Palo Alto Networks expands Google partnership to leverage Google Cloud AI capabilities

As part of the enhanced relationship with Google, Palo Alto Networks will now run their Application Framework and GlobalProtect cloud service in the Google Cloud, as they believe its analytics capabilities are the best fit for these applications.

Varun Badhwar, SVP, Products & Engineering, Public Cloud Security, at Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud have expanded their partnership. The extension has multiple dimensions, but the most significant is that the Palo Alto Networks Application Framework, as well as the GlobalProtect cloud service, will now run on the Google Cloud Platform [GCP]. Palo Alto Networks also announced security integrations for the VM-Series, Traps and RedLock, which are focused on enhancing security analytics in GCP.

The Google Cloud was the last of the three major public clouds with whom Palo Alto Networks partnered, in late 2016. Palo Alto Networks works with all these clouds, and their newly acquired RedLock public cloud security analytics offering is explicitly designed to support a multi-cloud strategy by running on all of them. Nevertheless, this extension of the Google partnership is significant because the Palo Alto Networks Application Framework, the next-gen security platform that is a critical part of the company’s cloud strategy, will run on the Google Cloud, even though the Framework itself is multi-cloud for the services it delivers. That makes the Google Cloud, at least for now, a first among equals.

“We’ve always believed that more and more security service can be delivered from the public cloud,” said Varun Badhwar, SVP, Products & Engineering, Public Cloud Security, at Palo Alto Networks. “Google is making great strides in the enterprise market. We will leverage Google’s Cloud Platform to run services, specifically the Palo Alto Networks Application Framework and the GlobalProtect Cloud Service.”

Badhwar indicated that this decision comes from the fact that Palo Alto Networks considers the Google Cloud a better fit for these particular services.

“We will run specific services on clouds which we believe will best fit their capabilities,” he said. “The Application Framework is all about analytics and automation. We did a thorough evaluation and decided that Google Cloud’s offerings around artificial intelligence and analytics are best in class.”

At the same time, Palo Alto Networks announced that RedLock, which they acquired in October, will be available to Google Cloud Platform customers to enable the accelerated adoption of public cloud – but it will also be available to customers of the other public clouds since its value lies in its multi-cloud capabilities.

“RedLock helps customers in multi-cloud environments,” Badhwar stated. “It helps organizations, as they develop new applications on the public cloud, to get the same levels of security, compliance and visibility that they have on-prem. Its API-first approach extracts a lot of metadata from the API to evaluate the impact of changes, and allow you to detect and automatically respond to them, through a single solution that works on AWS,  Azure and GCP.”

One GCP-specific announcement around RedLock was that it now automates the inclusion of GCP’s Security Baseline API-provided data in its compliance reports. A first-of-its-kind capability not available for any other cloud platform, RedLock security reports now provide a unified view of security and compliance posture across organizations’ applications, data, GCP infrastructure, and GCP native services, including Google Kubernetes Engine.

Palo Alto Networks also announced new integrations in the GCP for the VM-Series, Traps and RedLock, which are focused on enhancing security analytics in GCP and automated compliance audits.

“All of those products already work across multiple clouds, but we are excited about the additional APIs and data context that GCP is providing,” Badhwar said. “It will let us build an even better integration than we could on our own.”

All this means additional opportunities for Palo Alto Networks and its partners, Badhwar emphasized.

“The cloud is providing a massive opportunity for both Palo Alto Networks and our partners,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to redefine all managed services offerings. The extension of our NextWave partner program allows partners to deliver those services.”