skip to main content
Close Icon

In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. By continuing to use this site and access its features, you are consenting to our use of cookies. To find out more about the way Informa uses cookies please go to our Cookie Policy page.

Global Search Configuration

Ovum view


Cloud-native computing is the end goal of a journey that starts with agile development, progresses to DevOps, adopts microservices and containers, makes effective use of cloud (everything as a service) including serverless computing, and takes a platform approach that decouples the business domain applications, products, and services from the infrastructure. It no longer matters whether the code resides on a public cloud, on a private cloud, on-premise, on managed services, or on hybrid systems. One of the key concepts is moving from viewing servers as “pets” (cherished and long-lived) to viewing them instead as “cattle”, immutable objects (infrastructure as code) that can be swiftly replaced from a single source.

This paradigm is also providing a new approach to security in the data center. Advocated by Pivotal Software’s Justin Smith, his “Rotate, Repave, and Repair” (3Rs) recipe demonstrates how the flexibility that microservices and containers in production, coupled with a fast DevOps continuous delivery capability, can lead to innovations in data center security. The idea is based on a continual refresh of the data center infrastructure environment to stem three categories of vulnerabilities: unpatched software (this is very common), the availability of time for malware to perform its intentions, and leaked credentials. Ovum sees the 3Rs as a security paradigm shift that cloud-native technologies make possible. At its root is the DevOps philosophy of making changes a painless activity. 3Rs enhances security and changes the lifecycle of servers from slow-changing, long-lived instances that invite malware to flourish, to fast-changing, short-lived servers that nip malware in the bud.

The security benefits of rapidly swapping out servers in live production

Cloud-native computing offers improved security to enterprise IT. Applications are created in microservices architecture, packaged in containers, and made secure by default, to, for example, comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). These packages are then deployed as immutable objects. To make a change, the service is terminated and the changed service is deployed as a new object. Production applications are no longer viewed as “pets”, but are instead broken into microservices and each service swiftly replaced as needed.

This approach reduces the mismatch and divergence that occurs between development and production versions. With the rapid change that DevOps continuous deployment offers, it is possible to adopt Smith’s 3Rs. The idea is that every few minutes or hours, all credentials used in the data center are rotated, repaving every server and application (the aim is to minimize server lifetime and refresh it as often as possible, reducing the time in which malware has to operate), and repairing software with patches as soon as available. With rapid continuous delivery in place it is possible to patch the whole software stack in live production with zero downtime. This approach will stop many of the IT security vulnerabilities that exist today. The overheads of this approach are negligible, and Pivotal has large-scale deployment customer examples that demonstrate the practice, which just adds an extra layer of automation.

Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) is the first PaaS to implement the 3Rs security policy

Since joining Pivotal Software, Smith has helped bake the 3Rs security strategy into PCF. The first manifestation of this will be the availability of PCF Repave as a feature of OpsManager, a web application to deploy and manage a PCF PaaS. PCF Repave allows customers to regularly replace underlying VMs which essentially disallows malicious code to exist. As a complete package for cloud-native computing, PCF now has a security policy that fits DevOps and addresses the many cyber-security issues and threats that enterprises have so far failed to deal with. With the 3Rs Pivotal has also added turnkey compliance, ensuring that PCF is compliant with security industry standards.

Ovum believes the 3Rs approach has significant security advantages over slow-changing server lifetime models. Ovum encourages other PaaS providers and data center owners to adopt cloud-native technologies that allow the 3Rs concepts to be applied and help overcome the cybersecurity weaknesses that pervade IT infrastructure in so many organizations today.

Further Reading

Justin Smith’s original blog that introduced the 3Rs policy:



Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum Infrastructure Solutions Group

Recommended Articles

  • Enterprise Decision Maker, Enterprise IT Strategy and Select...

    2017 Trends to Watch: Big Data

    By Tony Baer 21 Nov 2016

    The breakout use case for big data will be fast data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing the urgency for enterprises to embrace real-time streaming analytics, as use cases from mobile devices and sensors become compelling to a wide range of industry sectors.

    Topics Big data and analytics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services, World Cellular Informatio...

    Mapping the Future of Enterprise Messaging: SMS, RCS, and Chat Bots

    By Pamela Clark-Dickson

    In this paper, we analyze the results of the Enterprise Messaging Survey 2017, placing the findings in the context of the rapidly evolving business-to-consumer communications market.

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services, Service Provider Technolo...

    FAANG to sink its teeth deeper into TV in 2018

    By Rob Gallagher 14 Dec 2017

    Few trends will be bigger in 2018 than the transformation of TV and video by OTT technology and services. Here we present five Ovum predictions related to the most influential players: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix – or FAANG, for short.


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 7770704398 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now