Powerful API Management for practical businesses: the Sentinet platform explored
The massive emphasis put on “customer experience” at all levels of any organization means different things to different people.
For some, it’s merely a buzz phrase that’s monetarily found more traction than “digital transformation,” but for IT teams and any operations professional, it means three things: reliability, resilience, and safety.
Ensuring that apps and services perform well, even when subject to unusual loads, is the bottom line for user (or customer) experiences, and on which all else gets built. A beautifully-crafted and well-researched GUI for a disruptive and revolutionary new app is just ephemera if the services on which it runs are unresponsive, or even slow.
For the business, poor performance means customers deserting the brand, or suppliers and partners getting frustrated.
As is well-known, today’s applications and services, irrespective of how or where they’re running, comprise dozens, if not hundreds of discrete microservices. The case for API Management is similarly established, therefore.
Above providing highly-available services to the enterprise, its customers, or partners, APIs can also provide the business with powerful insights into how its infrastructure is performing, and therefore be highly informative when it comes to, for instance, drawing up SLAs (Service Level Agreements).
It’s that business-centered focus on API Management that’s slowly emerging into the API Management & API Governance field, and at the forefront of this attitudinal shift is Nevatech. Its Sentinet platform is highly capable and technically insightful, but its features are best described in terms of what it offers to the business.
By the business, we refer to other areas in the enterprise outside the IT department that are significant players, all of whom are now reliant on the technology that’s constructed by multiple microservices and applications, from single containers up to fully-fledged, customer-facing production applications.
Abstract and contract
Nevatech’s Sentinet API Management platform uses abstraction technology to create a virtual instance for every physical (backend) API. Virtual API instances are hosted in API gateway(s) operating right across the organization’s technology stack. That centralization means that managing APIs, from their development, testing, rollout into production, versioning, and monitoring, is effectively done from one place, secure and remote API Management Portal. That has two advantages from a strategic point of view:
Management cost reduction. Because APIs are omnipresent and an integral part of the enterprise, tracking every instance, maintaining the dependencies of each, upgrading, testing, and closing-down every internal or outward-facing API, costs a great deal in terms of resources: people and facilities.
By reducing the burden of even “standing still” via Sentinet, key staff can be otherwise engaged, free to focus on opening up more possibilities for the organization.
Security. By defining strict parameters that determine access privileges, API capability, and establishing policies centrally, the organization can help ensure that it’s in as little risk as possible from unauthorized access or accidental damage to its services. The Sentinet Alerting System can flag specific changes in APIs’ use and/or performance, which can trigger alerts or take action autonomously.
Understanding the services. As the conduit through which all API access is abstracted, companies can see, in either real-time or in a historical report, just how each service is being used. That can mean that resources are better allocated, which fully-supports any organization’s commitment to improving the “customer experience” — for internal stakeholders, third-parties, or end customers.
Predicting the future. The same data can unearth information that can be used to predict better where systems will encounter extraordinary loads so that peak-times can be catered for, without any detriment to the end-user from heavier loads and significant bandwidth use.
What about IT?
These capabilities and more come with the Sentinet platform, but as well as its second-by-second role in production settings, it’s also capable right along the lifecycle of every API. Creating new interfaces is made easier for IT teams because of the repository of code & documentation that Sentinet holds.
Acting as a virtual marketplace, it presents all versions of any API instance for quick re-use. Teams work with more agility and faster, plus with the reassurance that security and data protection considerations are covered off.
For externally-facing exposure to APIs, the Sentinet platform creates discrete DMZ nodes, with the platform providing an intelligent perimeter between the organization’s internal services and third-party users.
Because users can self-provision, there’s little need for staff time to be taken up with setting up access, renewing certificates, or manually rescinding access privileges: all is done automatically.
As APIs get upgraded, there’s change management tracking facilities, versioning, and dependency checking; all in a testing environment, so any anomalies appear in sandboxes, rather than on live systems. As systems are updated, the realtime monitoring of all API activity shows any impact change has on the business, and there are simple rollback facilities, whether for consumer- or provider-facing APIs.
While API Management technologies are proving themselves in organizations of any size across the globe, it’s Nevatech’s approach and stance with regards to a practical, business-oriented platform that many enterprises are turning to. With solutions for the developer, and an insightful approach to data collation and monitoring the C-Suite will love too, Nevatech and its Sentinet platform is one to watch.
Download Sentinet API Management free trial to learn how its API Management portfolio can change the way your business manages its microservices and technology stack.
25 September 2020
10 September 2020