RealTime IT News

Turning on SOA Without Blowing a Fuse

NetManage has unveiled an application that helps companies measure and allocate resources as they introduce SOA  into their IT environments.

SOA allows enterprises to extend legacy applications rather than having to replace them with more modern software, but it also tends to be more inefficient from a resource perspective, requiring more bandwidth and CPU utilization.

The NetManage SOA Planner, introduced today, is a server product installed on a network that non-invasively listens to host system interactions in real time to capture common usage patterns.

The application tracks end-user processes without impacting operations, which means end-users don't have to be trained or even aware that a new piece of software is being run.

System architects can also use the captured data on transactional traffic patterns to make more informed decisions about which services are essential when planning and deploying an SOA.

Zvi Alon, president and CEO of NetManage, said that most companies beginning an SOA implementation don't even know where to start.

"We're helping them take baby steps," he said during a dinner with reporters and analysts.

Archie Roboostoff, director of product management at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company, explained that the Planner fits into NetManage's incremental approach to SOA integrations.

NetManage helps companies plan for, deploy and eventually incrementally increase the number of SOA-enabled elements into their infrastructure.

Peter Kastner, vice president of enterprise technology research at Aberdeeen Group, noted that the Planner addresses the fact that under SOA, "you have radically changed workloads."

He explained that while older applications can manage transactions in a single instruction, XML used by service-oriented applications require more server activity.

"The Planner sits there and watches transactions going by and helps IT planners understand how capacity will be changing under their SOA applications," he told internetnews.com.

"Right now people are just wetting their fingers and seeing which way the wind is blowing," he added.

Also according to Kastner, integration costs represent 40 percent of IT budgets worldwide -- he pegged the global IT market at approximately $51.3 trillion -- pointing to the value of such a tool.

Planner "fills a need at a time when IT organizations are ramping up what they put into production," he said.

"They need to do some serious performance capacity planning."

According to Kastner, the NetManage application is the first of its kind on the market, and couldn't come at a more opportune time for enterprises.

Interviews with chief executive officers indicate that SOA is the next thing, but, warned Kastner, "there won't be a big bang."

Indeed, most enterprises are still in the early phases of their SOA implementations.

Research from Aberdeen Group shows that most companies prefer to move slowly into SOA.

Sixty percent of companies surveyed plan to adopt a "lessons learned" approach, using a serial, incremental approach to SOA modernization projects.