Welcome!

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Where Networks and Application Architecture Converge Lies DevOps

All key areas of IT are all converged on a singular focus: applications

On this side is a variant of SDN: network service virtualization (NSV). On the other side is an emerging application architecture: microservices. Where they meet lies devops.

One of the most fascinating things to watch in the technological shifts occurring today is to see them all converging on a singular point: applications. Whether it's securing or delivering, deploying or access, all key areas of IT are all converged on a singular focus: applications.

shifts center on applications

 

From a developer-turned-network-geek perspective, that's doubly interesting. That's because one impacts the other, and vice-versa. One of the trends in application architecture today is a shift toward microservices. I'll oversimplify for a moment and explain that as SOA without all the baggage. A recent post on High Scalability explains the architecture - and the impact on infrastructure requirements:

Where a monolithic application might have been deployed to a small application server cluster, you now have tens of separate services to build, test, deploy and run, potentially in polyglot languages and environments.

All of these services potentially need clustering for failover and resilience, turning your single monolithic system into, say, 20 services consisting of 40-60 processes after we've added resilience.

 

Throw in load balancers and messaging layers for plumbing between the services and the estate starts to become pretty large when compared to that single monolithic application that delivered the equivalent business functionality!

Microservices - Not A Free Lunch!

Now let's shift gears and peek at what's going on over in network land. You might recall we recently discussed network service virtualization. If not, here's a quick summary from Nick Lippis:

NSV seeks to virtualize enterprise appliances, such as firewalls, load balancers, application accelerators, application delivery controllers, Intrusion Protection Systems, WAN optimizers, call managers, etc., instantiated for each application. Each instance of each NSV is created for a specific application. That is, if there are 10 applications that require network services, then each application will be configured with its own instantiation of that service. That is, 10 applications, then 10 NSV firewalls.

In short, NSV seeks to virtualize network services by creating an instance of the network service for each application versus virtualizing a network service once for all applications. NSV hopes to present significant capex and opex relief from hardware appliances, as well as an efficient way of applying network services to applications without chaining or tagging packets and rapid automated, on-demand application deployment.

Lippis Report 217: It’s Network Service Virtualization in the Enterprise rather than Network Function Virtualization

Reading both, one might assume some level of collusion between the two but that's unlikely to be the case. The divide between application architects and networky groups is well established; they really don't play well together. And yet both these trends recognize the need to meet in the middle, in the L4-7 service layer, to provide for scalability and other "plumbing" services.

From a scalability perspective, this is very much a verticle partitioning-based scalability pattern, where load is spread across distinct functional boundaries of a problem space, each handled by different processing units. Those functional boundaries in today's architectures are embodied by microservice definitions. One service is responsible for a discrete function, as the point of microservices is, to a large extent, to decompose monolithic applications into individual, domain (functional) specific services.

Overall, this means services can be scaled individually on-demand, which is far more efficient than scaling a monolithic application. But it does introduce complexity, as there are necessarily more moving parts, and it does tend to complicate monitoring and force the need for more application-centric monitoring.

A Symbiotic Relationship
The application architect recognizes the need and, to some extent, laments the complexity it will introduce. Network service virtualization, on the other side, offers to fulfill the need and recognizes the need for efficiency and, ultimately, simplification in providing them in a "rapid automated, on-demand" fashion.

These issues - the plumbing and the monitoring - fall squarely into the realm of issues that can be resolved by applying devops to operations. Automated provisioning, treating infrastructure as code, and enabling a more holistic view of "applications" are all enabling capabilities of what devops aims to achieve.

For one of the first times I can remember, the operational burden imposed by technological shifts in application architecture is nearly simultaneously being addressed by the technological shifts in the network. In fact, one could argue that the shifts occurring in the network toward network service virtualization are actually enabling the shift in application architecture. Being able to rapidly provision, manage and monitor the L4-7 services necessary to deliver microservices increases the ability to take advantage of the architecture.

Like the question of the chicken and the egg, it really doesn't matter which came first. What matters is that they're complementary and both driving toward the same goal: accelerated application deployment and delivery of an exceptional end user experience.

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
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infrastructure through automation. Ayehu solutions have been deployed by major enterprises worldwide, and currently, support thousands of IT processes across the globe. The company has offices in New York, California, and Isr...
Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said "No to LUNs." With Tintri they manage only virtual machines, in a fraction of the footprint and at far lower cost than conventional storage. Tintri offers the choice of all-flash or hybrid-flash platform, converged or stand-alone structure and any hypervisor. Rather than obsess with storage, leaders focus on the business app...
Addteq is one of the top 10 Platinum Atlassian Experts who specialize in DevOps, custom and continuous integration, automation, plugin development, and consulting for midsize and global firms. Addteq firmly believes that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq centers its products and services around this fundamentally unique approach to delivering complete software release management solutions. With a combination of Addteq's services and our extensive list of partners,...
The Internet of Things 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 and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.