Welcome!

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

@DevOpsSummit: Article

Clash of Ops | @DevOpsSummit #BigData #APM #DevOps #Docker #Monitoring

DevOps and netops speak different languages that use the same word to mean different things

It was a Monday. I was reading the Internet. Okay, I was skimming feeds. Anyway, I happened across a title that intrigued me, "Stateful Apps and Containers: Squaring the Circle." It had all the right buzzwords (containers) and mentioned state, a topic near and dear to this application networking-oriented gal, so I happily clicked on through.

Turns out that Stateful Apps are not Stateful Apps. Seriously.

To be fair, I should really say that when a devops guy talks about ‘stateful apps' it is not the same thing as when a netops gal uses the term ‘stateful apps.'  That's because the devops guy is referring to persistent data storage for applications. File systems, databases, etc... When a netops gal talks about stateful apps, they're talking about the unique characteristics that identify existing TCP connections between two systems, like a client and an app. Devops thinks in terms of app data, netops about network data.

Devops and netops speak different languages that use the same word to mean different things. It's like English. No big deal.

The thing is that this may seem like a minor issue to be worried about. But then I got thinking about emerging application architectures like microservices and the dominance of APIs and the urgency with which everyone is moving to secure HTTP traffic. And I realized that actually, it is a pretty big deal, because it's a clash of ops. While devops is over there, building stateless architectures based on the newest theories and principles of scalability, we're requiring security that basically negates many of the benefits we might have seen.

That's because the nature of public key cryptography requires state in the network.

Here Comes the (Computer) Science
Public key infrastructure (PKI) is based on a fairly simple premise that information is exchanged between two endpoints (client and app) that is unique to that connection. That means any subsequent exchanges have to be made between the two endpoints that established that connection.

That's stateful networking.

Even if your entire architecture is based on stateless microservices, once you add security (SSL/TLS), it's stateful. Whamo! Just like that. And that impacts scale. Because now you've got to figure out how best to distribute traffic based on how loaded any given instance of that app might be.

And you probably don't want to be renegotiating secure sessions for every, single, interaction. You don't. I don't care how much faster HTTP/2 is, or how much better ECC is over previous generations of cryptography (spoiler: quite a bit better), there is still significant latency by the process of negotiating that connection. There's the overhead of establishing the underlying TCP session and then the security negotiations. That adds latency thanks to all those round trips back and forth, which means slower application response times. Especially on mobile devices.

So what? You might say. It's measured in milliseconds, that can't possibly impact the application experience.

But it does. Milliseconds matter, especially today, when digital natives who've never experienced what 2800bps feels like want their apps to respond instantaneously, with LAN-like performance.

What that means is that adding that layer of security (which is - or should be - a requirement) effectively turns your elegant, stateless architecture into a stateful one.

This is why architecture matters. Because it's no longer a matter of throwing a load balancer in front of those services and picking an algorithm, it's about extending the app architecture into the network, upstream, and understanding the advantages of terminating that security before it gets all that "state" in your "stateless" architecture. If the load balancer (or ADC if you prefer) is terminating SSL/TLS, then it has to manage the negotiation, and the back and forth with clients. That means it's free (if it's a modern proxy-based solution) to interact in with services in the back-end the way dev intended: statelessly.

stateful-stateless-arch

The thing to be aware of is that when app architectures and network architectures meet, they can often clash and effectively negate all the goodness intended by the new app architecture in the first place. DevOps is as much about communication between groups as it is automating the processes between them. That means understanding the impact of the network on apps, and vice versa and agreeing on an architecture that preserves the best characteristics of the app architecture without sacrificing network speed or security.

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.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
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...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.