Tanium is in the business of providing endpoint management and security, trusted by many large enterprises worldwide. Moor Insights & Strategy recently published a research paper discussing the importance of endpoint management and security when work has moved to the cloud, home, and everywhere in between.
In my conversation with Orion Hindawi, cofounder and CEO of Tanium, I was intrigued to learn how he approached multi-cloud and the criteria he used to evaluate cloud providers. First and foremost, he has to maintain a high level of trust with a most discerning customer base.
The time is right for Tanium-as-a-Service (TaaS)
Customers, historically, have deployed the Tanium platform on-premises to perform both security and operations management for a range of different devices with chips from IoT up to the server, including virtualization and cloud computing.
About three years ago, the customer perception of the cloud made sense for Tanium to offer a cloud-based solution. The largest enterprises still wanted to deploy on-premises at that time, but early adopters were getting comfortable with the cloud-hosted solution known as Tanium-as-a-Service (TaaS). In the past six months, Tanium sees 85% of new customers choose TaaS instead of deploying on-premises. One of the reasons customers like TaaS is the visibility of all assets on-premises and the cloud-hosted regardless of location.
The work from home phenomena has fueled the adoption of TaaS. Enterprises realize a persistent need to manage devices essentially out in the wild and not on a VPN. With the tasks to manage and monitor everything quickly, customers recognize that Tanium will do a better job managing a cloud service versus building everything from scratch.
Multi-cloud makes sense but comes with a cost
The main reason that Tanium went for a multi-cloud approach is to realize measurable benefits from one cloud versus another. As a vendor that supplies a cloud-hosted solution, multi-cloud is necessary because limiting to a single cloud provider is not optimal for Tanium or the customer base.
But leverage comes with a cost. The option to pick and choose the optimal use from each cloud provider can result in a better and less expensive service for the customer. The cost of this flexibility is to reimplement things like authentication that have to be done differently in the different clouds.
Tanium built a new service that is a critical part of its offering on Oracle Cloud. This service is the client edge which is responsible for handling all client communications.
OCI is an entirely new infrastructure developed from the ground up with no resemblance to its predecessor. The design goals were better performance, pricing, and—above all else—security. Other more established cloud providers are now investing enormous amounts of money in rebuilding the management stack.
The challenge is compatibility across clouds. If you use something that is not in a particular cloud, there is no guarantee that it will work. To shift a workload often requires reengineering the management construct, and there are network and data implications.
Why Tanium chose Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)
Tanium’s CEO said the company evaluated all cloud providers against a matrix of requirements that included the security posture, cost structure, and ability to scale. Additionally, the cloud provider needed to understand Tanium’s requirements and be willing to collaborate on extending existing services to deliver more value.
Tanium is in the business of security. Apart from Oracle's evident security pedigree, Tanium was impressed by Oracle's investment in hiring strong people into the security team. From the standpoint of cost, Oracle was committed to making the partnership cost advantageous to Tanium. Oracle was able to demonstrate scalability with Zoom as a great proof point.
The other advantage for Tanium was the mutually beneficial partnership. With Oracle's focus on the enterprise, there is an incentive to show customers how OCI works better with Tanium.
Tanium is in production on OCI today
Supporting a Multi-Cloud approach is not trivial. It requires engineering work and notification to customers. The benefit is to increase the quality of service. Feedback from Tanium’s customers on the migration to OCI has been overwhelmingly positive. All customers were seamlessly migrated to the updated service which now spans both AWS and OCI.
I have followed the evolution of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and have written several articles on the subject. I was a skeptic in the early days, but I became an admirer of the Oracle Gen2 architecture redesigned from the ground up over time. This decision by Tanium with a set of demanding customers is a strong endorsement that Oracle is doing things right.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.