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Expedient Adds Multi-Cloud Security For On-prem, Hosted, Cloud

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Previously, a lot of the services that Expedient provided were provided within the confines of Expedient‘s data centers and Expedient’s cloud solution. We’ve taken that expertise of operating these types of solutions for many years and now are extending them to providers outside our four walls,’ says Rob McCafferty, Expedient vice president of pre-sales and engineering.

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Co-location and cloud services provider Expedient this week unveiled a comprehensive security platform aimed at providing unified management and visibility into the security of applications and workloads across on-premises and multi-cloud environments.

The new Expedient Security CTRL Suite is aimed at reducing the complexity of securing business clients wherever their applications are hosted, said Rob McCafferty, vice president of pre-sales and engineering at the Pittsburgh-based company.

As clients move workloads to Expedient, the company realized a need to provide insights to help them manage their workloads on an ongoing bases, especially when it comes to security, McCafferty told CRN.

[Related: Cloud Services Reach $130B, Dwarfs Data Center Spending]

“Even once we get them [to the cloud], and even after we tell them where to go and which cloud to choose, we still have to make sure that we‘re providing a security infrastructure across all of those environments to make sure that the cloud is just as safe, if not safer, than with their current workloads if they’re running on-prem or anywhere else,” he said.

Expedient‘s approach to multi-cloud services has been make sure it has a technology stack that can be consumed across multiple clouds with centralized management and consistency across multiple cloud providers, McCafferty said. For security, that would include SIEM technology for all data, as well as push-button-like simplicity for disaster recovery to protect against ransomware attacks, he said.

The Expedient Security CTRL suite of multi-cloud services includes a new multi-cloud firewall along with cross-cloud networking using VMware‘s NSXT technology, McCafferty said.

“The multi-cloud firewall is our managed firewall that can be deployed in any location across any cloud provider or on-prem set of resources,” he said. “It allows us to provide centralized management for that fleet of firewalls. It allows us to provide centralized policy orchestration for that fleet, and a centralized view for any Layer 4 through 7 activity that‘s going on that might be suspicious.”

Expedient‘s cross-cloud networks with VMware NSX-T technology lets the company build the pathways between clouds with protection layered on top of those pathways, McCafferty said.

“NSX-T is going to allow us to build a consistent and reliable connectivity platform, whether it‘s between on-premises, Expedient, or one of the public cloud providers, and allow us to extend those Layer-2 networks across the providers,” he said. ”That really plays into that simplicity of a multi-cloud environment and allowing our clients to consume it in an easy with a layered-on Expedient security features on top.”

Expedient also introduced a number of other services to enhance security across multi-cloud environment, McCafferty said.

The first is identity management, which the company originally introduced last year by incorporating all the Expedient services and management consoles integrated with a client‘s business applications in a single portal, he said.

Expedient also introduced a managed SIEM offering to correlate data across multiple sources as a central place for clients to access log and insight data across multiple clouds, McCafferty said.

“When we deploy this managed SIEM, we‘re deploying all the underlying infrastructure necessary to run it, as well as a basic level of configuration,” he said. ”This is one of the primary products where we engage the partner community a lot for two things: a custom dashboard and reporting element specific to clients, as well as a next-level SOC (security operation center) service that many of our clients are looking for.”

The partner community is key to providing the managed SIEM service, McCafferty said.

“Partly, it‘s because we are the platform provider, so we don’t also want to be the watcher,” he said. ”So it helps our clients get a pretty nice check and balance when they can engage with Expedient as well as one of our partners to get that level of service.”

Expedient is known for its great automation technology to help provide anything a public cloud provider can offer, but on an infrastructure-as-a-service basis, said Keith Odom, senior vice president of pre-sales and solutions at Ahead, a Chicago-based solution provider which has worked with Expedient for co-location, disaster recovery, and shared services for around four years.

“Expedient’s multi-cloud service capabilities are fine,” Odom told CRN. “But more important, the company has great people, and is very partner-friendly.”

Expedient’s shared services can be used to build private clouds by leveraging its co-lo and other services along with clients’ legacy equipment, Odom said.

“Clients use Expedient because they want cloud-like services but not on a public cloud,” he said. “And instead of managing on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud separately, clients can manage them all on the same platform.”

Security, if not the No. 1 issue for every client, is number two, Odom said.

“You can’t have too much security,” he said. “If a client is putting its crown jewels on your infrastructure, you need to provide security. But client’s don’t want multiple security tools. Expedient opens its APIs on everything they do and manage to provide the bridge between on-premises and on-premises, and we are the stitch between all of these.”

Expedient‘s multi-cloud services capabilities, including its new multi-cloud cybersecurity technology, is a big improvement from what the company offered in the past, McCafferty said.

“Previously, a lot of the services that Expedient provided were provided within the confines of Expedient‘s data centers and Expedient’s cloud solution,” he said. ”We’ve taken that expertise of operating these types of solutions for many years and now are extending them to providers outside our four walls.”

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