Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Infrastructure as Code: Using Git to deploy F5 iRules Automagically

Many approaches within DevOps take the view that infrastructure must be treated like code to realize true continuous deployment. The TL;DR on the concept is simply this: infrastructure configuration and related code (like that created to use data path programmability)  should be treated like, well, code. That is, it should be stored in a repository, versioned, and automatically pulled as part of the continuous deployment process. This is one of the foundational concepts that enables immutable infrastructure, particularly for infrastructure tasked with providing application services like load balancing, web application security, and optimization.

Getting there requires that you not only have per-application partitioning of configuration and related artifacts (templates, code, etc…) but a means to push those artifacts to the infrastructure for deployment. In other words, an API.

A BIG-IP, whether appliance, virtual, cloud, or some combination thereof, provides the necessary per-application partitioning required to support treating its app services (load balancing, web app security, caching, etc..) as “code”.

big-ip-programmability

A whole lot of apps being delivered today take advantage of the programmability available (iRules) to customize and control everything from scalability to monitoring to supporting new protocols. It’s code, so you know that means it’s pretty flexible.

So it’s not only code, but it’s application-specific code, and that means in the big scheme of continuous deployment, it should be treated like code. It should be versioned, managed, and integrated into the (automated) deployment process.

And if you’re standardized on Git, you’d probably like the definition of your scalability service (the load balancing) and any associated code artifacts required (like some API version management, perhaps) to be stored in Git and integrated into the CD pipeline. Cause, automation is good. update big-ip git

Well have I got news for you! I wish I’d coded this up (but I don’t do as much of that as I used to) but that credit goes to DevCentral community member Saverio. He wasn’t the only one working on this type of solution, but he was the one who coded it up and shared it on Git (and here on DevCentral) for all to see and use.

The basic premise is that the system uses Git as a repository for iRules (BIG-IP code artifacts) and then sets up a trigger such that whenever that iRule is committed, it’s automagically pushed back into production.

Now being aware that DevOps isn’t just about automagically pushing code around (especially in production) there’s certain to be more actual steps here in terms of process. You know, like code reviews because we are talking about code here and commits as part of a larger process, not just because you can.

That caveat aside, the bigger takeaway is that the future of infrastructure relies as much on programmability – APIs, templates, and code – as it does on the actual services it provides. Infrastructure as Code, whether we call it that or not, is going to continue to shift left into production. The operational process management we generally like to call “orchestration” and “data center automation" , like its forerunner, business process management, will start requiring a high degree of programmability and integratability (is too a word, I just made it up) to ensure the infrastructure isn’t impeding the efficiency of the deployment process.

Code on, my friends. Code on.

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
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., 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.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.