Data Center Applications and the Cloud: What You Need to Know

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Understand that application connectivity is tied to firewall rules.

Business applications are both critical and abundant in the data center. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of respondents said that they had more than 100 critical applications in their data center (32 percent) and nearly one in five (19 percent) had responsibility for more than 200 critical data center applications. Not only does the modern data center have high volumes of business applications — from commercial off-the-shelf applications such as SAP and SharePoint, to homegrown applications performing custom business logic — but they also are extremely complex. With more applications and increased complexity, IT teams are pressured to not only ensure availability and security, but also to keep up with the speed of the business.

The impact of an unplanned outage to a critical application can be detrimental to a company – both technically and financially. At a technical level, organizations need to understand that firewall changes are primarily driven by business application connectivity needs. All firewall change requests should be linked to the appropriate application and the impact to these applications and to the network must be understood.

A recent survey of 240 information IT and security professionals found that many organizations plan to migrate data center applications to the cloud despite often experiencing application connectivity disruptions in the process.

Virtualizing a physical data center and moving it to a private or hybrid cloud requires careful analysis of both security and connectivity needs. The challenge is that you must perform these actions without disrupting existing services and without unplanned downtime. And with data center applications typically being composed of servers, networking and storage components and security infrastructure baked with complexity, when a new application is deployed or a connectivity update is made, it is often fraught with risk. In this slideshow, AlgoSec, a security policy management company, examines five things to consider before migrating data center applications to the cloud.


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