issues stemming from one key area: leveraging the public internet.

For enterprises the public Internet is both a boon and a danger. The public Internet's global reach offers an easy and cost-effective means for engaging large numbers of customers, regardless of location. However, using the public internet to connect users with business-critical workloads brings risks.

Businesses survive on speed. Customers don't like to wait, and each moment waiting has real revenue implications. Companies investing heavily in hybrid IT strategy around enterprise applications are making these investments to gain an edge, but these investments will only deliver a positive return if the applications are able to run at maximum performance allowed.

As an access path to the cloud, the performance of the public Internet can be limited by traffic and throughput impediments, which can impact the effectiveness of workloads right at peak load times. If enterprise applications struggle to deal with peak loads, this can result in the business suffering revenue loss, damage to their reputation and failing to meet the objectives of moving to a hybrid cloud strategy.

This performance issue can become even more severe as an organization seeks to improve network security by adding secure connectivity in order to reduce security exposure via the public internet by using traditional VPNs, which can cut throughput in half. But traditional VPN software solutions are obsolete for the new IT reality of hybrid and multi-cloud. They weren't designed for them. They're complex to configure, not performant, and they give users a "slice of the network," creating a lateral network attack surface.

A new class of purpose-built security software is emerging to eliminate these issues and disrupt the cloud VPN market. This new security software will enable organizations to build lightweight dynamic micro-perimeters to secure their application- and workload-centric connections between on-premises and cloud/hosted environments, with virtually no attack surface and without the performance issues of VPNs.

Because of the ease of use this new class of security software organizations will utilize at 1-2-3-100+ deployment strategy. That is, they'll deploy micro-perimeters for workload #1. Satisfied it meets the performance and security requirements, they'll deploy micro-perimeters for workload #2, and then deploy for workload #3. At that point, the organization will require micro-perimeters for every application, which could be 100s of workloads with thousands of users. This is the point organizations will turn to artificial intelligence (AI). This is where organizations will leverage their learnings in artificial intelligence to find products that can automate, manage and simplify the machine learning (ML) for each enterprise application's unique connectivity network to map out the optimal deployment of micro-perimeters. This deployment plan will enable organizations to aggressively implement micro-perimeters with the eventual goal of the AI engine deploying and updating micro-perimeters automatically.

Don Boxley is CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i
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