Manage all aspects of your organization’s APIs with Nevatech’s Sentinet API Management

27 January 2021 | 3054 Shares

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The typical topology of even a modest organization’s IT setup can be pretty complicated. Despite the technology press’s predictions and the big vendors’ marketing messages over the last few years, few companies put all their resources in the cloud. The ever-shifting mixture of on-premise and multi-cloud facilities is determined by the financial or operational requirements of a business. Ideally, the IT function’s overall service for an organization is elastic and scalable and can react and provide as necessary. The underlying structure on which service is hosted and where should be mostly irrelevant to the rest of the business.

A significant aspect of this type of business-focused provision is interoperability between systems, openness, and interfaces that are non-proprietary as much as possible (the nature of the licensing model of the code behind APIs is moot). Internally, discrete applications need to communicate with each other, and externally, providing access to and from third-parties’ facilities & services is essential in just about every industry.

Microservice-based applications rely greatly on efficient API interconnections; after all, a container’s activities are literally contained (or maybe restricted to software-defined networks), and making microservice-based instances of applications more widely available needs APIs.

Beyond ITIL

Therefore, it’s interesting to note that given APIs’ pivotal roles in any organization’s extended and shifting topology, many development and change methodologies either ignore the API elements or do not consider them as anything but an afterthought.

For example, in large enterprises’ ITIL practice, software change management follows well-established procedures that ensure minimum disruption to production systems. But API gateways (to pick just one element of the API management stack) are rarely considered a uniquely important part of any software provision.

Yet it is APIs, often in their thousands, that mediate between private & public cloud services, on-premise applications, between services on discrete subnets, and even between microservice clusters. Gateways alone might be from different vendors, legacy appliances, software-controlled, or written bespoke by development teams. Simple iterative software changes may cause consequences for APIs, results that impact the business’s production systems.

The Sentinet consolidation effect

The first step in addressing the potential problems for APIs caused by the everyday changes in an organization’s IT is to aggregate and consolidate API traffic from those multiple gateways. Nevatech‘s Sentinet does just that, regardless of whether those gateways mediate cloud services, containerized applications, or applications in their quality control and testing phases. The Nevatech technology’s advantage is that it can provision API access to and from all settings irrespectively.

The outcomes are varied and positive, with significant wins for overall stack management, but also through the rest of the business at large. With financial results often predicate on achieving Service Levels Agreements (SLA), hitting SLA targets becomes critical. Monitoring a single API gateway or several is often pivotal to the overall performance of production systems — and considerable investments in infrastructure can be sabotaged by misfiring or overworked interfaces. To the end-user (and his or her legal team), the actual cause of a poorly-performing service is irrelevant, but for the IT team responsible for uptime and performance metrics, ensuring API traffic is properly provisioned is indeed just as important as cluster management, database speeds, network connectivity or any other aspect of the stack.

The data oversight

Users of Nevatech’s Sentinet API Management get usage stats for all API traffic at critical points and nodes and can see historical throughput and in real-time. Resource allocation suddenly gets more straightforward, as does the production of figures on aggregated API performance. Information on tap gives teams the ability to move pro-actively to avoid SLA violations, for example.

As change management processes work their way through the system, the various API-to-API dependencies can alter, as can API-to-microservices or APIs for an individual application. Tracking and pre-empting those changes means smoother-running applications for the organization and a clearer picture of where problems may occur. Interfaces can be safely created, developed, scaled and ended without unforeseen consequences, so better keeping the network secure. Furthermore, real-time metrics will mean that APIs in genuine use will never be shut off by accident or design.

Security and Compliance

As topologies and configurations shift, ensuring consistent levels of security is challenging. Sentinet ensures conformance with centrally-determined security policies and adapted standards.

Additionally, the platform can adhere with more complex security models that might already be in place — like OAuth with OpenID Connect running on top. However, it remains flexible enough to make changes without disruption to in-production systems.

But however configured and managed, the organization’s on-going observance of data governance is strictly maintained.

Next steps

More businesses are putting a significant store in interoperability, platform agnosticism, and portability, thereby developing more elastic provisions. API management’s role in this agile approach makes perfect sense, but realizing the necessary oversight is not simple. Thankfully, Sentinet API Management technology from Nevatech helps IT teams better build and manage this infrastructure element, creating the type of environment that’s more fit-for-purpose.

To learn more about Sentinet and test it in your own environments, download the free trial version.