|By Lori MacVittie||
|May 9, 2014 07:00 AM EDT||
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.
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!
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.
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.
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques that facilitate higher value creation for your enterprise.
Jan. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,631
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps becomes essential for any ambitious enterprise today.
Jan. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 3,381
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of Enterprise SQA? Does the SQA function become redundant? In her session at DevOps Summit, Anne Hungat...
Jan. 29, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,722
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by your analysts and designers, and the resulting application built by your developers, there is a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral out of control, and applications fall short of requirements. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a new approach where business and development users collaborate – each using tools appropriate to their goals and expertise – to build mockups and enhance them all the way through functional prototypes, to final working applications. Lea...
Jan. 29, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 1,848
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Jan. 29, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 3,117
“This win means a great deal to us because it is decided by the readers – the people who understand how use of our technology enables new insights that drive the business,” said Matt Davies, senior director, EMEA marketing, Splunk. “Splunk Enterprise enables organizations to improve service levels, reduce operations costs, mitigate security risks, enhance DevOps collaboration, create new product and service offerings and obtain deeper insight into customer behavior. Being named Best Business Application underlines the value Operational Intelligence delivers to our customers.”
Jan. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,060
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is correlated with 2...
Jan. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,610
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,176
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,575
The cloud has transformed how we think about software quality. Instead of preventing failures, we must focus on automatic recovery from failure. In other words, resilience trumps traditional quality measures. Continuous delivery models further squeeze traditional notions of quality. Remember the venerable project management Iron Triangle? Among time, scope, and cost, you can only fix two or quality will suffer. Only in today's DevOps world, continuous testing, integration, and deployment upend the time metric, the DevOps cadence reinvents project scope, and cost metrics expand past software ...
Jan. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,348
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their smaller footprint, shorter boot times, and higher consolidation factors, they also bring a lot of new fea...
Jan. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 3,090
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,829
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 2,440
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,651
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps becomes essential for any ambitious enterprise today. This Lunchtime Power Panel at DevOps Summit (http:/...
Jan. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,716
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionality and provide short-term introductory projects that developers can complete between sessions.
Jan. 29, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 2,694
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:15 AM EST Reads: 3,766
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jan. 28, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 3,227
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, infrastructure modernization, DevOps and more.
Jan. 28, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,453
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 28, 2015 02:45 PM EST Reads: 2,442
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 28, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,612
IBM and Docker, Inc. have announced a strategic partnership that enables enterprises to more efficiently, quickly and cost effectively build and run the next generation of applications on the IBM Cloud and on prem via the Docker open platform for distributed applications. Enterprises can use the combination of IBM and Docker to create and manage a new generation of portable distributed applications that are rapidly composed of discrete interoperable Docker containers, have a dynamic lifecycle, and can scale to run in concert anywhere from the developer’s laptop to hundreds of hosts in the clou...
Jan. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,253
Puppet Labs on Wednesday released the DevOps Salary Report, based on salary data gathered from Puppet Labs' industry-recognized State of DevOps Report. The data confirms that market demand for DevOps skills is growing, and that DevOps engineers are among the highest paid IT practitioners today. That's because IT organizations today are grappling with how to be more agile and responsive to the business, while maintaining the stability of their infrastructure. DevOps practices, such as continuous delivery and strong cross-team collaboration, are proven to increase both agility and reliability: H...
Jan. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,382
AppDynamics, the application intelligence leader for software-defined businesses, announced the general availability of the AppDynamics Fall '14 Release. Serving the combined needs of IT and business teams across the enterprise, the latest release provides a comprehensive view across all aspects of digital performance in ultra large scale deployments. AppDynamics delivers Application Intelligence by building out advanced capabilities across the key areas of analytics, unified monitoring and DevOps. The Fall '14 Release of the AppDynamics Application Intelligence platform introduces: powe...
Jan. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,903
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, the question remains, is culture the leading edge of this change? I posit that in large enterprises,...
Jan. 28, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,393