Celestix SecureAccess : Why an appliance?
Connectivity to IT resources is a key component to empower workers and drive productivity. Microsoft® is innovating the adoption of remote access and cloud computing for every level of network infrastructure with Windows Server® 2019. Server 2019 has taken leaps forward to incorporate networking and security functionality that once required multiple solutions to achieve. IT managers must consider the most efficient solution to successfully meet the deployment goals for transitioning access options to external users and services. The following topics discuss infrastructure considerations and deployment options to inform strategic connectivity planning.
The technology to diversify the IT environment through cloud services and remote access has two main areas to consider: functionality and hardware.
- Windows Server 2019 is packed with features to manage initiatives that help organizations extend the work environment for greater resource access.
- External access to the network is now a core service for many organizations.
- Many organizations can benefit from the opportunities offered by cloud scalability, but most want or require some level of on-premises infrastructure. Establishing secure connectivity with off-premises services can require extra IT resources.
- Secure implementation requires a broad range of expertise because configuration can be complex. This sometimes makes connectivity initiatives costly to deploy.
- Feature deployment requires thorough preparation to maintain best security practices.
- The deployment process for a server often includes several steps: obtaining the necessary hardware, assembling the server, installing and hardening the operating system, then installing and configuring the application software.
- Generic hardware can serve many purposes, but has to be configured to do any one thing well. Expertise is paramount for secure remote access integration.
- Generic hardware exposes a larger attack surface in the IT infrastructure because it contains unnecessary components and services that open up threat vectors.
- Common component extras on industry standard servers, like high-performance graphics cards, CD/DVD drives, and expansion slots do not serve networking or security functions, but introduce additional points of failure.
Functionality and hardware issues for connectivity expansion can be addressed through a dedicated appliance solution.
- Software hardening is based on informed best practices that mitigate threats like intrusion or malevolent behavior.
- Appliances that include tools for headless integration to the network make the initial configuration during installation far more efficient.
- Application management tools and wizards save time and reduce complexity. They can also prevent configuration conflicts that adversely affect security and usability. A dedicated appliance simplifies the connection between internal resources and the variable resources that the cloud can host.
- Easy remote access to resources allows organizations to capitalize on worker productivity and creativity.
- Appliances simplify the procurement process.
- Specialized appliances are engineered to offer efficient configuration for server settings and feature deployment. This reduces demands on IT resources.
- Appliances feature tuned hardware that is purpose built. Components like memory speed, memory size, memory latency, CPU, and cooling are designed to optimize performance and longevity. Tuned hardware also means that you don’t pay for unnecessary components.
- Software drivers and firmware are tested against engineering standards to curtail threat vectors for the appliance application.
Deploying complex connectivity customizations without specific experience or with limited time actually increases organizational risk for information security. The Celestix E Series appliance provides a more secure, cost-efficient deployment option.
Our appliances offer onboard setup tools using an LED screen and Jog Dial. Administrators can configure the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and static routes in minutes, without the need for a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. The platform also features a compact appliance form factor, allowing our devices to be mounted in any standard 19” equipment rack. Hardware-integrated disaster recovery is also included.
The E Series includes the new Comet 2.0 web user interface (web UI). The web UI centralizes general Windows Server administration and Remote Access (RA) configuration, so administrators can go to one place to customize the deployment. Oneclick installation for several RA features relieves the tedious task of installing features one by one. Administrative efficiency can offset appliance costs by saving IT staff hours.
Our hardware has undergone extensive testing, and minimizes the attack surface by engineering just the services and applications that are necessary for security and connectivity. Hardware is hardened based on expertise gained through years of experience in networking security.
Every organization is different, there is no ‘one size fits all’ scheme for remote access. The E Series provides for multiple access scenarios and the supporting functions they require. Secure access strategies can include managed/unmanaged devices, application publishing, and facilitation for public and private cloud connectivity.
The E Series improves upon current Server 2012 functionality with exclusive features. Reporting, alerting, and monitoring tools both simplify daily management and support compliance requirements. Real-time connection management provides greater control over user access to resources..
Future enhancements can be added through updates to both Remote Access and the Comet platform. Examples include virtualization, SSO enhancements, and forms-based authentication. By allowing organizations to leverage new features, the E Series continues to provide value for the investment.
Celestis is optimzing and hardening Windows Server on rack-optimzied HPE servers to deliver remote access security solution. Celestix has over 15 years of experience providing 24×7 support for tens of thousands of appliances to thousands of customers worldwide – all backed with comprehensive SLAs.