Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
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. In this power panel at @...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
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 sett...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
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.
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.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...