Understanding the Use Cases for RESTFUL APIs

Roy Fielding defined REST (Representational State Transfer) in early 2000 and developed the REST architectural style which has changed how organizations deploy and utilize APIs. In fact, today 70% of public APIs depend on REST services.

A key advantage of REST APIs is the amount of flexibility it provides for users. For instance, data is not particularly tied to any resource(s) or method(s), so developers can build an API that meets their needs while also meeting the needs of their customers.

Secondly, monitoring REST API calls allows users to locate and monitor important real-time information that is stored in individual endpoints in a network which can be accessed through a monitoring node. The real-time, session-based information that is gathered is especially helpful for NetOps and SecOps in diagnosing and/or troubleshooting any issues that may be affecting monitoring operations.

However, it’s important to note that not all tools are created equal. To truly benefit from the advantages of using RESTful APIs, it’s imperative to invest in the right monitoring tools that will accomplish the user’s goals.

How cPacket can help simplify automation and integration using RESTful APIs

Today’s IT professionals are faced with the challenging task of effectively monitoring and troubleshooting issues in the network. Furthermore, having multiple tools to solve current problems can only exacerbate the situation. So, the question remains: how can one access valuable data and achieve full visibility into the network without having to use multiple tools?

NetOps and SecOps are always looking to improve efficiency with easy to use tools that will provide them with accurate information and valuable KPIs. Since cPacket’s integration with Cisco’s Firepower solution, NetOps and SecOps can centralize network visibility management and gain operational control via a single pane of glass.

cPacket’s network performance solution and Cisco Firepower is a perfect example of a RESTful API integration. Seen in Figure 1 below, the right of the diagram shows cPacket’s cVu network probes and cStor devices that are deployed at critical monitoring points in the network which is managed by the cClear device that collects, correlates, and visualizes the KPIs. On the left side of the diagram, we see the Sourcefire deployment which has security sensors (Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System, NGIPS for short) that are deployed at critical points in the network and managed by Cisco’s Firepower Management Console (FMC).  When a security event is detected by the NGIPS, an alert is sent to the FMC which provides critical information about the event such as: the type/priority of the event, timestamp of when the event occurred, and the standard 5-tuple.

Figure 1: Integration of cPacket’s NPM solution with Cisco Firepower using RESTful APIs

cSearch: one function, many benefits

cSearch is a powerful tool that has been leveraged in cPacket’s integration with Cisco Sourcefire. Seen in Figure 2 below, SecOps can click the link ‘Search whether this offending IP combination is still in the network’, which triggers the Sourcefire’s FMC to cross-launch cClear’s cSearch window. A time stamp of that event and the 5-Tuple is automatically sent, and the REST API performs a search of the entire network. NetOps and SecOps are immediately notified if any anomalous behavior is occurring in the network and allows them to take corrective actions if necessary.

Figure 2: Result of the integration: cPacket’s NPM augments Cisco Firepower’s security analysis

cPacket’s rich set of REST APIs provides the user with the simplicity, reliability, and flexibility to integrate with their preferred tools. This will allow them to create a single unified interface that will seamlessly interact with these tools. cPacket provides the set of solutions to offer real-time reporting and analytics that is consolidated in a cClear dashboard. The ability to extract accurate data results in more efficient network operations, stronger alignment between NetOps and SecOps, and a substantial reduction in costs.

For more information on cPacket’s integration with Cisco’s Firepower, click here.

To learn more about the use cases for RESTful APIs, download our use case here.