Logicworks, a New York-based managed service provider and Amazon Web Services partner, recently unveiled a new cloud service that helps maintain the security of workloads running in the public cloud.
The service, called Cloud Patrol, features customized AWS templates and configuration management scripts that automate monitoring and enforcement of customers' organizational security policies, Jason McKay, senior vice president and CTO at Logicworks, said in an interview.
Cloud Patrol uses proprietary automation technology from Logicworks to establish security rules and handle setup and deployment of AWS instances, according to McKay. The service is a prime example of an AWS partner using cloud engineering expertise as a competitive differentiator.
"Automation is hard if you are starting from zero. There has to be a wide-ranging familiarity with the different types of application architectures out there," said McKay. "This requires a deep understanding of how to run workloads on AWS, following their best practices and integrating with appropriate services."
Cloud Patrol came about as a service Logicworks created internally to deal with its own IT challenges. After developing technology for templating and generalizing its own offerings, it quickly became apparent there were security advantages as it reduced the chance of human error introducing vulnerabilities.
Cloud Patrol uses a set of "scanners," or jobs that run in customer environments and alert the Logicworks network operations center if a customer's configuration isn't correct or certain services aren't enabled. The scanners automatically correct these issues, said McKay,
Over time, McKay said Logicworks plans to add new scanners that handle specific functions related to new clients and application stacks. As is the case with AWS, customers will automatically get access to these new capabilities.
Cloud Patrol is built around DevOps, a term that describes how software developers and operations teams work in concert to speed cloud application deployments and updates. AWS has said it's having trouble finding enough partners that know DevOps, but Logicworks is an example of one that has fully embraced the trend.
Logicworks, founded in 1993, started out as a hosting provider with its own data center space, doing procurement and deployment of traditional EMC and Cisco infrastructure. In 2012, Logicworks decided to align with AWS because of the sophisticated automation capabilities it provided.
While Logicworks still maintains its business relationships with legacy enterprise technology vendors, McKay said AWS is now the MSP's primary growth engine.
"We're not walking away from traditional IT, and there are opportunities for hybrid cloud. Our knowledge and expertise around traditional IT, coupled with AWS, is attractive to customers," said McKay.