Originally aired on September 19 @ 2:00 AM - 2:30 AM EDT
Join us for the debut episode of Cloudflare TV's Partner Channel Connection series by VB Malik, Partner Solutions Architect, where we delve into the cutting-edge realm of networking with a remarkable guest, Deepika Nath, the Director of Cloud Network Architecture at Kyndryl.
In this inaugural episode, we're excited to have Deepika take the stage to share her expertise and insights on how Kyndryl, a leader in innovative IT solutions, collaborates with Cloudflare to shape the future of networking and security.
Getting to Know Deepika: Grab your virtual coffee and get comfy – we're having a chat with Deepika Nath! Learn about her journey, her role, and her aspirations for Kyndryl's Next generation cloud network architecture.
Empowering the WAN of Tomorrow: Dive into the evolving landscape of Wide Area Networking (WAN) challenges. Learn how Kyndryl and Cloudflare are working in tandem to redefine the boundaries of secure and scalable WAN infrastructure.
Synergy in Security: Explore how Kyndryl and Cloudflare's partnership synergistically addresses critical security concerns in modern networking. Uncover the strategies and technologies that safeguard data and operations against threats.
Use Case Showcase: Discover real-world use cases where Kyndryl and Cloudflare's joint offering proves transformative. From cloud connectivity to edge security, learn how customers across industries can harness the power of this partnership to solve complex challenges.
The Journey Forward: Gain insights into the roadmap ahead for Kyndryl and Cloudflare's partnership. Understand their shared commitment to continuous innovation and how they plan to shape the future of networking.
Hello, welcome to an exciting launch of Cloudflare TV's inaugural episode of Partner Channel Connections. I'm your host VB Malik, the Partner Solutions Architect. And today we have one of the fascinating guests that I would love to have the conversation with. But before we do that, let's talk about what exactly is Partner Channel Connections and why are we here. Partner Channel Connections is a technical interview series with focuses on the minds of the engineers and architects behind the next generation cloud networking technologies, security architectural solutions. We want to talk to our global channel partners. We want to talk to our global system integrators and making sure that anybody who's interested in cloud native architectures, interested in different kinds of integrations from whether that be from the SSE landscape to security as a SASE landscape, anything that we have, we are going to cover in this particular show. But before we do that, let's talk about what is Cloudflare's ecosystem of partners that we have. We have many vibrant GSIs, MSPs, VARs that we often work with. But today we have on our show one of the esteemed persons that I often talk to, Deepika Nath from Kindrel. She is the director for cloud networking architectures over here at Kindrel. And Deepika, welcome to the show. Hi, VB. So great to see you here again on the Partner Channel. Yeah, we are so happy to have you over here. Deepika and me have been interacting in the last few months together with our Cloudflare Kindrel partnership. Deepika, before we all get started, I would love to have our audience over here, our customers, our partners, share a bit about your journey in the technology industry, who Kindrel is, your role as the director of infrastructure and cloud architecture at Kindrel. I would love to know a little bit more about you. Yeah. Hi, VB. I feel like you have become a really good friend. We've been working together over the last few months, but it's really exciting to be here on this Partner Channel with you. So I'm Deepika Nath. My whole career journey has been rooted in networking, everything networking, like traditional networking from inception to the growth of the bigger routers and firewalls and all those platforms in the traditional networking sense, how the data center took the center stage and evolved from there, and then all the virtualization journey, and now the hyperscalers becoming like the big powerhouses, and now everything in between with a lot of exciting technologies that create a new canvas, a new landscape, and a new opportunity. So I am very excited to be part of that journey, both for my company Kindrel now and, of course, for us to create something very special for our customers. My original journey was IBM. Then I worked for Cisco Systems, a major provider everybody knows technology-wise, back to IBM, and then now we have Kindrel, an IBM spinoff, right? We are a young company, a startup, I would say, about 90 ,000 strong, but not quite a startup when you think about a startup being quite large, right? So Kindrel really works with customers with very critical workloads. We power a large number of the biggest companies in every industry around the globe, over 4,000 customers, and our vision is creating real value for the customers jointly that brings what we have at Kindrel and what our partners bring, and then create the journey for the customer to modernization that brings value to their own business through our Kindrel bridge, which is a vital platform where everybody comes together, the customers, the partners, our solution offerings, the customizations, and all of that is powered by a data lake and an artificial intelligence enabled platform that is able to create these flexible journeys. So that's what Kindrel is about. We bring a lot of expertise and we also create new expertise as we build partnerships with you and move forward. What an amazing journey, Deepika. I love when you mention about the 90,000 person startup, you know, because that brings, you know, such memories in regards to, I've worked with, you know, large companies in regards to, and it's very challenging in regards to, you know, building that kind of a startup culture within the large organization. So I'm so happy that Kindrel is taking a fresh approach towards, you know, how customers have been transforming their infrastructure and network, and that requires that kind of a freshness in regards to how you look at the modern scale architectures today on where customers are going, their journeys all together. So, yeah. So overall, I would love to understand, Deepika, that where do you see some of the key areas that you drive within your teams overall to drive that innovation and how the Kindrel services stay ahead of the curve? Because as you see right now, you know, we talk about newest of the technologies with generative AI, with newer of the things happening in the industry. What are the things that helps you to drive that innovation from customer lens? Yes. So I am in charge of architectures globally for networking and cloud, right? So that pretty much is really broad. And when I think about how do we evolve, how do we create, how do we really kind of like while we are running, make changes, right? That kind of a thing. I think about standardization, architectures that really make that easier, things that are composable in the standardization. And I think about how do we really manage the landscape? How do we make, how do we know what's going on and how do we really assure for our customers that not only are we creating and evolving something that's meaningful to them, but also we have the power to give them that visibility into what's going on. So it's really the whole aspect of understanding the customer and with that continuum, how architecture plays such a major role in creating that value. So that's really what I focus on. Great. You know, at Cloudflare, especially in my role as a partner solutions architect and within my entire global team that we work with, we want to drive partner excellence so that when we look at customers and look at the customer excellence, we want to make sure that customers reference architectures on how they want to consume these services from the scale perspective. You know, how are GSIs like Kindrel, you are integrating a lot of these services for our customers. And that's where the biggest ask is from a lot of our customers. How do we consume these multi-distributed architectures and consume these services together? And that's where I feel our relation within Kindrel and Cloudflare is such a strong value proposition for our customers, where they can consume these services at any scale, at a smaller scale, at a larger scale. So talking this conversation a little bit deeper into some of the Kindrel managed services offering that we have been working together. Let's take a step back and understand, looking at the broader landscape of how do you, and with your own experience as well, that how you take that, you know, current state of the network today and some of the challenges that you are, you know, you often talk to many customers as well, that you have been seeing this transition happening with many of the customers. How do you see those challenges, you know, with the different organizations that they are facing today? Yeah, you bring up a really good point. It really is about composable architectures. It's about modularization. It's also about how the architectures will fit, not at an architectural level only, but where the rubber meets the road. So in order to prepare for that, we have a lot of deep knowledge about how data centers behave, how the kinds of patterns we create to get in, and we have knowledge about how management in general works, right? Cloud -native, what sorts of tools do we need for scalability? It absolutely has to be something cloud-native with an architecture that will support the producer, consumer, and microservices type of approach. So with that in mind, Cloudflare logically makes a lot of sense. It is born in the cloud, cloud-native for sure, but we went deeper when we looked at manageability aspect, especially for that managed service component that we want to get to. Obviously, the consult starts first. We work with the customer to ensure that it's going to be a good fit, and then they're going to go to the build and implement. When we build and implement, we have to do it in a manner that it makes sense to go to manage in a frictionless kind of way. So to do that, what we have done together, like Kindrel and Cloudflare together, is look at how do we at Kindrel look at that access management part, identity management? How do we look at a multi-talented solution that creates operational efficiency to bring what we bring operationally to be consumed also frictionless with multiple customers? That's how we can scale. So in order to do that, we established in our offering development environment the ability to integrate our own systems into that environment, and also the ability to bring the integration to the backend Cloudflare backbone and to Cloudflare's tools and services so that we create that foundation of managed services. So when we can prove that we can integrate, we can get the events, we can get the notifications, we use the APIs, and we put it all together that we know when there's a problem, and we know that problem is going to affect this customer or the other customer, and to be able to surface it with the right criticality, with the right ability to support the SLAs. That's really where we create that integration between our companies to make that journey seamless. So the front end part is the customer solution, the customer design. We bring the services to the customer. We create what they need in their policy management and all of those aspects. So it's going to create that value for them, and on the backend, that manageability part where we can surface that in real-time in production, how the traffic nuances and real-time information gets translated into visibility, observability, and move that forward to the right ticketing type of notifications to close that loop. And of course, the troubleshooting part for our managed services delivery teams to be able to go in and have the right data to troubleshoot it, and the backend systems we create with all the experts on the backend being able to communicate seamlessly between Kindle and Cloudflare. So it really is that entirety that I think about. When you asked, what do I think about? That's what I think about, and of course, I don't do it alone. I have a lot of collaborators within Kindle, lots of teams, our security teams, network teams, engineering teams, delivery teams, we all bring it together. Awesome. I loved how you put this whole together within looking at a customer journey from the consult, advise, implement, and manage, because these are from the customer lens so important and critical because customers, when they partner up with Kindle to manage their services, manage their applications, they look at that from the entire 360 -degree lens as well. So it's really important how Kindle brings together this entire framework from the start towards the end and probably continuing that journey together with those customers, and that's fabulous. And within our Cloudflare model as well, we have been using many of these services that now we often go and propose to our customers from either the network services that we have been building over the last 12 plus years, or it might be the Zero Trust services that we have been consuming for many of these applications, especially after the pandemic when we had to go hybrid. Now, we are a hybrid company altogether as well, and many of these services that we consume, we drink our own kind of champagne in that sense, and use these services often and see those challenges that we have gone through with multiple years of iteration on these services, how a partner like Kindle can come in and help those customers build these large, transformative architectures, and that's something that requires helping hand in regards to whether that be your endpoint security solutions, whether that be your network as a service solutions for customers who want to go towards the newer set of hybrid architectures that they are consuming. So that requires a partner like Kindle to come in and work with the customer, with the vendor like Cloudflare, and bring together that solution for customers. That's so true, Vivi. We also recognized as we work together that you have an insight from the persona of consuming it yourself. We bring the insight of what does it mean to a customer's view as a persona. You obviously see that too, but we have that experience in various different solutions, right? So we've established our own practices, so we bring that part, and it was a very exciting journey where we were able to say these things that you're consuming internally would make sense to us, but here are some more things we would need, and how willing the Cloudflare team has been, the product team, the roadmaps, to accommodate certain things that we asked for so we can drive a bit more insight, a bit more specific ways of pinpointing certain things, a little easier for troubleshooting, or a little better visibility to the customer, that kind of thing. That's what makes the partnership so valuable, the ability to work together, to really see each other's point of view, and how we intersect to create additional value. So that I see as the true proof, I would say, of how well a partnership is working. I'm very, very, very pleased to be a part of it. Absolutely. So now, since the cat's out of the bag, and we, you know, recently announced, you know, with the value-based services for our customers, recently this partnership, could you tell us a little bit more about this collaboration and how it actually enhances the network services offering, you know, for our customers? Yeah, it does. It simplifies it for our customers. And the reason is that we are doing the heavy lifting. Behind the scenes, we are creating the logic of how we analyze various streams of content and critical KPIs that are surfaced, and how we mix and match different KPIs, put them together, and create that analysis of whether it's going to impact the customer or not, and what is something our own team needs to look at versus what is something that we absolutely have to surface to the customer right away. That makes a lot of sense. And one of the reasons the Cloudflare solution is so attractive is obviously the distributed points of presence, the scalability makes it so simple. That's what I mean, simplifying for our customers. That's hugely important. And we don't have to worry about which service is available where, because every single data center that Cloudflare has, which is over 285 around the world globally, is able to run every one of these services. And the low latency to the customer, this is the value, is the simplification, meaning consistency of how it is enforced. Then the backend heavy lifting we have done together to surface only the real things to the customers and the most valuable, in turn making it easy for Kindred's people, personnel to analyze what they're seeing and troubleshoot it. And for Cloudflare to also, when we call upon you, know what we have together, what point we're at and how to work to resolve the problem when we need to. So that I would say is really the full circle piece, creating that bigger value. Awesome. It brings together this whole Cloudflare, our scalability, working with a partner like Kindred, and then helping our customers solve different kinds of use cases that we have. But just wanted to also ask you about, you've been now with Kindred for quite some time, and what do you feel in regards to Kindred making it apart from many other managed services providers, when it comes to network services? And what are the unique approaches that differentiate Kindred today in the market and helping solve those customers' problems and the outcomes that they are driving for? So we at Kindred differentiate ourselves with the expertise we bring in networking, not just the networking, the cloud, the networking, the applications, the whole spectrum. So we can augment the Cloudflare solution with additional solutions, that's one. So broadening the value prop and creating a seamless experience for our customers. And in addition, that Kindred bridge platform will unify what customer needs, what we bring, all of those. But specifically to networking, we have the experience of the diversity of circuits that you need to create a resilient model. We have the ability to blend cloud native with traditional and create that managed experience that's also seamless across the different spectrum of services that are there. We bring together the ability to create that seamless design for the specific customer journey they need and bring the Cloudflare aspects and create that bridge of integration between the customer and the Cloudflare backbone, and then take it to the next level of not only what we would bring from networking to create that experience for the customer, but bring together our security teams, our cloud teams, our application teams, so that it truly becomes that unifying and ubiquitous solution for the customer. So that's what we bring. We have, I would say, about 30,000 plus certifications, industry certifications of the people that we have at Kindred, all various aspects of industry certs, and just the breadth of experience, the ability globally to be able to manage this, combining that with the simplification we bring together. We are striving for simplification. We are striving for cloud native as and where we can, because that's the future. All the customers are on that journey, just a different part of the journey. We can make it happen from Kindred. That's really our value, which we combine with our culture of really putting services first at Kindred. We live that every day. So I see that as what we bring to the table as Kindred. Yeah, honestly, like within Cloudflare and Kindred, our values align so much with that customer first mindset, solving the customer's problem from their lens in regards to what they are trying to achieve. And I think that's where the strongest partnership is within Kindred and Cloudflare. Deepika, we talked about many of the things overall in this podcast, but I would love to maybe have you again as well for some of the technical architectural use cases. We have tons of technical audience who would love to understand what kind of use cases we are solving. So maybe in another of the sessions, I would love to have you and discuss more about the use cases that we are driving towards. What are the things that customers would love to expect as well? But looking ahead overall, I would want to ask you, what are the future developments that or innovations that we can anticipate between partnership, between Cloudflare and Kindred? And how do you envision those achievements, advancements that support organizations for various network connectivity needs, security needs from your lens? Yes. Yes, Vivi, really good question. What we haven't talked about is why would a customer ask Kindred or be supportive of a solution that we are creating, right? So when I look at that from a customer lens, let's start there and then I'll tell you about where our future is going. So we think about it as like Internet becoming completely like the norm, right? The de facto standard, unlike traditional circuits like MPLS. So there is a value there for cost savings, right? So they would want that. So obviously it's their critical systems that are the reason why they bought that MPLS to begin with. So we have to make sure that all their policy control and those things are possible. And obviously we do that at Cloudflare with the centralized cloud data policies we can do. Then we will layer on the security services, right? To get the insights from what's going on in real time and Cloudflare will bring their own DDoS protection and their whole piece of what they are seeing in real time with attacks and how they respond to it and create dynamic rule sets that are actually enforced right off the bat when they see something going wrong. So that's where we are and the insights we are gaining today with our first step into managed services are at the level where we want to get it to a point where we launch our solution together. We gain the customer's business from the early adopters, we learn, we enrich. So what I'm looking forward in the roadmap is more of the depth of what we bring, right? Much more automated insights, more depth of seeing something in the customer environment happening that we can then bring our own insights in addition to what Cloudflare brings as we learn about what kind of workloads they're running where we might see something in our logic to enhance in our Kindle bridge platform and we also make that more seamless for our customers when they consume additional Kindle services and they're also consuming Cloudflare in the future, right? We would be able to correlate those things for the customers too. So we see that as our today's solution as a starting point and then an enrichment and up to a higher and higher value created for the customer with the customer in mind that surfaces new things based on everything they're consuming from Cloudflare and from Kindle. Awesome. Well, you couldn't have said it better. Deepika, I would love to thank you for coming today, talking about our partnership together. Like I said, I would love to have you again over here for discussing the use cases and a lot of technical counterparts like myself in the engineering and architecture would love to understand how we are trying to solve the different kind of use cases that we are bringing on the table that are present today and then what we have anticipated for the future as well for them. And if anybody wants to reach out to you, is there anything that you have on Twitter, LinkedIn, anything that you have? I'll put some notes as well over here in the website. And then if they want to contact you as well for that. Absolutely. I'm on LinkedIn. So I'm on LinkedIn. It's easy to find me. And I would love that. And actually, we should write some collaborative articles to VB. Absolutely. Let's do it together. And together is always better. And I've loved being here and thank you for having me. Absolutely. Thanks a lot. Thanks for doing this. So thank you all for joining us on this introductory episode of Partner Channel Connections. I hope you really liked it. Stay tuned for more of these incredible conversations that we are going to have. Hopefully we'll have Deepika back on the show, but we want to make sure we can inspire you, empower you to have the similar kind of stories with your customers when you go and talk to them about their hybrid cloud architectures on how you can help them solve their customer problems that they have. With that, I would thank you all for staying with this, if you have come this far, and I'll hopefully see you in one of the other episodes. Take care. Bye signing out. SageGroup is a leading technology company that helps businesses to thrive. We have a global footprint. We service millions of customers, entrepreneurs worldwide. The key security challenges in the industry in cybersecurity, they have been about the uprise of criminal groups. 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While with Cloudflare Zero Trust, many of those capabilities are already kind of backed together for you, which means that you don't have to add complexity to your environment. Sage and Cloudflare, we have a long history, but our relationship has become much stronger over time. Cloudflare has this amazing ability to kind of create capabilities that speaks to the operations team, but also speaks to the security profession. And not many companies can achieve that.