A few months ago, we introduced the concept of adaptive applications. It’s a business application that behaves more like a living thing than a cold part of the code. These apps feature application security and delivery technology that protects and protects all points of vulnerabilities, scales resources based on performance needs, detects problems, and proactively repairs itself. increase.
About the author
F5 BIG-IP, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Kara Sprague.
There are some important areas that need to be addressed to achieve this vision in both traditional and modern applications. Traditional applications are defined as monolithic, client-server, or applications with a three-tier architecture. In contrast, modern applications are designed as distributed cloud apps, or container-native services that interact through APIs.
Traditional apps are still a great application architecture for most organizations
According to our research, 97% of organizations still manage traditional applications, and 76% manage both traditional and modern applications. This means that 21% of organizations continue to rely solely on traditional applications.
Traditional applications developed over the last few decades to address the most important business requirements typically enable the most mission-critical processes within an organization. This includes mortgage processing systems, payment processing engines, hospital electronic health records, software as a service (SaaS) platforms as first generation, retail inventory management systems, and service providers’ 3G and 4G mobile networks. In addition to the mission-critical roles they play and the potential disruption to the business if they stop working, traditional applications are generally difficult and expensive to modify or refactor.
In reality, many customer engagement frontends, which are generally designed using the latest architectures today, still rely on traditional backend applications. Most of today’s digital experiences combine old applications that act as recording systems with modern applications that provide engagement systems. This application logic is increasingly distributed across on-premises data centers, public clouds, and edges, both traditional and modern. And all of these elements are combined into a single digital experience on the end user’s device or browser.
One of the biggest opportunities for adaptive applications is to improve traditional apps and simplify the security and delivery of hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.
Traditional applications tend to be vulnerable
Traditional apps may have been developed using programming languages that are no longer widely known, such as Fortran and COBOL. Even if written in a more modern language, those who write skill sets and applications can retire or change jobs, making it difficult to find experts in the field.
Another factor that creates vulnerabilities is that application traffic patterns change over time. The requests sent to the application, their frequency, the protocol, and the nature of the actual packet itself are all changing. Infrastructure elements surrounding applications, such as network switching and routing, computing or hypervisor technology, also change over time.
Security vulnerabilities and exposures also contribute to vulnerabilities. Over the last two years, application attacks have increased by 300%. Older apps with well-known entry points and vulnerabilities can be easy targets for today’s advanced attackers.
Vulnerability issues can lead to non-optimized application performance or complete performance outages. It becomes fragile. If an application is still doing something important to the business, it cannot simply be abolished, and in many cases it is not feasible to open the application and perform the equivalent of heart surgery.
Maximize operational efficiency and minimize cost of ownership
To protect and maximize the use of older apps, you need flexible wrappers or scaffolding with application security and delivery technology that can solve problems with the application itself.
For example, F5’s BIG-IP iRules can address traditional application issues that occur over time, such as refurbishing old buildings. By inserting cybersecurity and delivery technologies in highly programmable applications into the data path, customers can mitigate the problems found in traditional applications. While traditional application updates can be time consuming, costly and risky, adding iRule is fast and cheap and does not require hard-to-find or oversubscribed application developers. ..
Such scaffolding should include world-class application security to ensure consistent policies and services in all environments. This is especially true when enterprises are migrating these traditional applications to public cloud and even multi-cloud deployments.
Wrapping application security and delivery technology into traditional apps provides the most valuable layer of protection when flexible. Its flexibility takes the form of programmable and configurable, enables traffic steering and policies, and prevents certain traffic streams from reaching the application itself. You can also perform additional functions from load balancing and protocol conversion (such as HTTP / 2 to HTTP / 1.1) to security features such as application firewall, distributed denial of service protection, and bot mitigation.
To maximize operational efficiency, organizations should evaluate application security and delivery technology as a suite to drive consistency across on-premises and public clouds. As traffic becomes more encrypted, the “optimal” approach becomes even more important to performance. When you separate these features into multiple virtual or physical appliances along the application data path, all devices in that application data path decrypt the traffic, apply some functionality, and then re-encrypt it. .. Super inefficient. Standardizing app security and delivery capabilities and integrating them into a single solution helps with application performance as well as wallet.
Automation becomes increasingly important when it comes to running traditional applications as effectively and efficiently as possible. Automating the security and delivery capabilities of the applications that surround traditional apps is a great way to reduce operational costs. This can be done via a declarative API with versioning and deployment of centralized management solutions such as BIG-IQ.
An app that demonstrates its potential
To get the most out of all of this, your organization must ensure that it is running the latest version with the latest features. You also need to make sure you have the highest quality and safest code. Also, many of the state-of-the-art value propositions are only accessible with newer versions of BIG-IP. To benefit from the fragile traditional app shield, it’s important that your application’s security and delivery technology isn’t as fragile as the traditional application itself.
In summary, traditional applications will continue to play a key role in most organizations’ application portfolios over the years to come. With the right application security and delivery technology, you can improve operational efficiency while maintaining the performance of these applications. These application security and delivery technologies need to work consistently across on-premises and public cloud environments and be highly programmable and configurable to provide as much flexibility as possible. It should also include advanced security features to protect mission-critical applications from even the most advanced attacks.
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