Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, SDN Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

SDN: It’s the Applications, Stupid | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

I recently spoke to a customer who described to me the intricate process of systems engineering a new application

I remember when we first started talking to customers about the concepts of applications driving networks, about three years ago (This was a very different conversation from other networking era’s where we talked about ‘intelligent’ networks that could better understand and adapt to applications.) While most customers loved the concepts of a scale-out network that leveraged dynamic photonic connections instead of hard-wired paths, most of them also told us that they “didn’t really know (or want to know)” about the applications at all. Some even said they didn’t want their networks to understand the applications at all!

Hmm.. this was very strange. After all, we were talking to Data Center networking folks, and wasn’t the purpose of the data center network to provide connectivity solutions for applications? How could the folks in charge of these networks not know (and worse, not want to know!) about the whole purpose of their network in the first place?

But of course, it wasn’t really strange. After all, networking, like many IT disciplines, had developed into a nice neat silo that defined nice neat operational boundaries that allowed folks within those boundaries to say “I don’t know, and I don’t want to know.” Of course, we knew we would get this reaction. And more importantly, the networking vendors were more than happy to provide silo’d products that kept customers in their silos.

We also knew it would start to change. Slowly at first, but we knew we would get to a point where even telling this story would not resonate with people – i.e. most people would forget that there was a time that we thought like this!

Now, at least half of the conversations I have with customers – with actual networking folks – are discussions about how to create enough hooks into the networking infrastructure to allow basic networking constructs (things like VLANs) to be automatically configured based on knowledge from the application or application orchestration system. Now this may not sound like much, and in the grand scheme of what’s possible, it isn’t actually much. But what is significant is the change in thinking about what is actually important, which signifies that the “… and I don’t want to know” part might be starting to change.

I recently spoke to a customer who described to me the intricate process of “systems engineering” a new application. Systems engineers are a group in this company, 100’s strong, that are given new applications from developers and tasked with engineering the physical environment the application will run on – the servers, load balancers, firewalls, storage, operational software, and of course the plumbing. The process requires knowing intricate details about an applications expected performance, data privacy requirements, connectivity requirements, and uptime requirements, and of course on the flipside requires knowledge of the capability of the various infrastructure components. The model is extremely heavy weight and doesn’t fit with how the customer wants to be able to roll out more new applications, faster.

In addition, the applications are being written to be more tolerant of individual component failures and are “scale-out” from the start – i.e. they expect very little in the way of handcrafted highly purposed infrastructure underneath them. They just need “a bunch of compute instances” that can be dialed up or down, or the same for storage.

The customer wants to push responsibility of documenting application parameters back into the developers to be expressed as application meta-data – that is of-course machine-readable. They then expect that machines be able to read this policy and be able to auto-deploy the software on the infrastructure – which of course requires an infrastructure that can – ta da – understand application requirements.

And not surprisingly, this customer sees this as an opportunity. An opportunity to change this heavy weight and slow systems engineering process to something that allows them to deploy new applications onto bare infrastructure in a small fraction of the time that it takes them today. Now they say to their networking vendors – “It’s the Applications, Stupid!”

In part 2 of this blog, we’ll talk in more detail about the application policy and infrastructure implications.

The post It’s the Applications, Stupid (Part 1 of 3)! appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mat Mathews

Visionary solutions are built by visionary leaders. Plexxi co-founder and Vice President of Product Management Mat Mathews has spent 20 years in the networking industry observing, experimenting and ultimately honing his technology vision. The resulting product — a combination of traditional networking, software-defined networking and photonic switching — represents the best of Mat's career experiences. Prior to Plexxi, Mat held VP of Product Management roles at Arbor Networks and Crossbeam Systems. Mat began his career as a software engineer for Wellfleet Communications, building high speed Frame Relay Switches for the carrier market. Mat holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence.
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, will discuss how this same philosophy can be applied to highly scaled applications, and can dramatically increase your resilience to failure.
"DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at @DevOpsSUMMIT and CloudEXPO tell the world how they can leverage this emerging disruptive trend."
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 full cloud literacy in the enterprise world.
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail. As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.