The Most Important Enterprise Development Technologies for 2016

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Behind many recent integration, mobile, and PaaS announcements is a strong API story

• Microservices is one of the year’s biggest phenomenon but it’s still not for everyone such as a small team of developers using a single language

In response to new application development imperatives, companies began leveraging the cloud and new services such as mobility, agile app development and automated infrastructure to digitize IT and business processes in 2015. A number of new technologies are becoming available as-a-service to address developer and IT operations requirements to mobilize applications, integrate new apps with backend data, and leverage cloud-based application infrastructures and architectures to achieve faster and more nimble development. These key technologies which will drive enterprise initiatives for achieving digital mandates in 2016 are API services, cloud services, microservices, and mobile services with a new emphasis on user experience (UX) design. (For an expanded version of this blog, please see Technologies Enterprise Buyers Need to Get Their Head Around in 2016.) Read more of this post

Tomorrow’s Networking Decisions Will Revolve Around APIs

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • In a software defined data center, APIs will be the defining functions differentiating one product from another.
  • Enterprise IT will need to learn about the pertinent aspects of APIs application development to make informed product decisions.

Are APIs part of your checklist when investigating networking products? If not, they should be. In market segments like switching and, speeds and feeds have become a non-issue because networking manufacturers are reaching performance parity fairly quickly. The majority of switch and router features are also fairly uniform across product lines as well. The differentiators are found in SDN features such as overlay or OpenFlow support, automation capabilities, and integration features. Read more of this post

When Your Switch Vendor is also Your Software Vendor

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • A software defined data center is nothing without a software defined network. Programmability and API support are more important than speeds and feeds in making a purchasing decision.
  • Enterprises have to assess a networking vendor’s software plans as thoroughly as hardware specifications.

There are three critical features of data center switching that you need to keep in mind on your next refresh: overlay support, programmability, and APIs. Speeds and feeds, table sizes, and other data sheet specs are table stakes, and most data center networking vendors are keeping pace on the important parts. Seriously now, how many of you are going to make a purchase decision based on MAC table size? Do you really need more than 256,000 entries? Hardware is keeping up. Software impacts the integration and interoperation of your switching hardware with the rest of your data center, so much so that it becomes the most critical set of features that can make or break a fully automated data center. Read more of this post

OpenStack and ONS in Same Week; Can’t NetOps and Dev Just Get Along?

Mike Spanbauer

Mike Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises struggle with whether a programmatic networks is a developer concept, a networking concept or both
  • The long term success of SDN will eventually depend on solutions being simple to integrate across multi-vendor environments

At the Open Networking Summit this week in Santa Clara, the largest SDN conference and marquee event for the Open Networking Foundation, the leading SDN standards body, it is not lost on this attendee that the event is concurrent with the OpenStack event, a parallel standards body that also fosters open initiatives and technology (though on compute and the software stack vs. networking and the L1-3 services stack).  It is ironic that while this particular conflict was not intentional, it does represent the challenge faced by enterprises who are seeking to incorporate more “open” technologies into their ecosystem.  The question is whether to pursue the early adoption path as is the case with SDN and several solutions which are more coding than CLI configured today, or to wait for the fully “baked” solutions expected to arrive in the future.  The skill sets, staffing challenges, and operational paradigm for each radically differ.  Where one is often sought for a solution that cannot be accomplished by other means, the other is more focused on resource optimization, solution maintenance, and minimized disruption. (While not necessarily technical interruption, introducing a new technology such as SDN is highly disruptive to people and processes at minimum.)

Read more of this post

What Does Management Mean to You, How Big is It, & Can It Be Done?

 

Mike Spanbauer

Mike Spanbauer

  • The IT management toolkit consists of at least a dozen or more management tools to address element management, event stream correlation and trending, business process automation, virtualization control, to name a few, it’s a complex task to integrate and one that falls to consulting or the DevOps.
  • APIs and pre-tested integrations will become priority feature enterprises will evaluate when making technology decisions.

Gone are the days of being able to choose a point management product for a specific problem or vendor device and installing that parallel to other, dedicated task tools.  Today’s IT management buy centers must also evaluate the integrations with their existing toolsets, many of which were not tested by the vendor.  Network management vendors partner programs assist in integration and testing with other vendors but are limited to a small subset of third parties that joined the program.   These systems include element management, virtualization software, an event framework for operations and security streams, server and storage optimization tools, network tools, business process toolsets all of which should, but may not work together today.  The list of an average enterprise management software is much longer, rarely integrated well, and a hurdle to greater IT efficiency.  Much of this integration falls to a role that has always been a jack-of-all (integration) trades, the DevOps administrator. Read more of this post