@DevOpsSummit Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Ram Sonagara

Blog Feed Post

Tales from Glue Con: The Network Can't Run Code

#gluecon #SDN #devops

Glue kicked off this morning with some great keynotes and a full set of breakouts. I was clipping along happily, enjoying Rachel Chalmers keynote on "Social Glue" and contemplating the fascinating relationship between the use of well-designed interfaces (API) between systems and services as a means to scale the human side of the equation when Solomon Hykes, creater of Docker, took the stage to discuss containers and the Internet as a platform.

Most of what Solomon discussed resonated; the Internet is increasingly seen as "the platform" on which developers want their apps to run; applications should be made of discrete, logical loosely-coupled composable components; the Internet has never been "shut down" for maintenance since it was turned on in the late 1960s.

But then Solomon said something I didn't agree with, that didn't resonate and that, given the shift toward software-defined networking, didn't make sense to me.

"Networks can't run code."

Ah,I said to myself, but they can. Especially if you don't relegate "the network" to layers 2 and 3 of the OSI stack.

But of course, he did.

Now, I'm not trying to pick on Solomon because his perspective is not atypical of developers. In fact, I'd say it's prototypical. Archetypical even. It's a common perception that "the network" is layers 2 and 3, routing and switching, the pipes that make up the Internet.

But that's increasingly problematic. The "network" that is the platform on which developers want to run their applications comprises a full complement of services from layer 2 through layer 7. That includes HTTP, SPDY, TLS and SSL, as well as the "everybody's favorite transport protocol", TCP.

Many of these services, these "network middleboxes", as they are so often referred to, do indeed run code. And run code quite well. And increasingly operations are concerned with exactly how to run code on those devices because the variety and diversity of applications, clients, and environments is simply too complex to natively support at those layers of the network with pre-defined tables that describe how to deal with a given connection or request.

This is very much the premise of programmable proxies, of intelligent application services, and to some extent, even emerging network architectures like SDN. Programmability in the network is a foundational component to emerging network architectures.

"The Network" most certainly can - and does - run code. And the more we software-define it, and introduce new technologies designed to support rapid provisioning of services in support of accelerating application deployment, the more the network is going to "run code" because it has to if we're going to achieve the levels of flexibility and customization needed to scale the next generation of application architectures.

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.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addresses many of the challenges faced by developers and operators as monolithic applications transition towards a distributed microservice architecture. A tracing tool like Jaeger analyzes what's happening as a transaction moves through a distributed system. Monitoring software like Prometheus captures time-series events for real-time alerting and other uses. Grafeas and Kritis provide security polic...
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 joined by a panel of industry experts and real-world practitioners who shared their insight into an emerging set of best practices that lie at the heart of today's digital transformation.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.