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Rethinking App Architecture for Enhanced Resilience and App Security in Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Environments

Branded Content | 5 min read
Rethinking App Architecture for Enhanced Resilience and App Security in Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Environments

Modern applications have evolved rapidly to meet the growing demands of the digital landscape, with the emergence of architectural patterns designed to deliver a new generation of responsive and sophisticated services that customers expect. Using these patterns, developers can create powerful applications that are more scalable, resilient, and adaptable to change.

But as new applications are rolled out on the disparate mix of systems employed by organisations today, the inevitable complexity has culminated in new challenges. Invariably, businesses find themselves grappling with hurdles in areas such as deployment, monitoring, and security.

Customers might think that leveraging the auto-scaling capabilities in the public cloud would mean that they don’t have to think about application resiliency. But the reality is that public clouds can also go down. In addition, existing application security often do not provide adequate protection for APIs and mobile app against, for example, supply chain attack and mobile device takeover.
– Chin Keng Lim, Strategic Sales Director, F5

The evolving cloud paradigm

More than 15 years since the first public cloud platform was released, the cloud has become an integral part of IT deployments around the world. But despite its numerous advantages, the cloud isn’t always the best option for powering the incredibly diverse range of applications and use cases found across enterprises.

Considerations range from inadvertent over-provisioning of resources to hidden fees or unpredictable costs. As a result, some enterprises have started leveraging the cloud to quickly conceptualise, develop, and test applications, before moving it on-premises for long-term deployments. This effectively allows them to benefit from the flexibility and capabilities of the cloud, while enjoying the fixed cost overheads of on-premises systems.

Data residency is another concern that is now a key factor in many industries, with the spotlight also falling on data privacy in the face of stricter regulatory requirements. Moreover, regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA have led to enterprises seeking alternative solutions that offer greater control over their data while still benefiting from the advantages of the public cloud.

For these reasons, a multi-cloud, hybrid cloud strategy has emerged as the preferred choice for many enterprises. While cloud adoption continues to grow, organisations are gravitating towards the best combination of cloud and on-premises infrastructure for the best of both worlds. The result is a complicated web of interconnected systems, each with its own set of benefits.

Rethinking app architecture

As apps become more fragmented and distributed across different environments, how can enterprises bridge the gap between legacy systems, on-premises deployments, and cloud-native applications? The solution lies in a rethink of app architecture and the implementation of a more structured approach through conceptual tiers focused on application orchestration, communication, security, and management.

  • Global Site Shared Services Tier: Centralise app orchestration, secure web apps and APIs, and deliver high-performance connectivity.
  • Site Shared Services Tier: Ensure secure app-to-app communication, support traditional and modern apps, and monitor system health.
  • App Services Tier: Protect app segmentations, address Kubernetes challenges, and fortify against lateral movement vulnerabilities.
  • Management and Ops Tier: Cohesive force that connects all tiers with automation, adopts Infrastructure as Code, and delivers rapid, reliable app deployment.

A well-structured framework not only facilitates scalability but enables the dynamic allocation of additional resources as required. For instance, an organisation could deploy more server instances during periods of high user activity, and conversely, optimise cost-efficiency by removing unnecessary resources during periods of low demand.

With a centralised management platform, enterprises can consolidate app orchestration across multiple sites. It also gives a unified perspective of workloads and applications for real-time performance monitoring, enabling application teams to promptly identify underperforming clusters and enact automated processes and scripts to proactively address performance issues.

A foundation for holistic apps with API security and delivery

Building on a distributed cloud platform using a structured approach is key to achieving true application portability, resilience, and security. This gives enterprises more flexibility in delivering any type of application in any environment, while also putting them in a better position to negotiate prices with public cloud providers.

The responsibility lies with enterprises to regain control over their application architecture. This starts with a thorough understanding of their current infrastructure and identifying commonalities across their existing applications. By leveraging the four tiers mentioned earlier and ensuring alignment across the organisation, CIOs can create a robust foundation for even the most complex deployments.

In addition to these benefits, adopting a unified approach to application architecture enables organisations to streamline their development processes, reduce time to market for new features and services, and holistically secure their apps and APIs with Zero-trust security. WAAP (Web App and API Protection) and Anti-Abuse for distributed apps and APIs can be easily implemented through a consistent configuration and operational model, fortifying defences against web/API attacks and ensuring overall robust protection.

As organisations transit from traditional virtual machines (VMs) to Kubernetes-based environments, this structured app architectural approach can also ensure app segments are properly safeguarded. Dedicated API gateways and DevSecOps microgateways can be deployed at service endpoints that are containerised or in traditional VMs, strengthening security for app segmentations in Kubernetes environments and fortifying the overall security within Kubernetes clusters.

Securing what matters with F5 Distributed Cloud Services

The F5 Distributed Cloud Platform offers a common platform that unifies the cloud, data centre, and edge to connect, protect, and run apps anywhere. The result is a unified solution for managing infrastructure and workloads across diverse environments while ensuring consistent policy enforcement and seamless integration with existing systems.

CIOs and CISOs are freed from the burden of having to deploy, integrate, and secure disparate technologies so that they work together. Crucially, integrated security capabilities which range from DDoS protection, network and web app firewalls, and static and dynamic API security, keep threats from reaching applications.

Ultimately, a modern app architecture helps enterprises navigate the complexities of today’s multi-cloud and hybrid cloud landscape. This allows businesses to optimise performance, scalability, and security, delivering exceptional user experiences and driving digital success.

F5 is exhibiting at GovWare 2023, Asia’s premier cybersecurity event. To learn more about F5 and how we can help you in securing, simplifying, and innovating your applications, visit us at our GovWare booth or visit our Distributed Cloud Services solution page here.



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