|By Lori MacVittie||
|July 30, 2012 09:00 AM EDT||
SDN and devops share some common themes. Both focus heavily on the notion of programmability in network devices as a means to achieve specific goals. For SDN it’s flexibility and rapid adaptation to changes in the network. For devops, it’s more a focus on the ability to treat “infrastructure as code” as a way to integrate into automated deployment processes.
Each of these notions is just different enough to mean that systems supporting one don’t automatically support the other. An API focused on management or configuration doesn’t necessarily provide the flexibility of execution exhorted by SDN proponents as a significant benefit to organizations. And vice-versa.
INFRASTRUCTURE as CODE
Devops is a verb, it’s something you do. Optimizing application deployment lifecycle processes is a primary focus, and to do that many would say you must treat “infrastructure as code.” Doing so enables integration and automation of deployment processes (including configuration and integration) that enables operations to scale along with the environment and demand.
The result is automated best practices, the codification of policy and process that assures repeatable, consistent and successful application deployments.
F5 supports the notion (and has since 2003 or so) of infrastructure as code in two ways:
iControl, the open, standards-based API for the entire BIG-IP platform, remains the primary integration point for partners and customers alike. Whether it’s inclusion in Opscode Chef recipes, or pre-packaged solutions with systems from HP, Microsoft, or VMware, iControl offers the ability to manage the control plane of BIG-IP from just about anywhere.
iControl is service-enabled and has been accessed and integrated through more programmatic languages than you can shake a stick at. Python, PERL, Java, PHP, C#, PowerShell… if it can access web-based services, it can communicate with BIG-IP via iControl.
A latter addition to the BIG-IP platform, iApp is best practice application delivery service deployment codified. iApps are service- and application-oriented, enabling operations and consumers of IT as a Service to more easily deploy requisite application delivery services without requiring intimate knowledge of the hundreds of individual network attributes that must be configured.
iApp is also used in conjunction with iControl to better automate and integrate application delivery services into an IT as a Service environment. Using iApp to codify performance and availability policies based on application and business requirements, consumers – through pre-integrated solutions – can simply choose an appropriate application delivery “profile” along with their application to ensure not only deployment but production success.
Infrastructure as code is an increasingly important view to take of the provisioning and deployment processes for network and application delivery services as they enable more consistent, accurate policy configuration and deployment. Consider research from Dimension Data that found “total number of configuration violations per device has increased from 29 to 43 year over year -- and that the number of security-related configuration errors (such as AAA Authentication, Route Maps and ACLS, Radius and TACACS+) also increased. AAA Authentication errors in particular jumped from 9.3 per device to 13.6, making it the most frequently occurring policy violation.” The ability to automate a known “good” configuration and policy when deploying application and network services can decrease the risk of these violations and ensure a more consistent, stable (and ultimately secure) network environment.
Less with “infrastructure as a code” (devops) and more-so with SDN comes the notion of programmability. On the one hand, this notion squares well with the “infrastructure as code” concept, as it requires infrastructure to be enabled in such as a way as to provide the means to modify behavior at run time, most often through support for a common standard (OpenFlow is the darling standard du jour for SDN). For SDN, this tends to focus on the forwarding information base (FIB) but broader applicability has been noted at times, and no doubt will continue to gain traction.
The ability to “tinker” with emerging and experimental protocols, for example, is one application of programmability of the network. Rather than wait for vendor support, it is proposed that organizations can deploy and test support for emerging protocols through OpenFlow enabled networks. While this capability is likely not really something large production networks would undertake, still, the notion that emerging protocols could be supported on-demand, rather than on a vendor' driven timeline, is often desirable. Consider support for SIP, before UCS became nearly ubiquitous in enterprise networks. SIP is a message-based protocol, requiring deep content inspection (DCI) capabilities to extract AVP codes as a means to determine routing to specific services. Long before SIP was natively supported by BIG-IP, it was supported via iRules, F5’s event-driven network-side scripting language. iRules enabled customers requiring support for SIP (for load balancing and high-availability architectures) to program the network by intercepting, inspecting, and ultimately routing based on the AVP codes in SIP payloads. Over time, this functionality was productized and became a natively supported protocol on the BIG-IP platform.
Similarly, iRules enables a wide variety of dynamism in application routing and control by providing a robust environment in which to programmatically determine which flows should be directed where, and how. Leveraging programmability in conjunction with DCI affords organizations the flexibility to do – or do not – as they so desire, without requiring them to wait for hot fixes, new releases, or new products.
SDN and ADN – BIRDS of a FEATHER
The very same trends driving SDN at layer 2-3 are the same that have been driving ADN (application delivery networking) for nearly a decade.
Five trends in network are driving the transition to software defined networking and programmability.
• User, device and application mobility;
• Cloud computing and service;
• Consumerization of IT;
• Changing traffic patterns within data centers;
• And agile service delivery.
The trends stretch across multiple markets, including enterprise, service provider, cloud provider, massively scalable data centers -- like those found at Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. -- and academia/research. And they require dynamic network adaptability and flexibility and scale, with reduced cost, complexity and increasing vendor independence, proponents say.
Each of these trends applies equally to the higher layers of the networking stack, and are addressed by a fully programmable ADN platform like BIG-IP. Mobile mediation, cloud access brokers, cloud bursting and balancing, context-aware access policies, granular traffic control and steering, and a service-enabled approach to application delivery are all part and parcel of an ADN.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 1, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 481
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 1, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 324
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 293
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,413
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 123
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,067
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,170
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,286
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,194
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,772
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,047
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jul. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,038
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Jul. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 329
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,907
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
Jul. 26, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,580
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 399
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Jul. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,965
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 481
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,543
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jul. 25, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,494