Sometimes the best solutions are the ones that improve on existing solutions – making them more versatile or tuned for new uses. I was reminded of this the other day when we announced our SecureVM product for the public cloud. In designing this solution to help customers secure their cloud data, our team decided to leverage best of breed (and very mature) encryption technologies already present in Windows (BitLocker) and Linux (eCryptfs) and refine elements to make them work in cloud and virtual environments.
Leveraging proven technology benefitted us in quite a few areas:
- Allowed us to focus development on cloud management features rather core encryption functions
- Reduced interoperability risk since the crypto engines were an integral with the OS
- Reduced the end user learning curve since they were already familiar with technology such as Bitlocker
- Reduced time to market and improved ability to introduce new features
Feedback from our customers echo these themes. They’ve told us the approach allows:
- Increased reuse across multiple applications as well as multiple cloud platforms.
- Increased interoperability and less worry when upgrading today and in the future.
I think one of the most important aspects as well is that these technologies have already passed through the myriad of ‘encryption checkpoints’ like FIPS 140.2, for example. This is huge.
As we did not have to implement new crypto technologies, our innovation and ingenuity were properly focused on high-value areas like deployment, ease of use, performance, rich policy management and multi-cloud support.
It reminds me of a time many years ago when a company I was working with developed an Active Directory administration tool that cooperated with the native SAM database present with Windows NT5 (which was very quickly re-branded to Windows 2000). Our competition created a proprietary layer on top of the database that had to be maintained and certified every time there was a technology refresh.
We won the architecture battle hands down and – yes – there were other great things about our approach that won that battle. The most salient bit of feedback coming back from clients was that we did not “re-invent the wheel” – they wanted us to build and improve on what they had rather than trying to introduce a new architecture.
It feels the same right now. At CloudLink, we didn’t have to start from scratch to develop commodity crypto technology for SecureVM. Instead, we leveraged existing, proven solutions that we’re integral to the OS and added the innovation and ingenuity that CloudLink is known for. The result? An original and revolutionary product based on solid technology that our clients already trust.