If you live in a city with a punishing commute like I do, podcasts are a great relief. My favorite is Analog(ue) with two guys (Myke and Casey) living on either side of the Atlantic discussing tech, devices, and all of their ramifications. I am making the switch from binge watching to binge listening. If you are responsible for networking infrastructure, operations, or a simply a “connectivity” enthusiast, you have no doubt heard of the Packet Pushers, who run a great podcast for all things networking.
My colleague and VP of Product Management Guru Chahal recently sat with Greg Ferro and Ethan Banks to discuss the industry trends in application delivery services and networking and it made great listening for my morning commute.
Guru identified three big trends that are reshaping how we think about networks and the application services that they deliver.
The first one is about the application themselves and their evolution. They started as monolithic blocks of code and evolved to n-tier apps, and now are evolving to distributed microservices based applications portions of which need to be scaled out or scaled back down in real time.
Next, where you run applications is changing. The location that an application is running in is now completely abstracted, in many cases irrelevant. Application owners are more concerned about the application’s performance and SLAs than where the application is running. In many cases they are not comfortable tying down the location of the application to a data center, a CoLo, or a particular cloud.
The third trend is about expectations. With virtualization, computing resources that used to take days or weeks to provision became available in just a few mins - the VM vending machine experience. That same revolution did not occur in the network, where network administrators still need to procure, provision, and configure hardware appliances with new virtual services when it came time to roll out applications. Application teams which have got used to quick availability of infrastructure have an expectation that the load balancer is going to be there and that it is going to be provisioned in minutes. Enterprise IT is being benchmarked against a public scorecard from cloud providers and their agility.
All of these trends together with the attractiveness of microservices and container based applications and the ability to distribute applications in manageable chunks is making networking teams stop and take note of what they need to do the application delivery front. They scale up services individually as opposed scaling an entire app. They need to support frequent updates and configuration changes, and discover new services being added. And they need to automate the provisioning of all of these services.
Well, I could go on but I will be stealing my colleague’s thunder and standing between you and a great “BADaaS” t-shirt that is being offered to listeners. Sadly, I still had a fair bit of road to cover when the podcast was done :(. Here is hoping you commute gets better!