CFD13 Day Three Recap – StormForge, RackN and Fortinet

I was invited to participate as a delegate for Cloud Field Day 13 from Feb. 16 – 18, 2022 in San Jose, CA. Check out my day one recap and day two recap if you missed them earlier. Day three consisted of presentations from StormForge, RackN and Fortinet

StormForge

StormForge was relatively unknown to me prior to CFD13, but they made the most out of their condensed morning presentation. StormForge provides machine learning (ML) driven optimization for Kubernetes environments. The delegates at CFD13 were introduced to the current product set of StormForge Optimize Pro and Optimize Live.

Optimize Pro uses a series of experiments against non-prod workloads, allowing the StormForge ML platform to give recommendations on optimal resource configuration for Kubernetes workloads. Optimize Live is run for production workloads and uses live observability metrics to make CPU/RAM recommendations that can be approved automatically or manually.

It is interesting to see that resource optimization is something that not only hasn’t gone away, but with the rise of DevOps has shifted towards people who traditionally didn’t need to care about it. Fellow delegate Adam Post has some great insight into this. Speaking of DevOps, this brings optimization as one more attribute to add to the DevOps loop. With cloud bringing consumption based billing to the enterprise, optimization and FinOps will continue to grow in importance.

StormForge: Solving the Kubernetes Efficiency Problem with StormForge

RackN

RackN was another first time presenter at CFD13. The RackN presentation brought Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to the forefront at CFD13. IaC is very familiar to anyone who dabbles in cloud, and just like everything DevOps there are numerous tools out there for IaC and code pipelines. With so many ways to deploy cloud, traditional infrastructure seems to be left behind in the discussion. Part of this could be the differences in agility between the two, but with hybrid cloud being the likely spot most enterprises land, cohesion across all environments will always be a goal.

Digital Rebar from RackN intends to be the pipeline tool of choice that can oversee the provisioning of all infrastructure. Not only can it bring all kinds of infrastructure under one roof, but it also intends to help organizations learn how to align themselves towards a more cloud-like way of collaborating across traditional silos.

This was evident in the first CFD13 “performance” of the day, in which the RackN presenters acted out a number of demos from the perspective of different members of a platform team for a fictional bank. This bank had a few different physical data center locations and extended into a few public cloud locations as well. Framing the demos from this perspective sparked a lot interest from the delegates and helped paint a clear picture for what RackN is hoping to accomplish with Digital Rebar.

RackN: Infrastructure as Code as Enterprise Scale with RackN

Fortinet

Fortinet wrapped up CFD13 with some more “demo theater.” All future presenters take note! We enjoyed the scenario based demos, and Fortinet did a great job presenting their capabilities around complex cloud application security. Fortinet used a red team / blue team scenario, with the red team being an external attacker and the blue team representing internal ops that is running Fortinet solutions in their environment.

I typically don’t get this deep into network/security configuration, so it was cool to see the demo perspective and how the different tools from Fortinet could be deployed to automatically remediate certain attacks. The portfolio also has a wide variety of external connectors across private and public clouds that can help extend your security posture with Fortinet across a multi-cloud environment.


Prior to the demos, Fortinet set the stage by talking about challenges to agile cloud security. Cloud has enabled so much for us, and with that comes a whole new set of challenges. This really brought the whole week together for me. All of these vendors and their corresponding tools are helping us to deal with the complexity of cloud. Not any one single public cloud provider has all of the tools we need, and it is users / customers that are pushing modern architectures and driving new use cases for what could be viable additions to the cloud tool set. Cloud Field Day provided a great opportunity to see where cloud and enterprise IT are heading. The perspectives from Fortinet and all the other presenters were a glimpse into the challenges cloud brings and the products that are helping us build the future.

Fortinet: Fortinet Integrated Cloud and Application Use Cases: Red Team/Blue Team Security Fabric

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