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Riverbed Technologies has announced its intention to open up its APIs and make its kit more consistently scriptable across all devices.

The announcement today of FlyScript is as much the launch of a strategy as a finished product, but Riverbed sees it as an important move in two ways: ultimately, FlyScript will support the company's entire product range; and it lets administrators of larger or more complex setups escape the tyranny of the GUI.

Asia-Pac marketing evangelist Robert Healey, speaking to The Register from Hong Kong, said the delivery of the scripting language, software development kits and publication of the API is designed “to make our products as accessible, easy to integrate, and as customisable as possible.”

The core of FlyScript came with the $140m acquisition of Zeus in 2011, the basis of the Stingray platform which Healey said came with an active global development community that was already busy writing scripts, management tools and development tools.

To the automation capability, he said, Riverbed has added a Python-based SDK and REST APIs, and is rolling this out across all of its products, starting with the Cascade network performance management suite – and, over at Riverbed Splash, it is of course still ploughing the software community furrow.

Making operations a little more scripted and hands-off is also going to be an important part of fitting into the software defined network (or data centre) of the future, where automation is the grail for anyone who wants cloud business in an Amazon world.

A straightforward operational example might be that the Cascade system detects problems in traffic, but instead of demanding that an operator click through the GUI to take care of it, it would, according to the user's customisation, decide whether the right response is to add bandwidth or block an attack – and pass that instruction over to the Steelhead to implement the response.”

“Everything is heading in the same direction – for us to play into modern enterprise networks and cloud environments, we need to integrate into things like the VMWare provisioning infrastructure,” Healey said.

In a world of creating and managing virtual infrastructure on demand, he said “it's not just about turning stuff on and off, it's about getting things to communicate. We're not a software defined networking vendor, but if we want to provide layer four to layer seven visibility and performance and ongoing operational control into that world, we need to play in those environments.” ®

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