If you’re an IT professional, 2020 has probably been much busier than expected. Security concerns have grown as attacks have become more sophisticated, and increased in number (especially during the pandemic). You and your coworkers are likely working fully remote, requiring you to manage your IT infrastructure remotely and support a dispersed workforce. And of course, your company’s customers are putting more demands than ever before on your network: they expect high performance apps, HD video streaming, and 100% uptime. To keep pace, your IT infrastructure needs to evolve to become more dynamic and less static.
In a session for our recently held INS1GHTS 2020 conference, Bipin Mistry, our Senior Director of Product Management for DDI, outlines some key technological developments that can make your network more dynamic and resilient. Keep reading for some of his insights, or access the full recording here: https://resources.ns1.com/ins1ghts2020.
#1: Network Automation
Network automation, or infrastructure as code, allows you to provision, configure, and deploy infrastructure more efficiently. You can automate deployments using code, and version control your configurations.
Automating some of your regular network maintenance via code deployments is more efficient, cost effective, and consistent. It also allows you to easily create, test, develop and sandbox new environments. Additionally, you can also activate or deactivate resources to dynamically scale with user demand.
Hand in hand with network automation is the widespread adoption of DevOps. DevOps teams can deliver new features faster, and create a more stable operating environment. There are lower change failure rates, while increasing deployments.
To empower your DevOps teams to automate network management, your DDI solution needs to be “API-first”. Or in other words, it needs to integrate with all the tools and software that DevOps teams use these days. The combination of network automation and an API-first DDI solution makes it easy to automatically manage some of the following routine tasks:
- Automatically assign IPs to new devices
- Create networks
- Allocate and update IP addresses
- Update DNS entries
- Automate service discovery
- Streamline network service workflows
The move to containerization within your network infrastructure has made it faster and simpler to run virtual machines and microservices. The benefit of containers is that they are platform agnostic and lightweight. With containers, you can run applications in a smaller environment, which enables microservices architecture.
To ensure your applications at the edge are integrated seamlessly within your overall infrastructure, your DDI needs to be similarly lightweight. With a container-based DDI solution, you can efficiently deliver DNS at the edge of your network.
#3: Intelligent Traffic Steering
To meet growing demands from your users and employees, your network infrastructure has likely grown beyond the traditional private data center to include public and/or private cloud setups, as well as microservices. Routing your users efficiently across your growing IT infrastructure requires intelligent traffic steering.
With intelligent traffic steering, you can use real-time data to ensure your users are sent to the healthiest endpoint. Additionally, traffic steering can be used to “gate” certain traffic. This can be useful for a number of reasons, such as sending users to a specific application experience based upon their location. It can also be helpful in deploying new features. You can choose to test new features on a subset of users - i.e., canary candidate testing.
Implementing intelligent traffic steering requires an API-first, platform-based DDI. All the different pieces of your infrastructure need to integrate seamlessly.
A next generation DDI solution (i.e., one that is platform-based, API-first and lightweight) will allow you to implement these next generation network management technologies. Implementing a DDI solution that offers these technical advantages will allow you to test and deploy new features seamlessly, route users in real-time to highest performing locations, and automate network maintenance. In effect, your infrastructure becomes more resilient, flexible, and high-performing.