Application Deployment and Governance Challenges
With the growing sophistication and deployment complexity of next generation application landscapes, such as SAP BW on SAP HANA, traditional approaches to application deployment and governance no longer meet business expectations. In a competitive world, customers must deploy services quickly and then rapidly
and safely add or remove resources from already running applications to meet the demands of users, based on service- level requirements, time scheduling, and cost factors, while adhering to security and governance requirements.
Complex, large scale, and dynamic application landscapes require a new approach to automation, which can’t be achieved with today’s tools that depend on risky manual processes and expert intervention. The next generation of automation must capture application requirements and lifecycle semantics in a set of abstractions to provide the fundamental operations needed to manage applications throughout their lifecycles. This application -centric perspective raises the application to the highest level of importance and views infrastructure as subservient to the application. In an application -centric world, the value of the infrastructure is determined by how efficiently and flexibly its capabilities can be used to fulfill the requirements of the application.
New Challenges with Cloud Programmable Infrastructure
Cloud programmable infrastructure has transformed infrastructure management from a logistically and human -intensive physical activity into a software configuration and programming activity. Clouds such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Cloud as well as converged infrastructure, such as FlexPod from Cisco and NetApp, has reduced the traditionally unbounded diversity of infrastructures to a well-defined set of resources represented as a small number of logical abstractions.
The new challenge is to map the application requirements to the semantics and APIs of each programmable infrastructure resource. For example, for a virtual server to access storage, the programmable computing resources have to be configured to interact with the programmable network resources to reach the programmable storage resources on the storage ports with the appropriate bandwidth and failover semantics. This goal requires semantic alignment across all elements of the programmable infrastructure. Whether using graphical consoles, scripting and automation tools, or direct APIs, operations personnel are responsible for learning the semantic details of all programmable infrastructure, defining the specific configuration or programming steps, and understanding the implications and verifying the accuracy of the changes made.
SAP BW and SAP HANA landscapes consist of multiple application components across a multi-tier topology, with detailed requirements defining the way that these tiers communicate. The data center network must be configured to enable this complex communication while still meeting business needs for security, compliance, and service levels. Changes to a tier, such as support for increased demand, often require extensive configuration changes to the network devices.
The Vnomic modeling framework is used to create application models that express SAP BW and SAP HANA application semantics in terms of their structure, behavior, interdependencies, lifecycle, and infrastructure requirements.
The Vnomic Desired State Controller (VDSC) then translates the application models into a set of declarative policies that are automatically fulfilled and enforced by the hosting cloud infrastructure networking layer. Modern Cloud networking capabilities provides flexible application policy and infrastructure control that can dramatically accelerate application deployment and operations through centralized configuration, testing, and monitoring of the entire cloud infrastructure, including network connectivity, security, and other Layer 4 through 7 services (Figure 2).