Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Scott Allen, Tim Hinds, Alois Mayr, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

Be Your Own Broker: An Enterprise Perspective using API Management

Kin Lane has started tracking what he calls API Brokers over at API Evangelist. This quote illustrates the promise of API brokerage:

I envision other new API brokers emerging, in niche areas like images, video or messaging. Imagine if you could use Twilio, Tropo or other SMS API provider, but use through a broker who will give you the best availability and costs based upon various needs. This type of API aggregation is not meant for providing users with access to multiple cloud silos via APIs, it is more about brokering API resources and establishing a marketplace.

This really resonated with me, as it is similar to something we’ve been talking about for a while:  IT as a Cloud Service Brokerage, which is an emerging specialization of API management. As SaaS, Consumerization, and the general bring-your-own trends continue to accelerate, IT shops are looking to bundle new functionality into their applications while ensuring that they still deliver the expected levels of service. Consumerization/BYO has expanded from handheld devices and ultrabooks to include cloud services like Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Docs. APIs will be the next wave in consumerization. As is the case with many cloud services, APIs with equivalent functionality can be available from multiple sources, but the longevity of the providers (or, as is often the political reality, the contract with the providers) may be uncertain. In addition to the services Kin mentions,

What is an IT shop to do, then, when incorporating cutting-edge functionality into applications when the only providers are fledgling startups (or even hobbies within multi-billion dollar corporations)? It seems like a few options exist:

  • Bet on the current leader when the app is being developed; rip & replace if conditions change
  • Code multiple applications into the app, embedding some prioritization and fall-back logic
  • Use an aggregator

Clearly the aggregation layer (whether embedded in the app or as a cloud service) offers more agility and resilience than hard-coding. The additional indirection provides protection against service outages – whether they are due to an operational issue with an API provider, an infrastructure issue with their cloud service provider, or an untimely end-of-life for the service. However, given that this domain is just emerging, most of the aggregators are likely early-stage startups themselves. Their availability and longevity may not be any better than the APIs they are proxying — in fact, it may be less.

An enterprise IT shop has another option here: acting as its own Cloud Service Brokerage. An API gateway is already acting as a proxy between clients and APIs. By adding some additional logic to the API management workflow, the gateway can offer a fallback path to a different provider. By placing the API management & brokerage layer inside the enterprise cloud (whether public, private, or virtual private), the brokered APIs will have the same availability as the rest of the enterprise infrastructure. The gateway already has remediation capabilities built in — JSON or XML fields can be renamed and reordered, omitted, or populated with default values. An enterprise could even define its own API structure that is then redirected in the format expected by the services it is brokering. If necessary, this logic can be combined with format-preserving encryption or tokenization to ensure that sensitive corporate data isn’t transmitted to a third party.

This on-prem brokerage approach is not without tradeoffs, however. First, an API management solution is not likely to be as dynamic as a specialized brokerage service. This means that market forces are less likely to be factored into the runtime routing decision. While contracts and other external forces can be incorporated at configuration time and reviewed on a regular basis, the multi-provider API management policy is most likely going to be implemented as a favored provider with fallback providers utilized for availability, not cost (on the other hand, a brokerage service’s profit margin may offset much of cost savings due to market efficiency). Also, by using a brokerage (whether internal or external), there may be functional tradeoffs: the application may be restricted to the greatest common denominator of all available APIs to allow for aggregation and avoid vendor lock-in. I find these tradeoffs to be fairly standard in Enterprise IT, however, and are widely accepted as part of the cost of providing a stable, predictable IT environment.

I’ll revisit this topic again in the context of Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), but in the interim I’ll leave off with a webinar featuring Gartner on IT’s role as a Cloud Service Brokerage.

The post Be Your Own Broker: An Enterprise Perspective using API Management appeared first on Application Security.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...