In a perfect world, every networking component from every networking vendor would interoperate. But that perfect world has yet to materialize: vendor hardware has its own proprietary language; protocols are not interchangeable; and analytics don’t use the same baselines. This doesn’t just impact network monitoring and performance; it impacts application availability and the user experience.
Open application programing interfaces (APIs) can help bridge these gaps and ensure that both software-defined networking (SDN) and the traditional networks that support it never miss a beat.
When software-defined networking (SDN) first came on the scene, southbound APIs took center stage, thanks to adoption from the likes of OpenFlow and networking vendors, such as Cisco and Nokia. Now that this modern networking approach and architecture is maturing, industry and user focus is turning north. The Open Networking Foundation even went so far to predict 2016 would be the year of the northbound API.
Northbound APIs will help boost the SDN application ecosystem, which, in turn, will help organizations realize the full agility and efficiency benefits of these architectures. As Rob Sherwood, chair of the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) Architecture Working Group, confirms, “Without a northbound API, all network applications must come directly from equipment vendors, which makes it more difficult to innovate in your network. Think of an ‘app store’ for network applications — we couldn’t have that without a northbound API.”
A network performance monitoring strategy based on an Open API architecture should also enable feature velocity to meet market demands and business expectations like customer portals or integrations with existing operational support systems and business support systems. An Open API approach should also enable the creation of custom applications and unique visualizations for a truly innovative and intuitive network troubleshooting experience.
The ability to advance your network performance monitoring at every layer and every stage of the network stack and lifecycle is fundamental to enriching the user experience. Open APIs will not only help organizations overcome existing performance issues, but also ensure advanced network monitoring to enable new services and applications for the future.
Jeremy Rossbach, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager at CA Technologies.
CA Technologies has launched a new network performance monitoring comic series featuring Kip and Gary to bring a little fun and laughter to the everyday challenges network operations teams face with traditional network performance monitoring along with implementing and managing modern network architectures like SDN.