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
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
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, whic...
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infra...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided 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 settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.