Scalable: Managing Web Services Demands New Approach - InformationWeek

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10/8/2004
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Scalable: Managing Web Services Demands New Approach

Motorola paired monitoring and directory products; the example was so compelling that vendors began packaging the services.

Depending on how they're crafted, software services can scale up to meet demanding business requirements or fail to meet that most important test of performance. The trick is in managing them well.

"You need to be able to say where the services are and know how to manage them," says Toby Redshaw, corporate VP of IT strategy architecture at Motorola, which is two years into building a services-oriented architecture. Motorola is using AmberPoint Inc.'s Management Foundation product to monitor the performance level of its Web services and Systinet Corp.'s Registry, a Yellow Pages-like directory of Web services based on the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration standard.

Motorola paired monitoring and directory products on its own, but the example was so compelling that AmberPoint and Systinet in September began offering them as a package for $25,000.

Managing Web services requires a new approach to systems management because much of the monitoring takes place on the network, amid the XML message traffic, rather than on specific servers. New companies have sprung up to meet the need. Products from Reactivity Inc. and Westbridge Technology Inc. examine the contents of messages in XML traffic. DataPower Technology Inc. has integrated its XML Security Gateway firewall appliance with Blue Titan Software Inc.'s Network Director, which manages and routs XML messages and balances the load.

A handful of startups--Blue Titan, Flamenco Networks (recently acquired by Digital Evolution), Infravio, and Westbridge--have moved quickly into the space. Several have been acquired by bigger players, such as Computer Associates (Adjoin Solutions), Hewlett-Packard (Talking Blocks), and Oblix (Confluent Software).

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