Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Now Witness the Power of This Fully Operational Feedback Loop

It’s called a feedback loop, not a feedback black hole.

It’s called a feedback loop, not a feedback black hole.

One of the key components of a successful architecture designed to mitigate operational risk is the ability to measure, monitor and make decisions based on collected “management” data. Whether it’s simple load balancing decisions based on availability of an application or more complex global application delivery traffic steering that factors in location, performance, availability and business requirements, neither can be successful unless the components making decisions have the right information upon which to take action.

Monitoring and management is likely one of the least sought after tasks in the data center. It’s not all that exciting and it often involves (please don’t be frightened by this) integration. Agent-based, agentless, standards-based. Monitoring of the health and performance of resources is critical to understanding how well an “application” is performing on a daily basis. It’s the foundational data used for capacity planning, to determine whether an application is under attack and to enable the dynamism required of a dynamic, intelligent infrastructure supportive of today’s operational goals.

YOU CAN’T REACT to WHAT you CAN’T SEE

We talk a lot about standards and commoditization and how both can enable utility-style computing as well as the integration necessary at the infrastructure layers to improve the overall responsiveness of IT. But we imagedon’t talk a lot about what that means in terms of monitoring and management of resource “health” – performance, capacity and availability.

The ability of any load-balancing service depends upon the ability to determine the status of an application. In an operationally mature architecture that includes the status of all components related to the delivery of that application, including other application services such as middle-ware and databases and external application services. When IT has control over all components, then traditional agent-based approaches work well to provide that information. When IT does not have control over all components, as is increasingly the case, then it cannot collect that data nor access it in real-time. If the infrastructure components upon which successful application delivery relies cannot “see” how any given resource is performing let alone whether it’s available or not, there is a failure to communicate that ultimately leads to poor decision making on the part of the infrastructure.

We know that in a highly virtualized or cloud-computing model of application deployment that it’s important to monitor the health of the resource, not the “server”, because the “server” has become little more than a container, a platform upon which a resource is deployed and made available. With the possibility of a resource “moving” it is even more imperative that operations monitor resources. Consider how IT organizations that may desire to leverage more PaaS (Platform as a Service) to drive application development efforts forward faster. Monitoring and management of those resources must occur at the resource layer; IT has no control or visibility into the underlying platforms – which is kind of the point in the first place.

YOU CAN’T MAKE DECISIONS without FEEDBACK

image

The feedback from the resource must come from somewhere. Whether that’s an agent (doesn’t play well with a PaaS model) or some other mechanism (which is where we’re headed in this discussion) is not as important as getting there in the first place. If we’re going to architect highly responsive and dynamic data centers, we must share all the relevant information in a way that enables decision-making components (strategic points of control) to make the right decisions. To do that resources, specifically applications and application-related resources, must provide feedback.

This is a job for devops if ever there was one. Not the ops who apply development principles like Agile to their operational tasks, but developers who integrate operational requirements and needs into the resources they design, develop and ultimately deploy. We already see efforts to standardize APIs imagedesigned to promote security awareness and information through efforts like CloudAudit. We see efforts to standardize and commoditize APIs that drive operational concerns like provisioning with OpenStack. But what we don’t see is an effort to standardize and commoditize even the simplest of health monitoring methods. No simple API, no suggestion of what data might be common across all layers of the application architecture that could provide the basic information necessary for infrastructure services to take actions appropriately.

The feedback regarding the operational status of an application resource is critical in ensuring that infrastructure is able to make the right decisions at the right time regarding each and every request. It’s about promoting dynamic equilibrium in the architecture; an equilibrium that leads to efficient resource utilization across the data center while simultaneously providing for the best possible performance and availability of services.

MORE OPS in the DEV

It is critical that developers not only understand but take action regarding the operational needs of the service delivery chain. It is critical because in many situations the developer will be the only ones with the means to enable the collection of the very data upon which the successful delivery of services relies. While infrastructure and specifically application delivery services are capable of collaborating with applications to retrieve health-related data and subsequently parse the information into actionable data, the key is that the data be available in the first place. That means querying the application service – whether application or middle-ware and beyond – directly for the data needed to make the right decisions. This type of data is not standard, it’s not out of the box, and it’s not built into the platforms upon which developers build and deploy applications. It must be enabled, and that means code.

That means developers must provide the implementation of the means by which the data is collected; ultimately one hopes this results in a standardized health-monitoring collection API jointly specified by ops and dev. Together.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Latest Stories
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
DevOps and microservices are permeating software engineering teams broadly, whether these teams are in pure software shops but happen to run a business, such Uber and Airbnb, or in companies that rely heavily on software to run more traditional business, such as financial firms or high-end manufacturers. Microservices and DevOps have created software development and therefore business speed and agility benefits, but they have also created problems; specifically, they have created software sec...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
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...
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera M...