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    F5 Networks Extends API Reach to Big Switch Networks

    One of the more underappreciated aspects of networking these days is just how powerful a network management tool the simple application programming interface (API) can actually be.

    Case in point are F5 Networks and Big Switch Networks, which just inked an alliance under which any changes made to networking gear from F5 Networks will automatically be reflected in network virtualization software from Big Switch Networks.

    One of the frequently espoused conventional pieces of wisdom about networking is that networking equipment from a single vendor is easier to manage. To a degree that’s always been true. But as API technologies in the enterprise continue to mature, it’s going to be a whole lot easier to manage heterogeneous networking equipment from multiple vendors.

    According to Phil de la Motte, director of business development, the two companies are essentially leveraging the F5 BIG-IQ Cloud REST API to bi-directional-extent, software-defined-networking (SDN) attributes. Over time, it’s not hard to imagine how open APIs might be used to create virtual SDNs that not only promise to make extended networks simpler to manage, but also substantially reduce configuration errors.

    It will take some time for the SDN market to mature. But it’s pretty clear at this point that the way IT infrastructure gets managed as a whole is about to significantly change for the better.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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