Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Pat Romanski, Plutora Blog, Liz McMillan, Klaus Enzenhofer, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @ThingsExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

APIs Are Not Web Pages | @DevOpsSummit #API #IoT #M2M #DNS #DevOps

Even though web pages might be built from APIs, they are not the same

There’s a tendency, particularly for networkers, to classify applications by the protocols they use. If it uses HTTP, it must be a web app. The thing is that HTTP has become what it was intended to be: a transport protocol. It is not an application protocol, in the sense that it defines application messages and states. It merely transports data in a very specific way.

That’s particularly important in the age of the API and, increasingly, the age of things that might be using APIs. You see, APIs are primarily data centric constructs while web pages (think any HTML-based app) are document centric constructs.

Data centric constructs tend to exchange, well, data. And document centric constructs… yes, exchange documents. Both might use HTTP as a mechanism to do that, but the actual payload carried differs dramatically. That’s because data centric constructs are concerned with exchanging data that is not necessarily meant for human consumption. It’s meant to provide the application with information that it can then process and display or act on accordingly. Document centric constructs, on the other hand, are meant to be consumed by human beings. Because of that they tend to include all the stuffs required to format, display, and present information.

Now, some web apps are a combination of both. There’s a framework composed of HTML that lays out the user interface, and then scripting that exchanges and processes data via APIs. The initial “load” grabs the document, subsequent interactions exchange data.

The reason I’m being so pedantic about this difference (ignoring that pedantry is my superpower) is because this distinction is critical when architecting for scale. The load generated by these interactions is different. Loading a single page is no trivial task these days. HTTP Archive, which tracks these fascinating kinds of numbers, notes that the average page required 35 TCP connections to load.

35 TCP connections.

That may be because the average document size was 24kB, comprising 889 elements.

So not only do we need to open a lot of connections, we’re taking a lot of time transferring data over those connections.

Now it is true that APIs also get objects. The thing is that except for images, almost all data is a far more compact form and it is data, not visual elements of a document or UI. For APIs, JSON is universally favored right now, and it adheres to a fairly consistent key:value paradigm, with appropriate embedded lists (arrays) of objects within it. Pagination and a smaller screen size dictate generally smaller pieces of data at a time, displayed in preparation for user interaction. The interface already exists, the data is simply used to populate that interface. This is not the same as HTML, where both interface and data presentation often need to occur as the result of transferring the objects.

Dependencies, too, are different. Many of the optimization techniques used by ADCs and front-end optimization services focus on the web of interdependencies that exist naturally in an HTML document. You can’t layout the page until you’ve loaded the style sheet that dictates it (CSS), and scripts may need to execute before data is processed for display (or as part of that process), and so on. The display of one object might depend on the existence of another that is not yet loaded. Hence the focus on optimizing the transfer of objects in an order that allows the UI to begin parsing and presenting information as soon as possible, giving the illusion, at least, of greater speed whether or not reality matches the illusion.

In other words, the API returns a single, large chunk of data. It may or may not trigger additional calls to retrieve additional objects. A web page, by design, automatically will.

So… to sum up this comparison, APIs exchanging JSON are not the same as HTML even though both are using HTTP as the transport layer.

What does that mean?
It means, kids, that optimizing an API is not the same as optimizing a web page. It means that techniques like minification (stripping out white space and comments) isn’t necessarily going to improve performance of APIs, nor will reordering objects or inlining scripts and style sheet elements. It means that optimization an API depends a whole lot on design (which networkers can’t do that much about) and on the intermediaries you use to scale and secure that API.

A significant number of APIs are geared toward mobile devices. Mobile devices are infamously plagued by poor performance largely due to excessive round trip times (RTT) from DNS and the overhead of connection establishment. APIs delivered via HTTP can stand to be connected with longer TCP idle times to prevent requiring re-establishment of the underlying TCP session during the application experience. To offset the impact on capacity that has (servers can only serve so many concurrent connections, after all), using an intermediary (a full proxy) that effectively splits the interaction between “client” side and “server” side can reduce the impact of longer-lived sessions while simultaneously improving performance by eliminating the extra round trips required to establish a TCP session by employing TCP multiplexing techniques (similar to HTTP/2).

Compression, too, if your API is returning significantly large chunks of data, can be a bonus. Many API optimizing blogs and articles point out that for some reason, compression is rarely “on” at the server. There are reasons for this, good reasons, but that doesn’t mean compression shouldn’t be used at all. When appropriate, let the intermediary (proxy) apply compression, as it is usually far enough upstream to avoid the potential negative impact of doing so.

The big deal here is that optimizing an API for performance is not necessarily the same as optimizing a web application, even though both use HTTP. So if you’re really looking for a performance boost for APIs and you can’t get developers to change what they’re doing, look to the network and, as is increasingly the case today, to the architecture.

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a single platform to drive unprecedented simplicity in the data center. Customers can start with a base infrastructure and scale to multi-site and multi-geo infrastructures with predictable economics and performance.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathematical analysis and forecasting Big Data Analyze and Control.
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one technically superior to the other? What about performance and security? Does IT need either one, or both?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new insights into how to build your own satisfying and rewarding career by rising above the ordinary and mundane to build an extraordinary life and career as a world-class Compassionate Geek.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organizations must focus on what is most relevant to deliver value, reduce IT complexity, create more repeatable agile-based processes and leverage increasingly secure and stable, cloud-based infrastructure platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value.
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverless applications, such as the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM), Chalice, and ClaudiaJS.
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transition into and take advantages of these emerging service models.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ability. Many are unable to effectively engage and inspire, creating forward momentum in the direction of desired change. Renowned for its approach to leadership and emphasis on their people, organizations increasingly look to our military for insight into these challenges.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the application economy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly provision resources and deploy unique, mission-critical, self-designed solutions to add-onto or create any type of infrastructure as per the business requirement. HTBase is the first company to enable a true multi-cloud strategy, enabling organizations to automate movement of data and workloads between private and public clouds. This means that organizations can now move data and workloads between pub...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you can concentrate on running a better service for your users.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project managers in house, specializing in the world-class mobile and web development.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with Tintri's web services architecture and APIs. Impress your DevOps team with smart and autonomous infrastructure.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore the ways that Nutanix technologies empower teams to react faster than ever before and connect teams in ways that were either too complex or simply impossible with traditional infrastructures.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers their thoughts on their experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the works because of misaligned incentives.