AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Partner SA Roundup – March 2017

For this month’s Partner SA roundup, AWS Partner SAs Pratap Ramamurthy, Juan Villa, and Scott Ward discuss three APN Technology Partners: SoftNAS, Threat Stack, and Zscaler. Let’s dive in!

SoftNAS, by Juan Villa

Deploying and managing high performance and highly available NAS/SAN solutions can be difficult and error prone. SoftNAS, an APN Advanced Technology and Storage Competency Partner, provides an AWS Marketplace solution called SoftNAS Cloud, which is a software-defined NAS/SAN solution built for AWS. SoftNAS Cloud is an easy-to use and deploy NAS/SAN solution that can achieve high performance and high availability on AWS.

With SoftNAS Cloud you can leverage Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes for data storage and make the data available via multiple protocols: NFS, CIFS, AFP, and iSCSI. You can also use different EBS volume types and size combinations to meet performance requirements for your workload. For example, you can use the EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volume types (announced last year) to build a storage solution for high-throughput, sequential workloads (st1) and/or low-cost, infrequent access workloads (sc1). When you use Amazon S3, SoftNAS Cloud can take advantage of S3’s object storage and leverages thin provisioning to consume space only as required for data storage.

By leveraging Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) features such as Elastic IP addresses and subnet route tables combined with SoftNAS technology, SoftNAS Cloud can achieve high availability with fully automatic and seamless failover across Availability Zones. In addition, to achieve higher data durability and safety, SoftNAS supports automatic backups of storage pools using EBS snapshots.

For more information about this product, check out the SoftNAS website and AWS Marketplace listings.

Threat Stack, by Scott Ward

AWS provides customers with a tremendous amount of data around the configuration of their account and all the activity that is happening with the AWS services they are using. At times, monitoring for security events per the AWS Shared Responsibility Model may not be within a customer’s core competency. Threat Stack is an APN Technology Partner and AWS Security Competency Partner who can provide you with a security view into your activities on AWS.

Threat Stack can help you audit your current AWS environment, monitor and receive alerts on security events, and investigate how events happened so they can be resolved – all in one integrated platform. With Threat Stack you can deploy a lightweight agent on your Linux or Windows instances in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This agent will record and report on events in your operating system, look for signs of host intrusion, and perform vulnerability assessments.  All this information is delivered to the integrated Threat Stack platform where you can quickly visualize the data or events that are meaningful to you and set alarms.

Once you have the agent installed, Threat Stack will automatically detect which EC2 instances are running in your account and tell you which instances are not running an agent. In order to give you visibility into the rest of the services you are running on AWS, Threat Stack also ingests your AWS CloudTrail log files, allowing you to visualize activity within your AWS account and create alarms for important security events.

For more information on Threat Stack, check out the company’s website.

Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), by Pratap Ramamurthy

Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) is a cloud-based security solution by Zscaler, an Advanced APN Technology Partner, that helps customers securely access internal applications running on AWS.

Traditionally, companies often utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to create a secure connection to a virtual private cloud (VPC). ZPA is an alternative to VPN technology. With ZPA, there is no need to provision VPN termination hardware to get to apps in the cloud, or to ensure that such a deployment is globally distributed and redundant. There is no hardware to buy at all, because ZPA is offered as software as a service (SaaS).

ZPA creates a secure connection between users and application instead of users and network. This prevents malware that may have already entered the network to propagate to other hosts within the network. ZPA is also useful during migration operations. When you use ZPA to move your applications within the cloud or data center, there are no complex steps needed to update rules. ZPA’s management portal makes policy changes and other administrative changes easy. By using ZPA, you can shorten your workload migration process, because complex forecasting for HA, redundancy, and scalability are all built into the service.

You can request a demo of the ZPA solution here.

The content and opinions in this blog are those of the authors and are not an endorsement of the third-party products discussed. Please contact the vendors for details regarding performance and functionality. AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post. This blog is intended for informational purposes.