Oracle NetSuite Protects Flagship Business Applications With Illumio

SaaS leader improves security and uptime for 7,500 workloads with real-time visibility and Zero Trust Segmentation

About Oracle NetSuite

Industry: Information Technology

Environment: Globally distributed infrastructure

Challenge: Create more effective and manageable security protection for flagship business applications while ensuring uptime and innovation

Solution: Illumio Core

Results: Cost savings, operational and organizational improvements, faster policy generation, greater scalability

Business Goals

Protecting IT assets is vital for Oracle NetSuite. Founded in 1998 and acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2016, the company today provides cloud-based business management software for more than 217,000 customers worldwide.

With so much depending on the performance of NetSuite’s ERP and CRM solutions, security and uptime are high priorities. Even one breach of customer data could have catastrophic consequences for the business — as could an outage caused by changes in an application environment.

But company leaders realized they had network blind spots after developers retired a “thick” client application and mistakenly left its interface open.

“We were terrified by what else might be left on,” says Chris Blum, a NetSuite co-founder and now the company’s chief security architect. “We needed a better understanding of what applications were running and how they were communicating.”

Technology Challenges

Being the best in business means finding a way for uptime and innovation to coexist. NetSuite needed the right protection to prevent downtime and secure new applications faster.

A lot of thought and testing goes into deciding whether applications are secure and mature enough to be deployed in production. If there is a concern that an application could hurt overall uptime or performance, efforts would be made to work with the developers to accomplish their goals securely.

NetSuite managers also had concerns about protecting their applications using traditional firewalls, which cannot enforce granular segmentation — a powerful way to boost the organization’s security posture. In addition, firewalls come with serious CapEx and OpEx costs.

How Illumio Helped

Rather than upgrade its firewalls, Oracle NetSuite turned to Illumio’s visibility and ring-fencing capabilities to better understand and protect the company’s applications, consisting of approximately 7,500 workloads. 

Ring-fencing is a powerful way to control how high-value applications interact. It can also protect workloads and data from malicious software. Illumio’s Zero Trust segmentation helps secure the company’s most valuable applications and servers containing customer data. 

What’s more, NetSuite reduces a lot of time and effort by automating policy generation and enforcement with Illumio— and can do so safely.

NetSuite was able to significantly increase uptime thanks to Illumio’s rich visibility and the ability to model and test policies before enforcement. 

The company has achieved more “five nines” — or 99.999% availability — in services running Illumio than ever before.

Results & Benefits

As a benefit of implementing Illumio, Oracle NetSuite has improved their business operations and digital security in several ways.

  • Cost savings: CapEx avoided by eliminating the need for conventional firewalls
  • Operational improvements: Deployed on top of “brownfield” environment with only minimal changes
  • Organizational improvements: Operational efficiencies streamlined across application, infrastructure and security teams
  • Increased speed: Faster traffic flow analysis and easier access control with automated mapping and policy generation
  • Greater scalability: Distributed architecture can expand as needed to meet growing workload demand 

“Illumio — it’s like oxygen,” says Charles Francis, director of security engineering at NetSuite. “I don’t even know what life is like without Illumio.”

With greater visibility and protection, NetSuite can add new applications with far more confidence.

“Illumio gives our security team the opportunity to say ‘yes’ more often to the organization,” says Brian Chess, the company’s senior VP of cloud operations.


“Illumio — it’s like oxygen. I don’t even know what life is like without Illumio.”

Charles Francis, Director of Security Engineering, Oracle NetSuite