Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Rene Buest, Greg Schulz, ManageEngine IT Matters, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog

Blog Feed Post

Device Packages: Integrating F5 Synthesis with Cisco APIC

#ACI #SDAS #devops #SDN Because something's got to change - and change radically.

budget-lights-onAccording to a recent IDC report, OPEX costs are doubling every eight years. Important to consider is this data is based on historical trends, and doesn't necessarily take into consideration the forthcoming explosions in applications and data resulting from technological shifts like the Internet of Things.

Even so, it's no wonder that almost every study done on IT budgets pegs operating expenses - the "keep the lights on and apps running" kind of operating expenses - at upwards of 70% of the total budget.

Something, obviously, has to change - and change radically.

Cloud, devops and SDN all point organizations in the same direction - operationalization through automation, orchestration and ultimately, integration via open, standards-based APIs and protocols.

That's ultimately the goal of Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) strategy, which seeks to address the challenges in scaling networks and services not only from a technology perspective, but from a people perspective. Part of the reason for the significant chunk of IT budgets that is spent on operations comes from the reality that configuration - the state of the network - is spread across tens and hundreds and sometimes thousands of myriad network devices. From layer 2 to layer 7, organizations use a veritable cornucopia of network and application services to keep the business running by delivering the applications upon which business relies.

Deploying an application can take days or weeks because of the coordination required across not just the devices themselves (and whether virtual or physical makes no never mind as configuration is agnostic with respect to form factor) but across what are increasingly siloed IT teams: operations, security and networking.

Cisco's ACI aims to reduce the friction that slows down service deployment by centralizing policy control and coordination and automating provisioning and configuration of services across the entire L2-7 landscape.

Yeah, that's a pretty big ask.

But Cisco isn't planning on doing it alone.

IT TAKES an ECOSYSTEM

The centerpiece of Cisco's ACI strategy, APIC, provides the means by which all the various L2-7 services in the data center can be easily integrated with virtually no disruption to existing service architectures. It manages this feat by enabling providers of those services, like F5, to develop a device package (similar to a plug-in) to an open specification that APIC can consume and use to communicate and coordinate application-specific policies.

A device package is two pieces: the device model (an XML file) and a device script (written in Python). The device model describes in a standardized, APIC-consumable format what functions are available in the device script. Then APIC can call on those functions to provision the services specified by the open source policy and the device script in turn communicates with the provider of those services using whatever mechanism they choose. In the case of F5 Synthesis, that's our open, standards-based API iControl.

apic-synthesis-integration

Today, what we've announced, is an F5 device package for the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC). Initially the device package supports three services:

1. L4-7 load balancing

2. SSL offload

3. SharePoint Deployments 

The SharePoint deployment is unique because in addition to the standard use of iControl to provision the service, customers get the expertise that comes with thousands of SharePoint deployments all bundled up into a nice neat programmable iApp. That means best practices for a highly optimized SharePoint deployment are packaged up and provisioned through Cisco APIC. 

The device package model is extensible, so services in the F5 Software Defined Application Services portfolio can be easily added to a Cisco ACI architecture in the future.

COEXIST

The magnitude of the tectonic shifts in technology today has never been this disruptive (just count the number of #hashtags we've got going on Twitter these days) since the dot com days. And now we've got both our web-scale architectures to worry about while we try to prepare for the coming hyper-scale architectures. But we can't abandon ship and start anew, we've got to maintain what we have while we go forth and conquer. That means architectures that can bridge the gap between the existing and the new, that can insulate applications from the massive disruption that comes whenever anything substantially changes the way we build and manage the foundation of both IT and business today: the network.

F5 Synthesis is that bridge. It's the abstraction layer capable of delivering yesterday's applications while enabling tomorrow's. By integrating with Cisco ACI, F5 Synthesis allows customers to operationalize the entire network and start migrating to the policy-based, application-driven network architectures so necessary to succeed in an app and "thing" economy without compromising on security, performance or availability of both existing and new applications.

The F5 Device Package for Cisco APIC will be available as a free download via downloads.f5.com in summer 2014.

 

 

*Budget statistic http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243312/How_to_balance_maintenance_and_IT_innovation

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.

@CloudExpo Stories
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
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 ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of D...
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.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
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...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
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.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
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 in...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
@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 developm...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...