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Cloudflare’s network boosts security and performance for IBM Cloud customers

by John Graham-Cumming.

Today our partner IBM® announced the general availability of Cloud Internet Services (CIS) Enterprise. It marks a significant step forward in the partnership that we announced at the IBM THINK event in March.

CIS delivers security and performance to IBM Cloud® customers’ internet applications. It brings together Cloudflare’s 150+ points of presence with IBM Cloud’s 60 data centers, stopping attacks before they can even reach the IBM Cloud. CIS Enterprise is integrated into IBM Cloud, allowing IBM Cloud customers to set up and manage Cloudflare’s DDoS mitigation, web application firewall, smart routing and highly customizable load balancer, all from within the IBM Cloud user interface.  

Our Network Map (as of 10/18/18). Click here for the latest version

We thought it timely to give a refresher on how Cloudflare’s network supports IBM Cloud customers. The network is designed to meet requirements of the most demanding enterprise customers. It is based on an architecture that differentiates it from legacy CDN, DNS and DDoS-mitigation services to ensure that internet applications stay online, even in the face of extremely high volume attacks or legitimate traffic spikes.

Cloudflare’s network of data centers, distributed across 74 countries (including 22 in China), has a network capacity that is 12x bigger than the largest DDoS attack ever recorded and sees 10% of all HTTP requests each month. Indeed, thanks to this capacity, we were able to mitigate one of the largest attacks recorded of close to 1TBps earlier this year without any impact to our network, customers or the 2.8 billion users per month who interact with domains using Cloudflare. With more than 20 Tbps of capacity, it can handle any modern distributed attack, including those targeting DNS infrastructure. The benefits of this network accrue to the 11 million domains on Cloudflare’s network by means of a simple change to DNS settings.

Every one of Cloudflare’s data centers offers the same complete stack of performance and security services. This allows each server to handle the entirety of a user’s interaction, from initial DNS query to security checks to final content delivery. This architecture makes it simple to scale out the Cloudflare network and to add more and more data centers in close proximity to our customers. This means that traffic generated from DDoS attacks can be mitigated as close to the source as possible, spreading attacks across the various Cloudflare data centers, instead of concentrating the mitigation efforts to scrubbing centers, which often significantly increase latency for end users. For Enterprise customers, it means we can protect and accelerate the most complex and highly trafficked applications.

IBM Cloud customers can access the Cloudflare network via the IBM Cloud dashboard. Thanks to this integration, IBM Cloud customers can manage their hosting and web security through one vendor.  While here at Cloudflare we deal with some very complex problems, our goal has always been to make individual account management straightforward for all of our users. The CIS integration is consistent with that approach, surfacing key features in a familiar interface without the need to manage multiple settings.

Lastly, IBM Cloud recently joined the Bandwidth Alliance to waive data transfer fees between IBM and Cloudflare servers for IBM Cloud Internet Services enterprise plan customers. This is an important step forward to reduce customers’ hosting costs.

CIS Enterprise comes in two plan types, you can either sign up online or speak to your IBM Cloud account manager to learn more.

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