In a recent OnApp tech blog, we explored how to use POSTMAN to leverage the OnApp API. Of course there are other tools available, some free and some costly, with which you can take OnApp’s API to the next level.
In this series of blogs we will explore those tools and see how we can integrate them with your OnApp framework.
But why? WHY?
You may well ask… Perhaps you’ve used OnApp for years and never saw the need to use the API. Things are fine as they are, so why should your time be invested in this? What’s to love about an API, anyway? Let’s talk about what the OnApp API brings you.
The basics – integration
Let’s start with the basics – obviously, using the OnApp API enables you to integrate your cloud with third party applications. This can be off-the-shelf software – something like vRealize Orchestrator, which has a REST API plugin. Or it might be something custom developed by your staff, which can utilize a REST API using XML or JSON, or tools like Ansible, which can be made to consume OnApp API or basic linux using CURL.
The OnApp API supports multi-tenancy, which means it honors the different levels of access that are defined for user roles in OnApp. An Administrator can run API calls across the platform, whereas a standard user can only run API calls to their allocated resources, remaining in their own set of permissions. API access keys can be generated from the user profile section and refreshed – and you can also disable this by removing the necessary permissions from the role that has been assigned to the user.
OnApp has 100% API coverage, across the board. This allows you to create runbooks for routine tasks, such as user creation/deletion, VM creation/deletion, resource allocation, VM deployment, and creating billing plans. Automating mundane tasks using the API frees your engineers so they can concentrate on more complex tasks. Thus, giving you the ability to run with leaner but superior technical support staff.
One of the key features of using the OnApp API that is often overlooked, is that it allows you to efficiently gather business intelligence for decision making. By pulling specific information about cloud usage you can to more easily make decisions about future investments or improvements in your infrastructure.
For example, let’s say you have business critical workload and you want to monitor its CPU utilization hourly. Assuming this workload is running on Linux, then normally you would use a third party agent such as statsd to pull the information, and send it to your monitoring platform – something like Icinga or Nagios. However, this probably requires some network changes – for example, to connect an agent from one network to your monitoring platform in a second network. Network changes can be a lot of additional work, especially if networks are completely isolated.
In OnApp, however, you have this intelligence at your fingertips and fully exploitable via the API – and not just for CPU, but also network statistics for data send and receive, storage information in terms of IOPS and data read/writes, and more.
OnApp’s API framework gives you all the tools that you need to set yourself apart in today’s cloud market where everyone is offering every service: the API is a powerful tool to build value-add services that give you an edge on the competition.
In the next blog we will get more technical and give you some examples.
In the meantime, you can find complete documentation for the OnApp API, including example calls, over at https://docs.onapp.com/display/55API.