A core element of the move to on-demand computing is web services and this topic came in for discussion again and again at CA World. From a traditional systems management perspective, some view web services as a new layer on top of the conventional management layer that simply maps devices and software infrastructure to the services constructed out of the many components lying within the seven levels of the OSI stack. However, that concept came under attack, with IDC preferring to look upon web services in terms of "Service Oriented Management" (SOM).
According to IDC analyst Rob HailStone, SOM makes it possible "to manage directly at the service level without being concerned about the supporting infrastructure and device technology. By intercepting web service requests, considerable power is reserved for management tools that implement a rules engine approach to determine actions that result from web services events."
SOM tools can verify identities making requests, reroute requests to alternative service providers, load balance servers, alter messages, and analyze performance and utilization. One speaker gave the example of a company called JETS that offers comprehensive web services-based travel information. JETS own web service actually relies on web services from a wide range of other vendors and corporations to keep track of rapidly changing flight information, credit card data and hotel reservations. Instead of having to access a multitude of servers and deal with an array of differing corporate security systems, JETS web service monitors everything at the message, or Simple Object Access protocol (SOAP), level.
In order for web services to add value, though, it has to move away from the concept of putting agents on servers or gaining trusted access status for secured servers.
"Web service security works best by implementing encryption and signature authorization technologies at the XML message level," said Dmitri Tcherevik, CA's web services director. "As messages flow, you look into the message header to pull information so you know what it is, add data, authorize, or route to another web service."
CA launched several new products to take advantage of these capabilities:
Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM)
WSDM automatically discovers and monitors web services across the enterprise. This enables IT to closely track a full range of performance indicators and rapidly respond to service interruptions. This reduces the risk of business interruption and inadequate performance from web services.
Unicenter Management for WebSphere 3.5, WebLogic 3.5, and .NET Framework 3.0
These are three separate products for different platforms that monitor web services from J2EE and .NET application servers.
eTrust Directory 4.1
This is the first enterprise-ready UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, an XML specification) implementation suitable for large scale deployment of web services. It can store, replicate and distribute over 100 million entries of web service data.
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