Eliminate Application Delivery Bottlenecks by Automating Network Operations

Prologue

The application delivery networking space has drastically evolved over the last few years. The DNS resolution-based load balancing mechanism is now replaced with the smart Application Delivery Controllers, and they have transformed the ways of application provisioning.

With DevOps practices being the new norm, application teams are getting more & more aggressive with time, and are developing applications with the volume and speed- greater than ever. Applications in an enterprise-level environment need to handle traffic from thousands of users, which demand high availability. Application development is easy but the challenge lies in making the application ready to use once developed.

In this regard, ADCs are used by organizations for ensuring application reliability, security, and peak-performance. So, the speed of ADC configuration states the speed of making the application production-ready.
Moreover, an application deployment requires VIP configuration for load balancing and DNS records creation for name resolutions. To deliver an application, the development team needs to submit a plethora of requests. The manual operations and highly isolated approach exacerbate the situation of teams working in silos. Such inefficiencies lead to inaccuracies and inconsistencies, resulting in increased time to market, and loss in revenues.

Eliminate Application Delivery Bottlenecks by Automating Network Operations

These overt challenges should be considered only as of the tip of the iceberg, as the enterprises also found themselves struggling with several other bottlenecks in their application delivery infrastructure.

Application Delivery Bottlenecks

Let’s delve into other serious bottlenecks detrimentally impacting application delivery.

1. Sluggish ADC Deployments

It is important to realize that with the conventional approach, speeding up the application delivery is really a challenging task. During deployment of a new application, or while upgrading the existing version, the networking team has to work on various change requests at several levels viz. ADCs, DDI. In general, it takes several weeks in provisioning the application. Such week-long delays are no more acceptable in the current dynamic scenario, and the ADC deployment must be substantially agile to meet the new expectation levels that the business now demands.

Automate and Orchestrate F5 BIG-IP Platform with AppViewX

2. Lack of Collaboration Across Teams

For an application deployment, development teams need to submit requests to multiple teams. Concurrently, networking operation teams are often overloaded with myriads of incident-management problems. In such a scenario a request can be worked on when previous requests are worked on accordingly. Development and networking teams are notorious to work in silos, which delays the end product delivery.

3. Error-prone Manual Operations

Information like application name, VIPs, port numbers, etc. are manually fed into the system. After VIP provisioning, in general, there is no way of validating application functionality. Ensuring the adherence of new deployments with the organizational standards is still a problem. Making changes to the existing application while ensuring traffic management across various environments is not only a challenge but also the most common reason for downtime.

Inadvertent human errors cannot be completely eliminated. It has been established that such human errors are the root cause of 37% of the outages and 82% of the organizations have experienced some downtime just because of the errors in manual operations.

4. Lack of Automation & Orchestration

While rolling out an application, the app-development teams have to submit requests for the VIP. This request is then forwarded to the NetOps team for information verification. If anything is found to be missing/wrong, the request is reverted for rectification. The network team then fetches a free IP from IPAM solution and allocates it to the development team. If application needs to be rolled back again, a new ticketing process gets initiated.

This whole process is iterative, tedious, and time-consuming! The labor-intensive approach worsens the scenario. Several errors creep in the process and lots of time and effort are wasted in correcting and rolling out the application.

AppViewX ADC+ – Accelerating Application Delivery leveraging Automation

The shortcomings of manual management are clear with the aforementioned details; enterprises relying on the conventional labor-intensive process are destined to fall behind in deploying ADCs and checking errors. This will increase the net time to market and will also lead to downtime and network outages.

ADC+ is an overarching ADC management solution by AppViewX, helping Fortunes and enterprises accelerate application delivery across multiple environments by leveraging the best-in-class automation & orchestration methodologies. Key features enabling faster application delivery are:

– Self-serviceable Workflows

The ADC+ platform offers OOB (out-of-the-box) automation workflows to help users to create, modify, delete VIPs/WIPs, migrate and upgrade F5 devices and much more, abstracting the technical nitty-gritty. The system actively communicates with the ITSM and IPAM solutions through REST API based integrations. Auto-validations post implementing the configurations greatly assists in assessing whether the operating commands are performing as envisaged or not.

– Role-Based Access Control

Special object-level access authorizes the organizations to outline precise roles for performing actions across the networking infrastructure. With this, self-serviceable forms can be developed for making changes and creating/modifying new VIPs. These forms can be delegated to various teams, so they can easily and quickly configure VIPs for various deployment scenarios.

– Configuration Rollbacks

ADC+ facilitates the flexibility to revert the ADC changes as and when required, ensuring that it exactly returns to the last known good configuration. This exclusive task happens because it automatically captures a snapshot of the configuration file before implementing changes and executes the previous configuration as and when required.

– App-Centric Topological View

The GUI-based dashboard offers app-centric visibility into networking infrastructure, with a topological view of the application hierarchy. All users can have a look at the pool members where various devices are tackling traffic for an application and can take different actions, like performing a backup, viewing and restoring configurations, audit logs, etc.

In A Nutshell

In the traditional labor-intensive approach, the indispensable interdependencies across different teams involved in application deployment make it impossible to speed things up. This leads to weeks of delays, which are not tolerable in the current dynamic environment.

ADC+ by AppViewX facilitates the ability to define workflows for approval, validation, and implementation to help companies deliver applications faster. Simple, self-serviceable OOB (out-of-the-box) automation workflows, and centralized management from a GUI dashboard, has assisted numerous organizations in shortening their application deployment window from weeks to days or even hours.

ADC+ integrates with leading technology providers to provide state-of-the-art automation and orchestration capabilities and is capable to automate and orchestrate any ADC sourced through any vendor. This is the first-of-its-kind capability in the IT infrastructure world.

Devanshu Dawn

About the Author

Devanshu Dawn

Product Marketing Manager

A product enthusiast, who strategizes and communicates product's value to prospects and customers through narratives based on solid research, simplifying their purchase decisions.

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