Inside S2 Security's Cloud Services

 

Cloud computing is a transformative concept that can be used in many ways, and S2 Security’s investment in cloud tech is just beginning to show its benefits in the field.

John MossBy John Moss

John Moss is Chief Product Officer of LenelS2.

 

Cloud computing is a transformative concept that can be used in many ways, and S2 Security’s investment in cloud tech is just beginning to show its benefits in the field.

If you’ve registered an S2 product lately, you could have opted for S2 Cumulus cloud-based health monitoring. The S2 products you register this way periodically send a packet of health data to S2 Cumulus, which alerts on the data and offers a user interface to
display statistics based on it. S2 Cumulus keeps track, for example, of whether your systems check in, and creates alerts if they don’t.

S2 Cumulus is a growing collection of cloud-based services that interact with users and S2 products, and health monitoring is just one of them. Another is the notification service that handles the complex task of delivering messages to users’ mobile devices and computers. S2 Magic Monitor can send a message to a mobile device by having S2 Cumulus do the heavy lifting. An S2 NetBox system can do the same thing.

Some of S2’s soon-to-be-released cloud services implement complex, enterprise-level workflows involving mobile devices. The access level approval workflow in S2 NetBox is made possible by S2 Cumulus, which handles notifications and approvals between users. The S2 Cumulus mustering service has a similar story: it manages evacuation processes using many mobile devices that connect simultaneously. A traditional system would choke under the load, but the cloud service version is elastic; it adds more memory or CPU or storage to itself whenever it needs to and releases it when done.

Calling these complex operations “services” emphasizes the fact that the user interface involved is generally in a client, not the cloud. The service model lets us develop new capabilities in a manner such that our users don’t have to constantly upgrade their hardware because some of the computing load is in the cloud instead of their servers. Beyond new product options, cloud services lead to increased stability because the complex parts are actively – and centrally – maintained, so software updates are often made to the cloud rather than the user’s site.

S2 also has a product called S2 NetBox Online, which is a software-as-a-service version of S2 NetBox. The online version is a single-tenant cloud model where the NetBox software runs in the cloud. The user interface is the same browser-delivered interface that the S2 NetBox appliance provides, but the software runs in the cloud instead of the appliance.

S2 runs its cloud services on Amazon’s Web Services platform. There are other credible providers, including Google and Microsoft, but it’s much more economical to pick one and focus on it.

S2 currently offers S2 Cumulus services without charge, so it’s a good time to try them out. Expect to see a lot of action in the cloud service area, as we introduce whole feature sets that leverage what the cloud model can do. These clouds will be with us for quite a while.

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