Welcome!

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

Cloud Security: Blog Feed Post

HTTP 2.0 Changes Everything

HTTP 2.0 will mean giving more than just lip service to security

Despite the hype and drama surrounding the HTTP 2.0 effort, the latest version of the ubiquitous HTTP protocol is not just a marketing term. It's a real, live IETF standard that is scheduled to "go live" in November (2014).

And it changes everything.

There are a lot of performance enhancing related changes in the HTTP 2.0 specification including multiplexing and header compression. These are not to be overlooked as minimal updates as they significantly improve performance, particularly for clients connecting over a mobile network. Header compression, for example, minimizes the requirement to transport HTTP headers with each and every request - and response. HTTP headers can become quite the overhead, particularly for those requests comprised simply of a URL or a few bytes of data.

Multiplexing has traditionally been a server-side technology, designated as an offload capability that optimizes both server resources and, in turn, performance. Enabling multiplexing on the client side, a la SPDY (which is the actually the basis for HTTP 2.0 and is supported by 65% of browsers today) and MPTCP protocols, enables the same benefits in terms of reducing resource consumption. It has the added benefit of improving performance by eliminating overhead associated with not just opening a new connection, but maintaining the state of each of them.

These are not what changes everything, however. While these are needed improvements and will certainly benefit clients and applications that can take advantage of them (either natively or by employing an HTTP gateway) the real game changer with HTTP 2.0 is the mandatory use of SSL.

Yes, that's right. SSL is mandatory.

What does that mean?
For everyone on the data center side of this equation - whether that data center is a cloud or a traditional one - mandating SSL or TLS for HTTP will effectively blind most of the application data path.

http20 challengesThis has always been true; enabling end-to-end SSL for web applications (which Our (that's F5) data shows is 64% of all applications being delivered) has always meant restricting visibility into web traffic. After all, the purpose of transport layer security protocols like SSL and TLS is to protect data in flight from prying eyes. Those eyes include benevolent services like performance monitoring, IDS, IPS, DLP, web acceleration and any other service which relies on the ability to inspect data in flight.

This requirement for SSL or TLS means there's going to have to be some changes in the network architecture if you're going to move to HTTP 2.0 to take advantage of its performance benefits. Somehow you're going to have to figure out how to support a MUST use TLS/SSL requirement while still enabling monitoring, acceleration and security services - hopefully without requiring that every service  in the application service conga line decrypt and re-encrypt the data.

While marketing made much of the "SSL Everywhere" movement and many organizations did, in fact, move to complying with the notion that every web interaction should be secured with SSL or TLS, not everyone was as dedicated to enforcing it on consumers and employees. Non-secured HTTP was still often allowed, despite the risks associated with it.

HTTP 2.0 will mean giving more than just lip service to security by requiring that organizations adopting the new protocol utterly and completely embrace it.

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Latest Stories
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...