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Reactivity Proactively Protects Web Services

Building on its goal to offer secure Web services, start-up Reactivity has rolled out an integrated suite of hardware and software that allows IT managers to safely provision and run software-as-a-service systems for C++ environments.

The Reactivity Secure Deployment System consists of two upgraded hardware appliance components laden with special performance optimization and workflow software: the Reactivity Gateway 2400 series (formerly Reactivity XML Firewall) and the Reactivity Manager.

The Gateway is a proxy that sits in the network and serves as the destination for all Web services traffic. It receives messages and detects threats. The machine is equipped with the new 4.0 release of Reactivity's XML Operating System, which features hardware XML content processing from Tarari to curb the impact of message size on performance.

The Belmont, Calif. company's second component of the system is the Reactivity Manager, a device used to coordinate the creation and deployment of security policies across a business network. The manager is equipped with a hardware storage module from nCipher to help manage and provision two-way SSL certificates with one click.

Now a stand-alone product, the Manager assigns users to groups so they may read and change only those security policies owned by the group. Administrators can review and approve changes made by multiple groups. In addition to setting policies, it also provides diagnostic and monitoring capabilities and operations tools.

ZapThink Senior Analyst Jason Bloomberg said the most exciting part of Reactivity's suite is how Manager and Gateway work together to secure and provision Web services.

"Manager provides secure private key storage and distribution to the Gateway appliances, providing an approach to provisioning that is both secure and scalable," Bloomberg said. "The competition's approach to appliance provisioning is at best either secure or scalable, but Reactivity is the first to nail both."

The revised products accompany the recently announced desktop Reactivity Gateway-D appliance, which has the functionality of the Gateway and the Manager. Lastly, a Reactivity Gatekeeper software plug-in, which makes sure that all traffic coming to the server has been processed by the Gateway, rounds out the Reactivity Secure Deployment System.

While previous iterations of the Gateway and Manager have already been released and the Gateway-D device and plug-in were announced in June, Reactivity officials believe the novel notion lies in the release of the four products as a bundle.

"What we see as new is thinking of this as an integrated system as opposed to a series of components," said Joelle Groper Kaufmann, Reactivity director of marketing. "As an integrated system, you can interact with Reactivity Manager, provision services instantly and create policies. With Web services crossing organizational boundaries, enabling the technology to map to your organizational processes means fewer meetings, fewer errors and faster time to market."

The Reactivity Secure Deployment System is available now and is priced depending on required configurations.

Analysts cite security as a major obstacle to Web services but products and standards are coming to the rescue. In addition to product roll-outs from Reactivity and its rivals Westbridge Technology and Data Power, the market for safely distributing computing services received a boost from the passage of the Web Services Security standard earlier this year.

In related Web services security news, Westbridge has integrated its XML Message Server (XMS) with RSA Keon software for digital certificate issuance and validation. It has also completed integration with RSA Federated Identity Manager for distributed management of identity and policy information.