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@DevOpsSummit Authors: Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Derek Weeks

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Enabling #DevOps | @DevOpsSummit @GlueNetworks #NFV #SDN #SDNO

As the network shifts radically, so must how network engineers manage it

Digital transformation requires rapid network changes. Navigating these changes well is difficult but critical, as the function of business applications are at stake. Customers aren't interested in what's going on behind the scenes; they simply want the platform to work. Hosting Facts researchers found that a single-second delay in website loading time can result in a seven percent loss in conversion, and 40 percent of web users will abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

As customer expectations have increased, the network's ability to handle applications and Quality of Service (QoS) policies becomes crucial. This means that how well the Development and Operations teams communicate and collaborate is critical. In what seems like the Wild West of networking, is it possible for network engineers to take back control?

DevOps Management Changes the Game
In technology, as in the rest of human endeavor, necessity is the mother of invention. DevOps - a streamlining of the process from development to operations - evolved, out of necessity, from the software world. With the Waterfall development model, there was a lengthy period of product definition and developers usually worked over a several-month period of testing to essentially develop a monolithic configuration file.

After Waterfall came Agile, in which software developers understand that requirements are going to frequently change. The idea is to get something out the door that meets the requirements and then push new iterations to the end user via the internet. This began the trend of DevOps, in which you have to be continually developing, testing, integrating and deploying changes. It's a constant cycle of innovation rather than a monolithic process.

Networking is now experiencing a similar scenario. It's no longer possible to take six months to get a feature out the door. If your terms of service or a business line requests changes, you need to get it to the network as soon as possible. That's where networking engineers are at right now.

The Difficulty of Transitions
The element that currently holds network engineers back the most is the fact that the majority of the installed base of brownfield networks still use CLI (command-line interface), which is not a programmatic interface. That means the way they're interfacing and building their golden config files is an old-fashioned method that is not sustainable in today's rapidly changing, agile network environments.

Operating a network with multiple vendors creates a lot of redundant work. If you have to configure something for Vendor 1, and you transition over to Vendor 2, you have to do essentially the same configuration, but it's slightly different. That makes it a little tougher for engineering; it's essentially the equivalent of learning how to drive a car with an automatic transmission and then suddenly having to learn to drive a stick shift. It can be done, but it's clunky and requires more time and effort.

It has been the case in most networks that engineers haven't had the tools to get into a continuous integration cycle in which Development and Operations work seamlessly together, while Development continues to give Operations what it needs, as it needs it - a real-time lifecycle.

To make things more difficult, some of the newer protocols and products are often not well defined. The interface tools were created for the new generation and don't work with old-generation networks. Because most organizations can't afford to start from scratch, they are going to have to undergo a migrational phase as they transition their brownfield systems. The large service providers have the budget and big development teams to painfully move through this transition, while smaller organizations are stuck throwing employees and expensive contractors at the problem, or worse, not meeting strategic business line needs.

Modeling Saves the Day
Thankfully, there is a better option today to manage this problem. Instead of making changes manually for each vendor, network engineers can move toward software defined network orchestration (SDNO). Through SDNO, network designs are created using modeling, and it solves multiple problems:

  • SDNO enables programmability with the network devices. No matter what resulting level of programmability, from development to lightweight scripting, it offers a better approach for interacting with the device: condition management, state awareness and, most importantly, scale - the ability to distribute across multiple targets very quickly. A good SDNO solution should be able to provide this programmability across all vendors, whether the latter provides API/SDK or not (even with a telnet-only X.25 gateway).
  • SDNO overcomes the issue of a protocol that exists across vendors but their implementation differs (from proprietary extensions to configuration specifics). Wouldn't it be nice to have a single model that works across multiple vendors? Advanced SDNO solutions should enable model captures of each implementation. This is a one-off task. Then network operations can ignore the underlying nightmare of understanding the differences between the vendors. It also overcomes by design the nightmare of dealing with versions, licenses and syntax/semantic. Network operations merely apply the network model. That's it. For instance, switch vendors all support VLANs. But some vendors apply VLANs to ports and some others proceed the other way around by adding ports to VLANs. At the end of the day, network operations need a unique way to deploy VLANs no matter how they need to be implemented at the vendor level. The SDNO engine will execute the VLAN deployment network model and configure each vendor accordingly based on the network operations VLAN/Port map they desire.
  • SDNO makes vendor hardware swappable by breaking vendor lock-in - the result of combining the first two benefits.
  • Because the network is now a set of multiple features or functions, SDNO reduces the barriers to NFV. Ultimately, what matters is the VLAN map you want to deploy. It does not matter if it ends up running on a particular switch vendor or an open source virtual switch. Next-generation SDNO solutions should configure both with your expected network design.

DevOps for the Network
The one element that network engineers can rely on is change. The way you're implementing features on the network is changing, so the infrastructure you need at the network layer to move from Development to Operations needs to resemble the software world's movement to DevOps and its continuous integration cycle.

This move will alleviate the need for network engineers to feel like they need to become software developers. Thanks to the arrival of orchestration platforms, they can manage a next-generation network while reducing friction between Development and Operations. These departments can now work closely together in a DevOps model that moves changes out to production faster and more efficiently, saving overhead in the process.

@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, and 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.

DevOps at Cloud Expo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

DevOps at Cloud Expo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

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.

@DevOpsSummit will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality. Sponsors of @DevOpsSummit will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on DevOps Journal
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

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.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
Track 4. Big Data | Analytics
Track 5. Industrial IoT
Track 6. IoT Dev & Deploy | Mobility
Track 7. APIs | Cloud Security
Track 8. AI | ML | DL | Cognitive Computing

Delegates to Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @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 will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 20th International Cloud Expo June 6-8, 2017 in New York City and October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @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 announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

Our Top 100 Sponsors and the Leading "Digital Transformation" Companies

(ISC)2, 24Notion (Bronze Sponsor), 910Telecom, Accelertite (Gold Sponsor), Addteq, Adobe (Bronze Sponsor), Aeroybyte, Alert Logic, Anexia, AppNeta, Avere Systems, BMC Software (Silver Sponsor), Bsquare Corporation (Silver Sponsor), BZ Media (Media Sponsor), Catchpoint Systems (Silver Sponsor), CDS Global Cloud, Cemware, Chetu Inc., China Unicom, Cloud Raxak, CloudBerry (Media Sponsor), Cloudbric, Coalfire Systems, CollabNet, Inc. (Silver Sponsor), Column Technologies, Commvault (Bronze Sponsor), Connect2.me, ContentMX (Bronze Sponsor), CrowdReviews (Media Sponsor) CyberTrend (Media Sponsor), DataCenterDynamics (Media Sponsor), Delaplex, DICE (Bronze Sponsor), EastBanc Technologies, eCube Systems, Embotics, Enzu Inc., Ericsson (Gold Sponsor), FalconStor, Formation Data Systems, Fusion, Hanu Software, HGST, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Hitrons Solutions, IBM BlueBox, IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud (Platinum Sponsor), IBM Cloud Data Services/Cloudant (Platinum Sponsor), IBM DevOps (Platinum Sponsor), iDevices, Industrial Internet of Things Consortium (Association Sponsor), Impinger Technologies, Interface Masters, Intel (Keynote Sponsor), Interoute (Bronze Sponsor), IQP Corporation, Isomorphic Software, Japan IoT Consortium, Kintone Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), LeaseWeb USA, LinearHub, MangoApps, MathFreeOn, Men & Mice, MobiDev, New Relic, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), New York Times, Niagara Networks, Numerex, NVIDIA Corporation (AI Session Sponsor), Object Management Group (Association Sponsor), On The Avenue Marketing, Oracle MySQL, Peak10, Inc., Penta Security, Plasma Corporation, Pulzze Systems, Pythian (Bronze Sponsor), Cosmos, RackN, ReadyTalk (Silver Sponsor), Roma Software, Roundee.io, Secure Channels Inc., SD Times (Media Sponsor), SoftLayer (Platinum Sponsor), SoftNet Solutions, Solinea Inc., SpeedyCloud, SSLGURU LLC, StarNet, Stratoscale, Streamliner, SuperAdmins, TechTarget (Media Sponsor), TelecomReseller (Media Sponsor), Tintri (Welcome Reception Sponsor), TMCnet (Media Sponsor), Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Veeam, Venafi, Violin Memory, VAI Software, Zerto

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Olivier Huynh Van

Olivier Huynh Van, CTO and Co-Founder, is the visionary inventor of Gluware technology and leads R&D for Glue Networks. Previously, he was the former CTO of Yelofin Networks, and has 20 years of experience designing and managing mission-critical global networks for ADM Investor Services, Groupe ODDO & Cie, Natixis, Oxoid and Deutsche Bank. Olivier holds a Master’s Degree in Electronics, Robotics and Information Technology from ESIEA in Paris, France.

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