Guest Post: Accelerate Azure Deployments by Gaining Control of VM Security

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The following is a guest post from our partner CloudLink:

Information technology (IT) is transforming before our very eyes. Mobile, social media, and the "internet of everything" are at the heart of both personal and work life – they are driving how we engage with our customers, how we empower our employees, and how we produce, consume, obtain, and share information to achieve our goals. Data is at the heart of IT, and, minute by minute, the requirement to process and store data continues to grow at exponential rates.

To handle these growing data needs, cloud computing provides an incredible opportunity to advance business effectiveness with a more agile and cost‑effective IT strategy. The value of the cloud is derived by maximizing the effectiveness of sharing resources across various tenants managed by a third‑party organization. However, the flip side of the opportunity is that per-tenant physical computer isolation is no longer available and, to some degree, IT loses control to the cloud provider.

When looking to deploy virtual machines (VMs) in Microsoft Azure for test and development, to extend existing business applications, or for disaster recovery (among many other use cases), confidential company data is often part of that deployment. Whether it be intellectual property, company business plans, or client and employee interactions, the data within these applications must remain private, both to protect company interests and, often, to comply with regulatory law. In the traditional physical world, organizations have adopted full disk encryption technology to protect against data loss. However, in a virtual and cloud computing world, organizations must now resolve how to protect VM images from malicious or accidental mounting of virtual disks leading to sensitive data loss.

But what if there were a way to give data security control back to organizations, a way to enable them to segregate their own data and protect access to VM images, keeping data private from other tenants and even their cloud provider? The availability of effective and pragmatic solutions would undoubtedly help accelerate the movement to cloud by mitigating top customer concerns.

Cloud SecureVM (described in detail in this Channel 9 blog) on Azure allows just that. It's a solution with which Azure customers can secure their VMs (and all the data associated with those VM images), all while managing security policy with total control over data privacy.

SecureVM unlocks native Windows BitLocker and Linux OS encryption features by emulating TPM (Trusted Platform Module), providing the necessary pre-boot authorization for boot volume and data volume encryption in virtual and cloud environments. It makes data encryption in the cloud easy to deploy and manage by enabling proven and familiar encryption tools already built into the OS rather than by introducing proprietary technologies. With CloudLink, organizations can gain control of VM security and confidently accelerate their Azure deployments.

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