The era of applications running in data centers and server closets may be past its peak, but it’s far from over. Despite what the bloggers or tech media may have you believe, many applications remain (and possibly will always remain) running on-premise. While these applications may not be moving to the cloud, the push for innovation persists.
For applications requiring on-premise components, innovation is being achieved through advances in software-defined networking coupled with edge computing capabilities.
Legacy applications desiring more architectural flexibility are extending some services to the cloud, even when most of the application’s services remain on-prem. In these distributed or hybrid scenarios, some application workloads will process at the edge for cost, security, or technical reasons; while other services run in the public cloud – with data moving freely (and securely) between both.
Because the cloud-delivered components are usually built as multi-tenant applications by the software vendor and extend into a remote environment running the on-premise components, there are unique challenges associated with the deployment, management and support of these cloud-to-edge architectures.
SaaS applications that require connectivity into legacy systems or on-premise customer environments will require a networking component.
Initially, a software vendor’s understanding of the networking challenge is focused on the most important one or two issues preventing success. As development progresses and deployments scale, the extent of the challenges come into greater focus.
Deployment challenges are usually the first to cause pain. When cloud applications are dependent
on a 3rd party-controlled environment the networking solution will require a change to on-prem
firewall configurations, run into network address translation issues, and could even be impeded by
their customer’s available IT teams.
The Challenges of Managing Distributed Applications
SaaS product and engineering leaders may initially seek to solve these challenges with tools
like VPC peering and VPN gateways. But neither of these solves the scalability challenges of deploying and managing hundreds of connections and VPNs into customer environments.
Additionally, as a SaaS solution evolves, so do its architectural requirements. Often, connectivity
solutions that were viewed as acceptable yesterday no longer work for the roadmap and profitability requirements of tomorrow.
These types products or features may be prevented from future implementation due to ill-informed
architectural choices early in the development of the product. SaaS vendors deploying cloud services like this need a more purpose-built connectivity solution that does not require the management of hundreds (or thousands) of unique VPN configurations.
3. The Trustgrid Platform
Trustgrid gives software providers the ability to seamlessly build, connect, and deliver applications across any environment (owned or 3rd party) with the same levels of control and automation they experience in the cloud.
The Trustgrid platform enables this by supporting both networking and edge computing features on the same virtual appliances or hardware. Trustgrid nodes support software-defined networking as well as running proprietary scripts, ETL functions and Docker containers across any cloud or on-premise environment.
The Platform consists of 3 products; Trustgrid Connect, Trustgrid EdgeCompute and Trustgrid Remote Access.
The portal is used to configure and monitor networking functions and orchestrate the software
running on nodes. From a single pane of glass admins can manage scripts and containers, push
and track versions, and provide all troubleshooting tools for remotely deployed software components.
Trustgrid’s customers typically seek this type of a solution when they want to deploy code into
3rd party environments, but manage it as if it is a public cloud service.
This allows their software development and DevOps teams to remove themselves from the provisioning of networking and management of edge computing capabilities, and focus on delivering software to hundreds or thousands of locations with minimal support hassles.
4. The Trustgrid Products
Each of the products in the Trustgrid Platform work seamlessly together to build, manage and support cloud-to-edge architectures from a common management portal.
4a. Trustgrid Connect
Trustgrid Connect is a network-as-a-service delivering next-gen SD-WAN capabilities. It is designed to meet the challenges of application providers who require cloud-to-on-premise and multi-cloud networking. The product runs in all public and private cloud environments with plug-and-play deployments that eliminate the need for on-site networking expertise.
Trustgrid Connect provides all the tools to build both mesh and hub-and-spoke architectures to support multi-cloud, hybrid cloud (cloud to on-prem), and on-prem to on-prem use cases
Specifically designed for SaaS applications that must connect to hundreds or thousands of customers, partners, or other diverse IT environments, Trustgrid Connect is an alternative to site-to-site VPNs and MPLS and provides a cloud-delivered WAN, optimized for ease of management.
Trustgrid Connect features include:
- Layer 3 / 4 networking
- Zero trust network architecture
- Separate control plane and data plane
- Certificate-based authentication
- Continuous patching and updating
- Automated failover and disaster recovery
- Supports all cloud and on-premise environments
- Simplified network address translation management
- 1-touch deployments with little to no firewall reconfiguration
4b. Trustgrid EdgeCompute
Trustgrid EdgeCompute adds to the capabilities of Trustgrid Connect to provide a distributed computing platform for deploying and supporting distributed applications at the edge.
Integrating networking features with a containerized application platform, Trustgrid EdgeCompute overcomes the challenges of edge computing by delivering infrastructure, services, APIs and software lifecycle management tools to applications running in on-premise locations.
When connecting distributed applications, Trustgrid EdgeComute allows for plug-and-play edge deployments that run advanced services on-premise while eliminating the need for on-site networking or container expertise.
When connecting distributed applications, Trustgrid EdgeCompute allows for plug-and-play edge
deployments that run advanced services on-premise while eliminating the need for on-site networking or container expertise.
For application providers building applications that require low latency, local data processing, or need
to meet data residency requirements, EdgeCompute creates a seamless distributed application delivery environment that allows edge appliances and services to be managed in the same way as a cloud service.
Trustgrid EdgeCompute features include:
- Edge computing with seamless networking
- Cloud managed container repository
- Support for Docker containers and KVM virtual appliances at the edge
- CI/CD integration for automated patching and updating of remote systems
- Ability to build and maintain APIs for any data source
- Supports 1000s of remote services from single pane of glass
- Run 3rd party security solutions on at any edge location
4c. Trustgrid Remote Access
Building distributed applications is the initial challenge, but supporting them at scale is another. Trustgrid Remote Access provides zero trust network access (ZTNA) for software administrators and DevOps teams supporting distributed application deployments.
Trustgrid Remote Access is designed to provide secure, granular access to remote application components for patching, troubleshooting and support.
Legacy VPNs or remote desktop support tools lack the granular access management controls needed for sensitive application components and can be easily exploited via stolen credentials and session hijacking. Extending remote access to 3rd parties or vendors for support can introduce even more risk.
Trustgrid Remote Access supports applications running in any cloud and on-premise environment by
using an agentless web interface to grant access across a range of applications and devices.
Access policies can be custom configured within the tool utilizing existing roles, groups and permissions from 3rd party identity providers. If an agentless approach is not desired, open source agents such as OpenVPN or Wireguard are also supported.
Trustgrid Remote Access features include:
- Agentless zero trust network access
- Supports access to apps on all popular operating systems
- Integrates with your existing IdP (Azure AD, Okta, Google, and more)
- Maintains auditable logs of all application access
- Provides secure access to remote container deployments
- Remotely supports systems behind firewalls you don’t control
5. Building Cloud-to-Edge-Architectures with the Trustgrid Platform
Trustgrid is one of the only solutions on the market combining cloud networking, edge computing, and zero trust support tools for application providers.
How it all comes together.
Combining the elements of the platform, developers build and run services across any cloud, data center or on-premise environment.
The cloud-to-edge architectures start with networking from Trustgrid Connect. Extending secure multi-tenant connectivity from the cloud, tunnels are configured, managed, and monitored from the Trustgrid management portal.
At the edge, full software lifecycle features manage the application components running on the Trustgrid nodes – allowing deployment for containerized services, version controlled, and supported centrally.
Delivering multi-tenant SaaS applications requires automation and optimization in every layer in the stack. When someone needs integration with on-premise environments, these requirements are complicated by the variety of systems, complexity of configurations, and lack of control over 3rd party infrastructure.
Tackling these challenges with Trustgrid enables software providers to build seamless cloud-to-edge
architectures utilizing cutting-edge networking and edge computing features specifically designed for these use cases. Functioning as a managed platform, developers and DevOps teams can focus on their product instead of maintaining the infrastructure that it is running on.