Riverbed Tools Make Network Gear Programmable

Michael Vizard

As part of a broad industry trend towards making IT infrastructure programmable, Riverbed Technology today released a set of open application programming interfaces (APIs) that gives IT organizations more control over network services.

Dubbed FlyScript, the software development kit (SDK) provided by Riverbed makes use of RESTful APIs and the Python programming language to access both the control and data planes that are at the heart of Riverbed’s networking software.

According to Christopher White, senior director for the Riverbed Technology Council, the open source tools will allow customers to extend the functionality of Riverbed networking equipment to address their own specific use cases.

At the same time, as part of the general shift towards software-defined networking (SDN), FlyScript also makes it possible for the average IT administrator to exercise control over Riverbed networking products without having to acquire specialized skill sets. White says Riverbed is also inviting other providers of IT infrastructure equipment to leverage its open source development tools.

As part of this overall effort, Riverbed is also launching Splash, an online developer community through which it hopes customers will develop and share application code. White says the online Splash portal will also serve as the primary mechanism through which Riverbed will continue to update and enhance FlyScript.

Fundamental changes across the entire IT infrastructure landscape are starting to take place as vendors continue to expose more functionality through APIs. Instead of relying on custom scripts that usually don’t scale well and are poorly documented, FlyScript represents an effort to create a more consistent approach to use software to manage network infrastructure.

Ultimately, as the so-called virtual data center emerges, the IT industry as a whole will have to agree to create some standard APIs for managing all the components that make up any given data center. In the meantime, as companies such as Riverbed, VMware and others continue to move down this path, managing the data center not only becomes a lot easier, but it should also prove to be a whole lot less expensive in the year ahead.



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