Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner

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
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. It even comes with Prometheus to store the metrics for you and pre-built Grafana dashboards to show exactly what is important for your services - success rate, latency, and throughput.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's award-winning solutions intelligently collect data, and unify backup, disaster recovery, archival and governance capabilities onto a single, optimized data set. As the industry's fastest growing data protection provider, Druva is trusted by over 4,000 global organizations, and protects over 40 PB of data. Join the conversation at twitter.com/druvainc
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked questions that every enterprise trying to adopt an Enterprise Kubernetes Platform needs to know so that they can make informed decisions.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. 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 over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.