Jul 07, 2021

Zemax Goes Cloud-First With Help From Tanium as a Service

Optical software developer adopts Tanium’s cloud-based suite to dramatically improve and simplify how it manages and secures its endpoints

By Tanium Staff

Plenty of companies say they’re going “cloud-first,” but only a chosen few actually do it. One of them is software provider Zemax LLC.

Zemax, based in Seattle suburb Kirkland, Washington, has highly specialized needs. The privately held company makes optical-design software, and its customers are extremely technical. These customers include the Hubble Space Telescope; ThorLabs, a maker of industrial imaging and optomechanical systems; and Oculus, a VR gaming producer owned by Facebook. To serve these technically minded customers around the world, Zemax also offers tech support and both standard and customized training.

Cloud-first approach

Technical as Zemax is, it operates with a fairly small IT staff. To compensate, the company has set a priority of using the cloud whenever and wherever possible. That, in turn, has led to some specialized security and operational requirements for Zemax’s endpoints, a mix of servers and PCs.

“Because Zemax is moving toward a cloud-first approach, we require a holistic view of our endpoint footprint,” says the company’s IT director, Eddie Nieves. “We need both the operational and security perspectives.”

Nieves found what he was looking for with Tanium as a Service (TaaS). TaaS offers all the functionality of the Tanium on-premises platform, but is delivered as a fully-managed, cloud-based service via Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Because TaaS is hosted on the AWS cloud, it frees Zemax from needing to create a customer infrastructure. Instead, Zemax can use Tanium without having to install any software, and without having to maintain any virtual or physical servers. What’s more, the Tanium core platform and its related products are automatically configured and maintained. That frees Nieves and his team to instead focus on managing their endpoints and keeping them up-to-date and secure.

“Tanium as a Service is the only solution that allows us to gain rapid control of our endpoints with unprecedented visibility — and with quick deployments built on AWS,” Nieves says.

Rapid control with TaaS

That’s especially helpful as Zemax adds new employees. New endpoint devices are automatically detected by TaaS, and if any are currently unmanaged, TaaS alerts Nieves and his team so they can take remedial action.

All this can be done at scale, too, because TaaS lowers the burden on Zemax’s networks, eases deployment and use, and verifies that all patches are deployed. Before adopting TaaS, Zemax used disparate point solutions that didn’t communicate with each other, creating a management burden.

By contrast, TaaS gives Nieves and his team what they call “rapid control,” meaning that because out-of-date patches and vulnerability are now identified in real time, they can also be patched quickly.

As a result, Zemax’s time to value has been just as rapid. “Tanium allowed us to replace inadequate point solutions across our operations and security stack,” Nieves explains. “And it enabled us to instead enjoy process efficiencies, enhanced visibility and control, and security at scale.”

Here are the other benefits Zemax experiences with Tanium:

  • Real-time visibility enables effective threat hunting, and without burdening an already overburdened staff.
  • Unified approach replaces former setup of disparate, often incompatible tools.
  • Easy deployment and use. Cloud-based approach eliminates the need for any customer infrastructure.
  • Compliance reporting is reliable and regular via a patch audit trail.
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO), thanks to a standardized platform.

Find out why other customers partner with Tanium to manage and secure their endpoints.