Cisco Updates Tetration to Automatically Apply Security Policies to Apps

Mike Vizard

Last year, Cisco announced it was making use of agent software, machine learning algorithms and Big Data to apply advanced analytics to optimize IT operations in the form of a Tetration appliance. Today, Cisco extended that capability in a way that makes it possible to automatically segment data center infrastructure by application.

Yogesh Kaushik, senior director of product management in the network and security business unit of Cisco, says the latest version of Tetration takes advantage of additional agent software to automatically apply microsegmentation across the data center based on policies defined by IT organizations for each application. Those policies can be as coarse or as granular as IT organizations prefer for any given application, says Kaushik.

To enable that microsegmentation to occur across both Cisco and third-party infrastructure, Cisco is also taking advantage of a Tetration application programming interface (API) that it has developed. The first products to be integrated with Tetration span offerings from AlgoSec, Citrix, F5 Networks, Infoblox, ServiceNow, Tufin and the Converged Platforms and Solutions Division of Dell EMC.

In addition, Cisco announced that it will soon make available a smaller version of the Tetration appliance along with a software-only instance designed to be deployed on a public cloud. That latter approach removes any limitations to the amount of data an IT organization might want to store and analyze, notes Kaushik.

Kaushik says this latest iteration of Tetration will enable IT organizations to quickly roll out new application in the age of DevOps without having to compromise security.

“There’s a constant tug of war between IT agility and security,” notes Kaushik.

 Via Tetration, Kaushik says, IT operations teams can eliminate that issue because they can now apply security policies that remain attached to the application workload regardless of where that application workload is ultimately deployed. As a byproduct of that effort, IT operations teams are always kept informed about the state of compliance with those policies for that workload, adds Kaushik.

Advanced analytics that take advantage of machine learning algorithms are clearly poised to transform how IT infrastructure is managed and now secured. In effect, the entire extended enterprise will soon be instrumented from end to end in a way that will automate most manual tasks. IT organizations should be able to securely manage IT infrastructure at unprecedented levels of scale. In fact, the most pressing issue facing IT organizations next might very well be determining how best to reinvest all the time saved in new ways to add value to the business.


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