by Stuart Hardy, Managing Director at zafrica
A year since its inaugural event in Las Vegas, Zscaler’s Cloud Summit, Zenith Live 2019 was held in the month of September in both Las Vegas, USA and Lisbon, Portugal - a flawless, elegant and informative event that I highly recommend all IT executives attend.
Following 2018’s central theme, Zenith Live’s 2019 goal was to once again bring cloud technology visionaries, business leaders, network and security experts, and practitioners together - the people who challenge the status quo and drive effective change in their organisations. It was therefore no surprise to be rubbing shoulders with leaders from the likes of Microsoft, AWS, VMware and global carriers like TATA, Orange and T-Systems.
For me personally, it was an opportunity to immerse myself in the Zscaler products and get a first glimpse of the roadmap for Zscaler over the next 12 months. And added to this, I was able to hear first hand a few stories from large global organisations such as Nestle, GE, Siemens and Shell during the course of the event, and was immediately struck by two things.
The first being that these significant organisations where amongst the first to adopt Zscaler back in day – some as early as 2010 when cloud computing was still in its infancy. And, not unlike Zscaler themselves, companies like Siemens and GE realised that the only feasible security architecture for their aggressive cloud and mobile first strategies would have to be cloud based. In many ways this is in steep contrast to large South African companies that remain locked into DC based application delivery and centralised security - while slowly moving into cloud some 9 years later.
The second, and as important as the first, is that most if not all of these early Zscaler adopters are still customers of Zscaler today. In some ways its understandable given that these days we only see alternate large security vendors moving into cloud - but it gave Zscaler an almost 10 year head start in understanding the challenges of delivering and scaling a true multi-cloud global security network. Those early days must have been incredibly challenging for both customer and Zscaler, but it’s led them to an almost unattainable position in the market today.
Zscaler Product Roadmap – what’s in store?
If you are familiar with Zscaler, then you will be aware that traditionally they have had two main solutions in the market. ZIA (Zscaler Internet Access), which protects your network and users from Internet based threats and data loss prevention, and ZPA (Zscaler Private Access), a powerful and unique cloud security that connects your remote users and small branches to your private applications using a zero trust framework.
At Zenith Live we were able to get a sneak-peak into several new solutions that are either in BETA currently, or will officially be available in Quarter 1 2020.
This new product uses the same powerful zero trust ZPA cloud to support business-to-business connections - removing the need for VPN to VPN interconnects and allowing companies to build application and policy-based access between organisations. Some of the features of this product include:
Zscaler Edge Connector
Another extension of the ZPA cloud platform that delivers application access and business-to-business, Edge Connector gives organisations the ability to connect private cloud or DC workloads together. Connectors can be spun up in Azure, AWS or using most hypervisors, and can connect workloads through a zero trust platform that uses policy to enable connections. Some of the benefits include:
Zscaler Digital Experience
One of the most interesting and exciting product launches will be Digital Experience. Leveraging their 130 global POP’s and 70B daily transactions, Zscaler will soon be able to tell you what your users are experiencing and where the pain points exist - reducing the time to troubleshoot private and public cloud application delivery and experience. Customers using Zapp will be able to determine where in the chain of service performance is problematic. This will include user PC resources, Internet link, security, cloud servers and applications.
Even more impressive is that you will be able to measure this with your users and then compare against a peer using the same Zscaler node and accessing the same cloud applications. More to come on this in 2020…
To wrap up, 2019’s Zenith Live was a powerful and professional event that has left me with a sense of anticipation and excitement for 2020.
View the Zenith Live 2019 keynote and session recordings.
If you are interested in attending the next event in Europe 2020, be sure to let us know.