Provisioning Templates for an Agile Environment


For those tasked with deploying applications in complex and dynamic application service infrastructures, application delivery automation enables business agility to achieve business outcomes. Whether in brownfield or greenfield environments, enterprise application delivery is a complex process and there are a variety of application services that need to be deployed. Ensuring that application services are delivered with the highest standards requires submitting multiple tickets to the network teams. It takes time to make an application production-ready, in part due to the traditional, manual approaches that are currently practiced. The turnaround time for a change request can take many days or even weeks.

With the emergence of digital transformation and the need to manage hundreds of applications, network teams are looking at automating configuration change requests. In addition, the rate of change requests they get every day is skyrocketing, and most of the tasks involved are repetitive. We see this with our own customers, where the network team is deploying new applications or modifying existing business applications on a regular basis and getting hundreds of requests every week. These are critical applications—whether external and customer-facing or internal—that the entire business relies on.

What to do next? Simplify and standardize.

Automation eliminates delays and errors and ensures quality delivery at the speed of demand for those who want the applications up right away. By understanding the organization’s needs and adopting a step-by-step approach, it is easy to achieve application delivery automation. As a part of the evolution towards application delivery automation, defining standard configurations for various application deployments simplifies the whole process and optimizes overall delivery time.

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Templates have become a best practice for automating application delivery. A template-based approach to deploying new applications gives application teams the ability to take ownership and self-service their applications. Approved by senior network teams, configuration is hardcoded in the template, and the device names and other specifics can be dynamic data that the application owner enters at the time of implementation. The biggest advantage to this approach is that the network team does not have to go through the strenuous process of typing out entire configurations from scratch, reducing the effort required to make an application production-ready.

Agility through automation

AppViewX supplies prepackaged templates to address various application deployment scenarios. This helps your businesses provision applications faster while acting as a foundation to start your automation journey. The AppViewX platform integrates with leading technology providers to provide state-of-the-art automation and orchestration capabilities. The platform also introduces complete change-management automation by integrating with various ITSM and DDI systems and defining workflows for approval, validation, and implementation. This helps companies to provision applications faster while consolidating application and network services on a single console. Enterprises can deploy on-demand services for applications in the cloud, and with the upcoming release, AppViewX is extending support to provision applications in the cloud.

You can find more generic templates in the AppViewX GitHub community (note that you must have an AppViewX instance in your environment to try the templates). Here we list three of the most-used templates by our customers. These templates can be customized based on different business needs.

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1. Template for ADC virtual server provisioning

ADC deployment impacts application delivery. Essentially, how quickly an enterprise can make an application production-ready depends on how quickly it can configure ADC for it. This template automates the configuration of a virtual IP to deploy a new application. The application team can submit a request by filling in a simple form, as shown below, reducing reliance on discrete, manual processes. All they need to do is to enter basic details: VIP name, IP, port, and so on.

2. Template for version migration

There are a lot of great reasons why you might plan to upgrade to the latest F5 BIG-IP version. The template below lets you seamlessly migrate your F5 v11 configurations to the latest v12 version. One of the leading biotechnology companies automated migration of critical e-commerce application in minutes using this template.

3. Template for SHA-1 migration

Security is vital to being more agile. An application outage can cost you millions of dollars and brand damage. SHA-1 encryption is totally unsafe, so you need to ensure that all the certificates on your publicly accessible applications use the SHA-2 algorithm. This template helps you migrate your certificates from SHA-1 to SHA-2.

“Agile delivery” is easy to demand, but huge interdependencies across many teams make it difficult to do things quickly. Templates are indeed the best way to standardize service offerings and accelerate time to market. AppViewX has helped many customers automate and orchestrate application delivery tasks. A simple, self-service, form-based approach has assisted numerous customers in shortening their application deployment window from weeks to days or even hours. From deploying a new business application in greenfield (on-premises and cloud) environments to performing server rotations in brownfield environments, these templates are simple to define, design, delegate, and deploy.

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Along with these generic templates, we are delivering enhanced support from the AppViewX Global Services team, a team of experts that delivers 24×7, on-demand assistance to build your automation story.

Automation is definitely moving the enterprise forward on its digital transformation journey. Do you want to take the next leap? Try out these templates in your environment and see how they work. To get started, you can start a free trial and play around these templates.

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