Lou Gerstner's IBM famously showed that elephants can dance. However, the pressures of IT changes today are making it more difficult for the elephants of technology to be as nimble as the current crop of startups. I was reminded of this earlier in the week when I was in Las Vegas for EMC World. Interop was going on at the same time, and as it happens, my old employer NetApp was having a conference. They are all struggling to stay relevant in today's software-centric, flexible, cloud-ready, agile, self-service IT world. The good news for them is that they at least recognize this.
Organizations are adopting an app-centric approach to computing in their data centers and clouds. Microservices architectures are increasingly used by app-centric enterprises to achieve continuous development and delivery, scaling, and isolation through independent services. While microservices applications offer several advantages compared to monolithic applications, challenges with supporting application services remain. For example, traditional appliance-based application delivery and services solutions cannot support the vast amount of east-west interactions between the services and offer no visibility to application components and their interactions. These application delivery controllers (ADCs) were not designed for dynamic environments where change is constant, automation is a must, and self-service for developers is expected. Application developers require two main capabilities: (a) they need flexibility and programmability to develop, test and deploy their apps quickly; (b) they need visibility into application interactions to enforce the required security posture and pinpoint the specific service that caused an application outage.