APIs and DevOps
As always, there are interesting trends in DevOps , and I wanted to point out one that is starting to bother me: the “API economy,” and how it impacts DevOps decision-makers.
Traditional infrastructure—SAN, LAN, physical systems, etc.—were generally controlled the best from the command line. While there are a million of them, Cisco IOS is probably the one that you’ll remember best (or you stopped using to read this—just depends upon the shop). When large-scale automation started, these command lines became a bit problematic. After all, scripting was possible, but painful, and often had non-portable hardcoded values.
Virtualization, and later cloud—and even later SDN and NFV—all made this better, but on a layer over the top of (and normally not well integrated with) the physical layer. Years ago I bemoaned that we had doubled the workload of operations by re-implementing what was already implemented at the physical layer. So we were configuring the physical—even for cloud you have to get to the cloud—and then configuring the virtual.
Then “Software Devs as Kingmakers” came along, followed by “the API Economy,” and finally we started to see some serious attention paid to APIs by infrastructure vendors that should have done so long ago (some former employers of mine might belong in this group).
Here is the thing: There is a difference between having an API and having an API that is useful. When shopping for solutions, be they physical or software, don’t allow APIs to be a check box because it’s “the API Economy.” And don’t assume that an API useful to DEVops is what is needed to automate infrastructure. Monitoring APIs—particularly ones that provide you detailed information about an app as it runs—are useful to DEVops, and assuming you have tools that are or can be integrated, might provide value to devOPS.
This article originally appeared on DevOps.com. To read the full article, click here.
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