As companies have moved forward with digital transformation initiatives, their environments have become increasingly complex to manage. The result is that ITOps, DevOps and cloud teams are finding it overly challenging to keep applications and networks running smoothly.
SolarWinds has released a new solution, SolarWinds Observability, that simplifies and makes it more cost effective to manage increasingly complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments. We spoke with SolarWinds Head Geek Chrystal Taylor to discuss how cloud security has evolved, how this new platform addresses challenges organizations are facing, and how cloud security is shaping up for 2023.
What makes the new platform unique?
SolarWinds Observability showcases our ability to pivot to respond to customer needs. Environments are becoming increasingly complex and diverse. Our customers have been requesting a SaaS platform that will provide them with a centralized platform to gain comprehensive and unified visibility into these distributed, hybrid, multi-cloud, complex environments. SolarWinds Observability is our response to that. Our hope is to make it easier for DevOps, IT Ops, SecOps, and cloud teams to be more proactive and gain actionable insights to identify and remediate issues quickly. It’s available as a cloud-native offering on both Azure and AWS clouds, and can pull data from Open Telemetry (OTel) agents – not just the ones we provide – as well as monitoring data from customers’ Hybrid Cloud Observability environments. We will continue to improve and iterate on this platform expanding device support, integrating more AI/ML functionality, and more to continue to meet and exceed expectations for a truly observable environment.
What challenges is it solving?
Digital transformation initiatives and the shift to remote work have made IT environments increasingly complex and managing and maintaining these hybrid and multi-cloud environments has become increasingly challenging. On average, organizations employ 2.6 public and 2.7 private clouds and use more than a dozen monitoring solutions to keep track of their network infrastructure. The intention of SolarWinds Observability is to make managing these environments much simpler by providing single-pane-of-glass visibility across these multi-cloud environments. The solution is powered by AI and machine learning to expedite anomaly identification and resolution.
How has cloud security evolved and how has SolarWinds evolved with the needs of the market?
SolarWinds developed our Secure by Design principles – and continues to iterate on these principles – to help the entire software community, including ourselves, build more secure software and environments to withstand the continually evolving threat landscape. SolarWinds Observability was developed using these principles and a rigorous adherence to an advanced, multi-layer security framework.
We’ve been transitioning from a monitoring to observability strategy to provide our customers with the necessary tools and solutions to digitally transform their companies. Traditionally, our business solely focused on tools which monitored networks, systems, applications, and databases. However, as market needs have evolved, the need for an observability transformation became apparent. The first step in our shift to observability involved the introduction of our SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability solution as an on-premise solution this past April. This solution was also built from the ground up with our Secure by Design principles, as do the continual updates for both solutions. Through a subscription-first approach, we’ve integrated and packaged our solutions in a way that makes them easier for customers to access while maintaining the integrity of the tools we spent the last 20+ years building to provide insight and visibility to IT Pros. SolarWinds Observability is our next step in this evolution. We designed it to deliver simplicity, security, and great value to DevOps, SecOps, CloudOps, and IT Ops professionals, empowering all customers on their digital transformation journeys.
How do you see cloud security shaping up in 2023? How will the threats and the challenges evolve for organizations?
I see it becoming more of a focus in the industry. Security, at least in IT, can often be seen as a cumbersome inconvenience but I think this perspective is starting to shift. I think we’re going to start to see companies increasingly conduct security testing earlier and more frequently in the software development process. The sooner we involve security in the conversation, the less work we need to do later. To use an example, if I’m building a house out of Legos without giving any consideration toward its future, that opens up the opportunity for someone to see it and easily figure out how to take it down or make another one that’s stronger and more protected. Or even, to accidentally dismantle it through negligence. I need to build with an eye towards potential threats and protect it from those threats if I want it to last. We need to start looking at security in this way while we’re still building the house. What can we do to protect it? What can be done to solidify its foundation? Do we need more blocks to shore up the walls, or do we need to focus on the internal wall structure to protect it from collapse? If we ask these questions from the get-go, developers and security teams can have better collaboration and more of an “open door” conversation. Working together as one team rather than siloed entities throughout the process is key to improving these relationships and shipping better, more secure products. Security may not lose the identity of “inconvenience” but with more and more visible threats and breaches on everyone’s radar, everyone is starting to recognize the importance of it. It is business critical.
It’s hard to predict exactly how threats and challenges will evolve for businesses, but having this proactive, transparent approach to security ensures that companies will be well prepared.