At VMworld 2018, Gartner's Paul Delory spoke with TechRepublic about the many ways for an API-driven infrastructure to enable automation. "API-driven infrastructure is important. It is the goal here, and it should be the goal of infrastructure modernization," Delory said. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
"If you're running in the public cloud, this is something that you already have, because Amazon, or Microsoft, or Google — they've already built this API-driven infrastructure.
If you're using the public cloud, you'll be familiar with this. You'll have a storage API that you can reach out to, and say, Give me 500 gigabytes of storage please. And storage just sort of happens.
Now, what's actually going on in the cloud provider's data-center, to make that happen, it's very complicated. But it's not your problem as an end-user of a service, right? All of these low-level details, the low-level management stuff has been abstracted away from you, right? We want to get to the same place in our data center.
And this is really where we see the emergence of software-defined infrastructure, software-defined data-center technologies.
The goal behind that , is to get to API-driven infrastructure within the data center. Now, increasingly, we're seeing those SDI platforms, those SDDC platforms, be extended to the edge. That's a very attractive model, this idea that you would have an API-driven infrastructure, all the way from the cloud to the edge.
And, the idea that with SDI or SDDC ... you can take these innovations that have been pioneered by the cloud providers, and incorporate that same technology, or that same type of technology, in your data center.
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That's very attractive — getting an API-driven infrastructure — a huge enabling technology for automation, because it just means so much less work to be done by the automation tool. You're cutting whole loops out of your automation process.; it's just work you don't do it all.
So that's an excellent way to achieve infrastructure modernization, of which automation is a huge part. SDC is not the only way to get to an API-driven infrastructure. There are frameworks out there that would achieve the same goal, things like OpenStack.
You can achieve many of the same benefits from within your automation tool chain. If you're taking a tool like Ansible, or Puppet, or a tool like that, and using it to orchestrate your existing infrastructure-devices, you can achieve many of the same goals. But the software-defined infrastructure and software-defined data-center platforms out there are a turnkey way to do this, and they're valuable for that reason."
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Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.