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It’s no secret that our industry is changing faster than ever before. Cloud is accelerating the speed of innovation, enabling companies like ours to bring new developments to market at the speed our customers demand. The NetApp® Active IQ® development team is committed to keeping up with the pace of change, and nowhere is this more evident than in the work we’re doing around Active IQ APIs.

 

Our engineering team uses the power of NetApp cloud services to build new Active IQ APIs. These APIs enrich the experience of NetApp customers, allowing them to directly retrieve and integrate actionable insights into their own applications and tools.

 

When we set about building the Active IQ APIs platform and Active IQ APIs, we had several key requirements:

  • Decrease time to market
  • Reduce cost
  • Improve scalability
  • Preserve our current Active IQ investment
  • Provide an extensible and agile API platform

NetApp cloud data services enable connectivity with major industry hyperscale cloud providers. As we evaluated the required factors for Active IQ API platform development, we chose NetApp cloud data services because they allowed us to innovate and develop faster and more efficiently. They also give us the flexibility of building with one hyperscaler and adopting another for future development.

Get to market quickly

When developing API services for Active IQ, we needed to address two key areas: API versioning, and quality of service (QoS) policies for scaling services and for controlling the flow of incoming requests. Cloud services offer a variety of tools for API lifecycle management. Setting QoS policies in the cloud is as simple as a configuration change. Cloud services enable multiple versions of Active IQ APIs to coexist; for example, an application that is consuming an earlier version of the API can keep working when a new API version is released. This flexibility allows API consumers to adopt newer API versions when they’re ready.

 

With cloud deployments, our developers can easily segregate development Active IQ API environments from production Active IQ API environments in the same cloud. Developers can continue to build and test new software in the same cloud without affecting the production environment used by customers. This segregation also helps in moving the APIs to production quickly as soon as they’re ready. Our cloud API gateway provides major infrastructure capabilities out of the box for Active IQ API services, helping us deliver this product quicker than we could have by building it from the ground up or by using any other industry solution.

Reduce costs with serverless compute

Our original cloud microservices were persistent services. To enable fault tolerance, we used to have at least two persistent instances per microservice. By leveraging serverless compute for building Active IQ APIs as provided by the cloud, our Active IQ development team reduced cost by bringing up compute instances on demand (for example, when the API requests come in). These instances are shut down automatically if not actively used, so there’s no need to worry about paying for what we don’t use. All the management is done in the cloud, so we don’t have to build any new management capabilities, which also limits cost.

Improve scalability with elastic compute

One reason that cloud is popular for development is elastic compute. Cloud scaling is essential in the development of Active IQ API services. Cloud can automatically scale compute resources for services up or down, depending on the incoming load. Autoscaling is taken care of by the cloud, based on policies that the customer defines. Originally, we had to plan and procure hardware to meet scalability needs and to host new Active IQ services. With the adoption of NetApp cloud services, our engineering team is able to quickly build and deploy Active IQ services on demand without the need to procure any hardware.

Preserve existing investments while maintaining security

As new Active IQ offerings are made available through mobile, desktop, voice, and Active IQ APIs, extensibility and coexistence become extremely important. We want to provide Active IQ APIs for existing Active IQ services without major development effort. Using NetApp cloud services, we have been able to architecturally extend current on-premises Active IQ service capabilities through APIs in the cloud while maintaining security and a seamless experience for our development teams and for our customers.

Provide a platform for future integration and collaboration

To accelerate agility and innovation, we abstracted cloud complexity and created templates for common tasks for building, deploying, and testing Active IQ API services. In addition to our Active IQ engineering teams, NetApp internal teams can leverage our API platform to build Active IQ APIs for end users. This has been made possible with the cloud, and NetApp cloud services make it easier to share our development efforts across the company for the betterment of the entire portfolio.

 

New Active IQ API services are currently in beta. For more information, email ng-activeiq-feedback@netapp.com. NetApp cloud services enabled us to accelerate the delivery of these new capabilities for our customers. Visit cloud.netapp.com to find out how NetApp cloud services can help your organization accelerate innovation.

Anita Jindal

Anita Jindal is a Director of Engineering at NetApp, where she leads strategy and execution for data science, micro services, and API platforms based on Big Data (Hadoop) and cloud technologies. She is a senior leader with over 20 years of industry experience in defining and executing strategies aligned to business objectives.