Manage Application Visibility And Traffic Across Your Data Centers

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In this blog, we will discuss how to solve the rising need for application visibility, shorter release cycles & efficient traffic management across a hybrid/multi-cloud environment with a Blue-Green deployment strategy. 

Control over IT infrastructure in today’s organizations has become more centralized as network infrastructures become more complex. This is partly due to the fact that months-long release cycles are no longer the norm, and teams must now resolve issues and distribute upgrades as soon as they are discovered or required, without causing service interruptions.

Application visibility is critical for businesses as they increasingly rely on a mix of devices, platforms, software, and hardware deployed in both on-premises data centers and the cloud. End-to-end visibility into applications enables organizations to see which applications are running and what resources are being used within a cloud instance. Monitoring solutions that provide comprehensive application visibility are necessary to achieve this goal.

There is a growing trend in the business world of gradually transitioning to newer and more advanced applications in order to stay ahead of the competition. One of the most effective methods for doing this is using the Blue-Green deployment methodology, but it is also one of the most underutilized. Blue-Green deployment is a type of application release model which gradually transfers traffic from an older version of an application to a new, identical clone in order to make necessary changes without disrupting service; however, lack of application visibility can deter teams from using it.

To accelerate the use of blue-green deployment and bridge the application visibility gap, application infrastructure and security solutions such as AppViewX ADC+ have built a centralized platform that offers object-level visibility into application infrastructure and various out-of-box solutions to turbocharge application delivery.

Why do organizations opt for the Blue-Green deployment process?

Deploying an application can be a complex and time-consuming process. Many organizations opt for a Blue-Green deployment strategy to make the deployment process more efficient. This deployment allows different teams to share data and collaborate on projects.

Blue-Green deployments are beneficial for two reasons: First, they reduce downtime and risk in complex application infrastructure. And second, they allow different teams to see how their changes affect the overall application performance. However, with so many applications and the need for better collaboration between developers, operations, network security, and business teams, there often isn’t a centralized console that enables all of these groups to work on shared systems and data.

AppViewX ADC+ has developed a workflow that automates the Blue-Green deployment process, which helps reduce downtime and risk associated with such an expansive application infrastructure by providing application-centric visibility and object-level control.

AppViewX ADC+ Blue-Green Deployment Workflow

Why do enterprises use AppViewX ADC+ for Blue-Green deployment, application visibility, and security?

The frequency of deployments is the most significant change in the software development domain today. As more applications are released by the minute, businesses are leaning on hybrid infrastructures for their CI/CD pipeline to ensure availability and enhance customer experiences. There is a rising need for a solution that operates in a hybrid environment and offers application infrastructure security and automation capabilities.

AppViewX ADC+ is an innovative platform that helps NetOps and application teams optimize and secure their applications with object-level visibility. The platform provides self-service, automated management, orchestration, and proactive security services. It’s the perfect solution for organizations that want to improve their overall security posture while also speeding up application development with automation. After adding ADC devices (F5, NGINX, or others.), AppViewX ADC+ automates device discovery and mapping process so you can get app-centric visibility across your diversified infrastructure.

From an application visibility standpoint, ADC+ users gain the ability to 

  • Monitor the status of applications across the infrastructure
  • Self-serve application teams seamlessly
  • One-touch Server Rotation/Blue Green swing
  • Troubleshoot issues faster
  • Rollback to the previous state.

In a nutshell,

How to solve the rise in the need for application visibility, shorter release cycles & efficient traffic management across a hybrid/multi-cloud environment.

Blue-Green deployments are beneficial for two reasons: they reduce downtime and risk in complex application infrastructure. There often isn’t a centralized console that enables all of these groups to work on shared systems and data. AppViewX ADC+ provides an application-centric view and centralized management over the F5 application delivery network. Application visibility is critical for businesses as they increasingly rely on a mix of devices, platforms, software, and hardware deployed in both on-premises data centers and the cloud. Blue-Green deployment is a type of application release model which gradually transfers traffic from an older version of an application to a new, identical clone.

AppViewX ADC+ also enables end-to-end app management and monitoring with dynamic “Application View Dashboards.” Users can activate standard predefined templates for GSLB and SLB Applications management, allowing them to create instant application dashboards. 

Process Flow Steps to enable Blue-Green deployment and seamless self-servicing
Process Flow: Steps to enable Blue-Green deployment and seamless self-servicing

Steps to deliver Blue-Green deployment using AppViewX ADC+

Prerequisites:

  • Ensure the devices from your infrastructure are mapped in AppViewX ADC+, and the applications are discoverable
  • Create an application dashboard using the predefined templates that are provided for application management

Note: GSLB and SLB app management templates are provided out-of-the-box to the users to gain instant app visibility and management  

ADC Configure Dashboard
Out-of-the-box GSLB and SLB App Management Templates

Step 1: Configure the Application Layout

  • Data center App view, device-based app view, etc., come as predefined formats to achieve App visibility as per your choice
  • To accomplish a Blue-Green deployment model, select Data center-based App View

Step 2: Configure Objects 

  • Enter the GSLB/SLB Application patterns you wish to monitor/manage

Step 3: Launch Dashboard 

  • Tag the widgets to an existing dashboard or create a new dashboard.

Follow the above steps, and you’ll have a new dashboard in minutes that will allow you to deploy blue-green versions and manage your traffic.

SLB Management and Monitoring
Predefined Application Layout options

 

App-centric Visibility across two data centers

Watch this video to see how to perform Blue-Green Deployment using AppViewX ADC+.

In conclusion, 

Now is the time to start automating and managing your ADC devices to proactively solve problems like application downtime,  delayed delivery, and extra overhead costs. With widespread distribution and hybrid setup of ADC services across multiple teams, ADC management is no longer a requirement but a business necessity.

AppViewX ADC+ provides an application-centric view and centralized management over the F5 & NGINX application delivery network, bridging the gap between application owners, network administrators, and security teams. Its powerful GUI-based automation workflows add to the management capabilities of F5 BIG-IQ®, NGINX, etc., making life easier for network teams.

Gain instant visibility into your applications across devices, data centers, sync groups, etc., in minutes. AppViewX ADC+ ensures that its Dynamic Dashboards are instantly updated with changes in application configurations. With frequent changes and removal of applications in your infrastructure, the challenge of maintaining and keeping application dashboards up-to-date is entirely automated.

AppViewX’s granular and renewed RBAC (role-based access control) becomes even more efficient as you can simply tag the RBAC resources to the Dashboards. Application dashboards get dynamically created and updated exclusively for the users sharing the tagged resources.

Every IT administrator faces the daunting task of maintaining security permissions for thousands of users. For example, you might want to allow your employees to access some apps in their work environment but keep them from accessing certain apps when they are off work. It is hard to manage such a large number of users with current RBAC models.

AppViewX’s new RBAC functionality allows you to create a unique dashboard for each user in your organization. Each dashboard is associated with specific app permissions. Users can log into these dashboards and access the apps associated with the permissions given to them. The same dashboard can be shared among different groups of users. This ensures that we give you a new level of security by allowing you to define permissions on a per-resource basis. 

Automate your Network Today

Additional Resources: 

Use-Cases: Automate Load Balancing Services

Interactive Guide: Steps to automating 95% of all F5 & NGINX changes

Buyer’s Guide: ADC management and automation tools: Know things that matter!

Whitepaper: Turbocharge your application delivery in a hybrid world

Whitepaper: LBaaS as a Service

Related Blog: Automating Application Traffic Management for Blue-Green Deployments

Tags

  • ADC
  • Application Delivery Controller
  • application visibility
  • Blue-Green deployment strategy
  • efficient traffic management
  • Manage Application Visibility & Traffic
  • multi cloud environment

About the Author

Indhuja Sundararajan

Senior Business Analyst

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