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Azul, Reactivity Strengthen SOA Gear

While the hype of distributed computing may be waning, companies that pin their hopes on service-oriented architectures (SOA) and Web services continue to build upon their existing platforms.

Azul Systems and Reactivity, vendors with very different approaches to the challenge of helping applications communicate across networks with great integrity, added new software functionality to their flagship products this week.

Startup Azul makes servers that act as the launching pad for SOAs , cutting out a lot of the boggy tasks of traditional servers and saving space and power.

But the smaller machines are nothing without the software, which is why Azul has added utility chargeback and quality-of-service software tools to its machines to help corporations better process transactions over the Internet.

The software provides detailed data collection of resource usage across a compute pool for each application, providing billing and chargeback at the application level.

New software in the machine also allows compute pools to react to variations in transaction load by redirecting resources among applications in fewer than 10 milliseconds: the typical response time for transactions is two seconds.

Such as service time guarantee is crucial as business users rely on their networks to shuttle applications reliably and quickly from one computer to the next. Applications can also share the compute pool resources without resource conflicts that can cause application delays and poor response times.

Azul has also updated its machine's security, allowing its software to integrate into customers' authentication and authorization directories through RADIUS, an open source project focused on network authentication services.

Azul systems now support HP-UX and AIX operating environments in addition to Red Hat, SUSE and Solaris. Azul also now supports applications based on the Java SE 5.0 platform.

The new Azul systems will be available this quarter.

Azul has some momentum, having received endorsements from partners BEA, JBoss and IBM in the past year. Moreover, the Mountain View, Calif., company just opened U.K. operations and plans further expansion into Europe in 2006.

Separately, XML security appliance maker Reactivity unveiled XOS 4.3, the latest version of its XML operating system software.

OS 4.3 supports Integrated Windows Authentication, Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework and Liberty Alliance-conformant SAML 2.0.

XOS 4.3 and Integrated Windows Authentication allows a company to use Reactivity gateways to mediate between the authentication credentials received from Windows-based desktops and the authentication requirements of any backend system offering Web services. This means Windows users needn't re-authenticate themselves.

Reactivity also introduced a software development kit (SDK) program designed to help enterprise developers, systems integrators and independent software vendors build software on Reactivity's XML infrastructure.

Customers can use the SDK to allow custom access control systems to be used with the Reactivity gateways to enforce policies.



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