|By Lori MacVittie||
|January 31, 2014 09:30 AM EST||
A newish trend is quietly (comparatively speaking) increasing across the Internets. The basic premise is that end-users aren't being charged for data traversing mobile networks when accessing certain sites, much in the manner users are not charged for calling a company's toll free (800) number. For some companies, this largess is intended only when accessing their site. More recently, at least one provider (T-Mobile) has gone to making free access to other sites, like Facebook.
AT&T's new service, called Sponsored Data, works like a 1-800 number but for data. In theory, a company like Netflix Inc. could promote a new series by covering the cost of data that otherwise would count against a subscriber's plan. Subscribers will see a logo that lets them know the content they are accessing doesn't count against their data plan, and sponsored data volumes will be broken out on their bills.
This month, T-Mobile US Inc. began giving subscribers to its lower-cost GoSmart Mobile prepaid service free wireless access to Facebook, even if those customers aren't paying for a mobile-data plan. Unlike with AT&T's new plan, T-Mobile is bearing the data costs under the offer, which could bring new customers to the service and get lower-end subscribers into the habit of using mobile data.
Now, aside from this being a Very Cool Idea from a consumer perspective, consider what such offerings require under the hood to actually get implemented.
The provider has to know the destination and whether or not that particular destination falls under what I'm going to call a "1-800-HTTP" plan. In order to know the destination, the provider must be able to look inside the data, the payload, of mobile network traffic. It must be able to, in real-time, inspect that traffic, extract the HTTP headers, and evaluate the host name against its list of "1-800-HTTP" plans. In real time.
Certainly the provider could use IP address destinations instead. Let's face it, Facebook's block of addresses probably doesn't change all that often. The same goes for most established organizations with a presence on the Internet.
The problem with this approach is the same as its always been when we start talking about whitelisting (or blacklisting) by IP address. It's not necessarily that they'll change that's problematic, it's the sheer number of IP addresses that must be maintained in a table and, ultimately, searched in real-time. Geeks will recognize this as the "IPtable" performance problem inherent in the proliferate use of iptables for software implementation of a variety of network services, often firewalling and security-related services.
The longer the list of entries in the table, the greater latency is introduced when switching and routing requires evaluation of a destination (or source) IP address against that table.
Thus, while early implementations of the "1-800-HTTP" plans may very well simply use IP addresses, if such offerings generate enough interest and grow rapidly, an IP address-based system generally will not scale.
IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN A HOSTNAME
But that's not the only thing going on under the covers. If you read the announcement, you'll note the statement "Subscribers will see a logo that lets them know the content they are accessing doesn't count against their data plan." In other words, an advertisement. Content. Application content. That content must be inserted into the payload, into the HTTP (aka application) payload. That means deep content inspection and modification, which requires visibility into layer 7. That means some kind of service has to exist in the data path that is capable of interacting with application data, that is fluent in the language of the application. That fluency is required in order to insert into its data this "logo" or advertisement expounding upon the largess of the organization sponsoring the free access.
What this all means is that as service providers continue to seek out new ways to add value to their (admittedly already valuable) networks, they will necessarily continue to move "up the stack" toward the application. There are a plethora of value added services based on application and data that could be made available by service providers, provided they have the right infrastructure in place. That infrastructure must be not only high-performance, but it must be able to maintain that performance while executing layer 7 (application) fluent-based services in the data path.
Whether services like "1-800-HTTP" will continue to gain traction and lead to other application / data specific offerings depends on whether or not mobile providers can maintain performance while executing some fairly intensive inspection and modification under the covers.
In the first four parts of this series I presented an introduction to microservices along with a handful of emerging microservices patterns, and a discussion of some of the downsides and challenges to using microservices. The most recent installment of this series looked at ten ways that PaaS facilitates microservices development and adoption. In this post I’ll cover some words of wisdom, advice intended for individuals, teams, and organizations considering a move to microservices. I've gleaned...
May. 27, 2015 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,061
I read an insightful article this morning from Bernard Golden on DZone discussing the DevOps conundrum facing many enterprises today – is it better to build your own DevOps tools or go commercial? For Golden, the question arose from his observations at a number of DevOps Days events he has attended, where typically the audience is composed of startup professionals: “I have to say, though, that a typical feature of most presentations is a recitation of the various open source products and compo...
May. 27, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,096
Many people recognize DevOps as an enormous benefit – faster application deployment, automated toolchains, support of more granular updates, better cooperation across groups. However, less appreciated is the journey enterprise IT groups need to make to achieve this outcome. The plain fact is that established IT processes reflect a very different set of goals: stability, infrequent change, hands-on administration, and alignment with ITIL. So how does an enterprise IT organization implement change...
May. 27, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,229
Containers Expo Blog covers the world of containers, as this lightweight alternative to virtual machines enables developers to work with identical dev environments and stacks. Containers Expo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Bookmark Containers Expo Blog ▸ Here Follow new article posts on Twitter at @ContainersExpo
May. 27, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,788
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
May. 27, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,841
There’s a lot of discussion around managing outages in production via the likes of DevOps principles and the corresponding software development lifecycles that does enable higher quality output from development, however, one cannot lay all blame for “bugs” and failures at the feet of those responsible for coding and development. As developers incorporate features and benefits of these paradigm shift, there is a learning curve and a point of not-knowing-what-is-not-known. Sometimes, the only way ...
May. 27, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,873
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
May. 27, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,220
This is the final installment of the six-part series Microservices and PaaS. It seems like forever since I attended Adrian Cockroft's meetup focusing on microservices. It's actually only been a couple of months, but much has happened since then: countless articles, meetups, and conference sessions focusing on microservices have been delivered, many meetings and design efforts at companies moving towards a microservices-based approach have been endured, and five installments of this blog series ...
May. 27, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,622
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
May. 27, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,167
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
May. 27, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,088
How can you compare one technology or tool to its competitors? Usually, there is no objective comparison available. So how do you know which is better? Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA? Java EE or Spring? C# or Java? All you can usually find is a holy war and biased comparisons on vendor sites. But luckily, sometimes, you can find a fair comparison. How does this come to be? By having it co-authored by the stakeholders. The binary repository comparison matrix is one of those rare resources. It is edite...
May. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,070
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
May. 27, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,787
I’ve been thinking a bit about microservices (μServices) recently. My immediate reaction is to think: “Isn’t this just yet another new term for the same stuff, Web Services->SOA->APIs->Microservices?” Followed shortly by the thought, “well yes it is, but there are some important differences/distinguishing factors.” Microservices is an evolutionary paradigm born out of the need for simplicity (i.e., get away from the ESB) and alignment with agile (think DevOps) and scalable (think Containerizati...
May. 27, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,722
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
May. 27, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,697
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,309
Software is eating the world. Companies that were not previously in the technology space now find themselves competing with Google and Amazon on speed of innovation. As the innovation cycle accelerates, companies must embrace rapid and constant change to both applications and their infrastructure, and find a way to deliver speed and agility of development without sacrificing reliability or efficiency of operations. In her Day 2 Keynote DevOps Summit, Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell, discussed...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,856
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,712
How does one bridge the gap between traditional enterprise storage infrastructures and the private, hybrid, and public cloud? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Pollack, Chief Architect of Storage Operations at AOL Inc., examed the workload differences and required changes to reuse existing knowledge and components when building and using a cloud infrastructure. He also looked into the operational considerations, tool requirements, and behavioral changes required for private cloud storage s...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,974
The speed of product development has increased massively in the past 10 years. At the same time our formal secure development and SDL methodologies have fallen behind. This forces product developers to choose between rapid release times and security. In his session at DevOps Summit, Michael Murray, Director of Cyber Security Consulting and Assessment at GE Healthcare, examined the problems and presented some solutions for moving security into the DevOps lifecycle to ensure that we get fast AND ...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,141
Virtualization is everywhere. Enormous and highly profitable companies have been built on nothing but virtualization. And nowhere has virtualization made more of an impact than in Cloud Computing, the rampant and unprecedented adoption of which has been the direct result of the wide availability of virtualization software and techniques that enabled it. But does the cloud actually require virtualization?
May. 27, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,155