Illumio Blog
January 19, 2018

Migrating to the Public Cloud While Securing Critical Data

Janani Nagarajan,

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One of the largest public universities in the U.S. wanted to take advantage of their available free subscription to a large public cloud as part of their licensing agreement. They were looking to migrate their student web services to the public cloud and achieve high availability. This was their first foray into the public cloud, introducing a new set of challenges, spanning from operational maintenance to security of their hybrid infrastructure. 

ill_blog_header_featured_use_case_v4A.jpgTHE CHALLENGE

Migration to public cloud came with a daunting set of challenges for their environment:

  1. Operational complexity to managing and securing two disparate data centers – on premise and public cloud
  2. Security concerns regarding sensitive student information like healthcare and financial data while hosted in the cloud
  3. Achieving cloud migration from their on-premise data center meant leaving the perimeter firewalls and DMZ open and vulnerable to attacks during the period of workload migration

THE SOLUTION

With patented, software-only architecture, the Illumio Adaptive Security Platform (ASP) provides live application dependency mapping inside the data center before moving to the cloud. Illumio polices created before the move can be applied after migration – to applications across any data center or cloud infrastructure. Illumio can also configure cloud security groups to ensure that you have one set of consistent controls across any number of environments.  

How does Illumio ASP work? Imagine that a firewall already exists in front of every server, virtual machine, container, or network port in your data center and you could manage all of them simply and automatically at scale. That is what adaptive micro-segmentation provides.  

Adaptive micro-segmentation helps to secure applications and maintain consistent and continuous protection before and after migration, across private data centers and public clouds. It simplifies security for hybrid cloud deployments and maintains unified policies across all computing environments, without relying on the underlying infrastructure.  

In this case, Illumio ASP helped the university with their cloud migration and secured their hybrid deployment of applications split across the private data center and public cloud. With a uniform and consistent set of centralized policies, they were able to host their student web services without any application downtime or data compromise.

THE BENEFITS

The entire cloud migration project for 150 workloads was completed in under three months. Major benefits included:

  • Secure hybrid infrastructure for hosting their student web services with high availability and minimum application downtime.
  • Unified adaptive segmentation policy for their hybrid environment with minimum management overhead.
  • Protection of critical student data from any security breaches during the course of migration.
  • Maintenance of regulatory security and compliance requirements for sensitive student data.

Illumio provided a way to leverage their free public cloud licenses and improved the university's student services portal. Their minimally-staffed IT department was able to migrate well within their time deadlines and secure their hybrid environment while maintaining the integrity of student data.   

Topics: Adaptive Segmentation, Cloud Computing

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