What does a pack mule have to do with installing API Connect 2018.1?

Traditionally, a pack mule serves to carry heavy weight across treacherous terrain. Pack mules drastically reduce the work required by humans in tiring and potentially dangerous scenarios. After providing some background, I’ll explain exactly how a pack mule will make installing API Connect 2018.1 a breeze.

Introduction and Background

With the ability to deploy on any cloud, enhanced DevOps capabilities, and improved developer experience, it’s easy to get caught up in the flashy side of API Connect 2018.1. But at the same time, the basics of using software still apply for customers looking to take advantage of these new capabilities. Installing new software must be a simple and intuitive process. Luckily, the API Connect team has kept you, the user, in mind when designing our install experience.

As you may know, API Connect 2018.1 can be run with two different form factors – VMware and Containers. VMware is a more traditional virtual machine install process – for customers wanting a familiar experience without delving into the technical details of a container environment and Kubernetes cluster. For those wanting to jump into the Docker and Kubernetes sea right away, Containers are the second form factor that is also available.



The Pack Mule — InstallAssist

No matter which way you install, we give you a painless experience with API Connect InstallAssist. InstallAssist is a binary executable that automatically manages certificate creation, deployment configuration, other technical aspects that can cause a headache when dealing with microservices.

This is where the pack mule idea comes into play. Think of InstallAssist as the pack-mule of the install process — it drastically reduces time and effort required by users in potentially frustrating and dangerous scenarios. In the same way you load a pack mule with materials you need for an expedition, you load the InstallAssist binary with your system’s required information, and enjoy the journey as InstallAssist does all the heavy lifting for you. Without it, you’re moving across treacherous terrain with a heavy load. You spend painful hours trying to get individual microservices and components to communicate with each other. You spend too much time installing, and not enough time using API Connect.

Installation Process: VMware

As I mentioned before, VMware OVA install is the same form factor that traditional customers know the best. InstallAssist drastically reduces friction with this OVA install process. The basic steps for deploying any component of API Connect on VMware with InstallAssist are as follows:

1. Download VMware OVA images and InstallAssist
2. Input characteristics of your environment into InstallAssist (IP addresses, Hostnames, DNS Servers, etc.)
3. Run InstallAssist (and take a look at everything you don’t have to do!)
4. Upload the ISO file generated by InstallAssist into your Virtual Machine environment
5. Start using API Connect

That’s it! That’s all you need to have an API Connect component up and running. Deploying subsequent components is even easier – just make a few changes to the InstallAssist program and run it again to spin up extra Management, Analytics, or Developer Portal components.

Installation Process: Containers

So what about Containers? Believe it or not — the same InstallAssist executable used in the OVA can be used to install the Container form factor of API Connect. Provided you have your Kubernetes cluster up and running, a similar process applies:

1. Download Container images and InstallAssist
2. Input characteristics of your environment into InstallAssist (IP addresses, Hostnames, DNS Servers, a few other Kubernetes-related fields, etc.)
3. Run InstallAssist (and take a look at the things you don’t have to do!)
4. Navigate to the addresses you specified with InstallAssist
5. Start using API Connect

Look familiar? That’s because it is. The Container install is similar to the OVA install, with a few changes and extra fields needed for your Kubernetes environment.

 

It really is that easy.  With such a simple installation process, you can spend more time creating, managing, and securing APIs that provide value to your company, and less time worrying about the installation process. So sit back, relax, and take a second to appreciate the pack mule that will make installation a breeze with APIC 2018.1.

Be on the look-out for more detailed installation instructions as we get closer to our first release!

10 comments on"Installing API Connect 2018.1"

  1. Giovanny Mellizo March 20, 2018

    It sound great, because now the installation is a hard and time consuming process, when this new version will be available? Because now, we don´t have even the last versions docker images of the api connect components.

    • Thanks for your question Giovanny. The new version will be available for our first release, which is at the end of March. Look out for further resources and tutorials on how to get started with installation in the coming weeks.

      • Oscar Sanchez March 26, 2018

        That’s amazing, I would like to hear more about the new version 😀

        • Of course, Oscar. Please refer to the other blog posts our Offering Management has created, and be on the look out for additional blog posts and information in the coming weeks!

  2. what means – With the ability to deploy on any cloud -, can the new APIC be installed on Amazon, Azure cloud? Thanks

  3. socencounter March 28, 2018

    1) How does this fit into migrating the existing API Connect v5.0.8.x to 2018.1 on Vmware? Deploying new VMs from an OVA could have cost implications for us.
    2) Only 1 VM (InstallAssist) deployment is needed to migrate to 2018.1 or this is an optional method?
    3) Would it still be possible to continue the traditional way of upgrade (as of v5.0.8.x) in 2018.1?

    • Hello, migrating from APIC v5 to APIC 2018.x is a future roadmap item for the APIC team. Be on the lookout for more information about migration in the coming months.

  4. Michael Levine July 26, 2018

    Are there any good sources for training on API Connect 2018? If so where can I find them? Thanks ahead.

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