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Why VMware’s Octarine deal, SOC alliance matters to Africa

Enterprise software firm VMware has announced its intention to acquire Kubernetes security start-up Octarine, as well as details of a newly established next-gen Security Operations Centre (SOC) Alliance.

The developments will help to address challenges being experienced by African businesses in their efforts to leverage applications and improve the bottom line, according to the VMware regional executives.

VMWare's acquisition of Octarine and its SOC Alliance will help African businesses address challenges in leveraging applications.
VMWare's acquisition of Octarine and its SOC Alliance will help African businesses address challenges in leveraging applications.

In a statement, the company explained Kubernetes applications helps simplify DevSecOps and enables cloud native environments to be intrinsically secure, from development through runtime.

“The creation of a Next-Gen SOC Alliance along with Splunk, IBM Security, Google Cloud’s Chronicle, Exabeam, and Sumo Logic. The alliance empowers SOC teams with visibility, prevention, detection and response capabilities that can uniquely leverage the VMware fabric,” it added.

According to VMWare protecting workloads is critical to the security of applications and data inside every organisation.

The unique properties of the cloud (speed, agility, scale) mean that developers are increasingly using Kubernetes and containers to modernise applications and changing the nature of workloads that need to be secured, the company stated.

VMWare adds that building Octarine’s innovative Kubernetes security platform into its security portfolio will provide full visibility into cloud-native environments so customers can better identify and reduce the risks posed by vulnerabilities and attacks, and move beyond static analysis and maintain compliance – “customers can create and enforce content-based policies to protect the privacy and integrity of sensitive and regulated information.”

Following the acquisition’s close, the Octarine technology will be embedded into the VMware Carbon Black Cloud, providing new support of security features for containerised applications running in Kubernetes and enable security capabilities as part of the fabric of the existing IT and DevOps ecosystems.

This innovation will further reduce the need for additional sensors in the stack. Octarine capabilities will also integrate and leverage the VMware Tanzu platform, including current investments in Service Mesh and Open Policy Agent.

“Acquiring Octarine will enable us to further expand VMware’s intrinsic security strategy to containers and Kubernetes environments by embedding the Octarine technology into the VMware Carbon Black Cloud,” said Patrick Morley, general manager and senior vice president, Security Business Unit, VMware. “This, combined with native integrations with Tanzu, vSphere, NSX and VMware Cloud Foundation, will create what we believe is a unique and compelling solution for intrinsically securing workloads. And, with the addition of our AppDefense capabilities merged into the platform, we can fundamentally transform how workloads are better secured.”

VMware’s intrinsic security strategy is centred on enriching context from across the security portfolio and leveraging the VMware fabric for native telemetry and control at the endpoint, workload, network, user access point, and application.

The company says this innovation enables a true XDR solution that works out of the box with existing VMware solutions – reducing all the bolt-on sensors and appliances that plague security.

SOC Alliance

“The creation of a Next-Gen SOC Alliance along with Splunk, IBM Security, Google Cloud’s Chronicle, Exabeam, and Sumo Logic. The alliance empowers SOC teams with visibility, prevention, detection and response capabilities that can uniquely leverage the VMware fabric,” it added.

Ian Jansen van Rensburg, Lead Technologist for VMware Sub Saharan Africa, said applications and their challenges, including cost and length of time to market, remain front-of-mind discussions among customers in Africa.

“Being responsible for a VMware region stretching from Cape Town through to Nigeria and across to Ethiopia, I get exposed to several customers and their challenges. One of the first talking points in meetings are applications and its challenges (like cost and long time to market). Some customers are already on a path to modernise and run containerised cloud native applications next to their traditional applications. The majority are still running traditional applications in their own datacentres. These are business critical applications and aid to the company’s profitability.”

According to van Rensburg, African companies are focused on building new revenue-generating customer experiences, on managing growing volume of software and vulnerabilities, as well as taking advantage of innovations offered by the cloud.

The main reasons why this is not happening as quickly as they want is because matching best platform to each app is extremely challenging, they are finding it too difficult to scale IT infrastructure and are too heavily invested in legacy apps to change.

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