Any vendor will tell you they have detailed analytics and an intuitive interface (GUI). They'll state that certain tasks can be done in “just a few clicks”. Most vendors over-promise and under-deliver in this area, which is why we at Avi Networks took up the challenge of showing (not just telling) how much better the experience can be with our load balancer.
While it’s tempting to make fun of it, the reality is that Excel is a pretty good tool to consolidate the data from your network in one place, analyze it, generate reports, and much more. Unfortunately, importing data from network appliances into Excel is a laborious, manual process and keeping the data up-to-date is almost impossible.
One hundred and twenty-two years ago German physics professor Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the power of X-rays with the “X” signifying “unknown”. The hand on left on the image below is the first X-ray “radiograph” that Roentgen created of his wife’s hand in 1895. In today’s modern society it’s easy to take things for granted but prior to the invention of X-Ray machines, broken bones, tumors, or the location of shrapnel were all diagnosed by physical examination. Yikes! Exams involved guess-work, were prone to error, and were dangerous to the patient. I am grateful to live in today’s world of modern medicine where physicians have improved tools to diagnose and help treat illness and trauma without as much guesswork.
Imagine this scenario. It is a Wednesday morning and as the network administrator responsible for servicing business applications, you are processing a series of support tickets that arrived in the past few hours and the previous day. One of the high severity items on your plate this morning is from an application team that has been debugging poor performance of a business critical application. They have received complaints from end users and the line-of-business manager is concerned about potential revenue impacts. The application team has been frantically looking at their logs and haven’t quite pinned down the problem. They now believe it is an issue with the network and want your help finding the source of the problem. By the time the problem has been escalated to you it is already late and they want answers immediately. And just to add to the problem complexity, the issue has been happening sporadically for the last couple of weeks. What do you do?
Cisco Live is a conference that we look forward to attending every year. This event gathers network administrators and networking into one physical network, er, I mean, physical location.
I recently read an interesting blog post on an ADC vendor’s site that demonstrates a Rube Goldberg approach to showing common SSL information. Now I won’t name names but I will admit that it inspired me to write a quick blog post to show the business-ready alternative to the science project approach!
I’m pretty certain that whoever first uttered the phrase “anything easy isn't worth having” was no IT administrator. This certainty derives from the seemingly path-of-least-resistance attitude that many enterprises hold when it comes to enforcing stringent levels of encryption security for public infrastructure including their websites. We’ve previously blogged on the excuses many enterprises make for their lax encryption practices, but it’s worth examining what I believe is the primary culprit for this: lack of visibility and insights into their security profiles.
Achieving agility is a paramount importance for enterprise IT today and one key area many companies are turning to for this is deploying higher degrees of network automation. This has led to the rise of software-defined networking (SDN), which is designed to drive automation and programmability network-wide. Cisco, the undisputed leader in networking today, has seized on this important market transition with its unique, application-centric approach namely, appropriately enough, the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Cisco ACI has seen significant traction spurring our joint (Cisco and Avi Networks) customers to request deeper levels of integration between our respective solutions.
Four factors are driving change in how applications are developed and deployed today.
First off, today’s users access applications and services from a plethora of devices in addition to their static desktops. They demand secure access from work, from home, and on the go – all with consistent and reliable performance.
Second, application architectures are evolving from traditional 2 / 3 tier models to distributed “microservices” architectures specifically to ensure efficient application delivery on mobile devices. This is exactly how applications at hyperscale companies such as EBay, Netflix, Twitter, and Amazon are architected.
Third, application deployment locations have changed. Applications may be deployed not only at on-premise enterprise datacenters but also at several public cloud locations such as AWS. In addition, applications may span multiple datacenters and clouds for redundancy and higher performance.
Finally, the efficacy of applications is now measured in terms of end-user engagement and satisfaction for both internal employees and external customers. As a result, end-user monitoring is critical for ensuring high quality service delivery and guaranteeing SLAs. Furthermore, the sprawl of microservices within and across clouds increases the need for improved visibility, monitoring, performance management, and security.