AmberPoint Delves into SOAs


AmberPoint became the latest management software specialist to upgrade its
platform to support the broader service-oriented architecture approach,
which includes Web services and other components.


The Oakland, Calif., specialist Monday also said it has received $8.2 million
in funding from Crosslink Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Sutter Hill
Ventures and Motorola Ventures.


AmberPoint Vice President of Marketing Ed Horst said the company upgraded
its management platform to help its customers, which include Best Buy,
British Telecommunications and Motorola ,
deal with the growth of their SOAs.


Included in the new AmberPoint release are enhancements to the Service Level
Manager, Exception Manager and AmberPoint Management Foundation, which now
support both SOAP and non-SOAP XML, HTML Web pages, hardware switches and
blade servers, Horst told internetnews.com.

Until recently, AmberPoint was one of a slew of software vendors hawking
mainly Web services management software to monitor and
log message relays within distributed computing systems. But the industry is
increasingly becoming aware that enterprises require a more broad management
approach to integrating their disparate resources.


This is where the more general SOA approach for distributed
computing comes in, as it factors in components beyond Web services.


IBM , Microsoft and BEA Systems are all adding some form of SOA for their customers, as are
more direct AmberPoint rivals Actional, Cape Clear and Infravio. In fact,
chief rival Actional also recently attached
itself to the SOA moniker.


At the behest of customers, AmberPoint now supports real-time management of
thousands, instead of hundreds, of active service-level agreements across multiple customers and
services, to support the roll-out of more
complex systems, Horst said.


To discover service interdependencies across platforms — from programming
language to application servers to operating systems — the vendor also now
uses a patent-pending message fingerprinting technology.


New features include automated discovery and graphical representation of
service interdependencies; dynamic assignment of service level agreements
and performance targets; virtualization of services to hides users and
dependent services from changes and rearrangements of service definitions;
and graphical representations for root cause analysis to pinpoint problems.


To improve management, AmberPoint has introduced a “recoverable management
system,” in which the software platform rebuilds management information in
case of central system or disk failure. Moreover, no single point of failure
can disable a service.


“We are managing the management,” Horst said. “I know that sounds redundant
but the management systems of these environments play a critical role, and
you can’t have them fail, especially if it takes part of the system down
with it.”


The new software perks dovetail with the new funding from investors who
believe in AmberPoint’s ability to score contracts with customers requiring
comprehensive SOA management installations. The $8.2 million infusion, which
will be used to expand engineering operations, customer support and sales and
marketing, is the company’s series C funding and brings its total to $30.8
million.


The cash validates AmberPoint and gives hope to other smaller companies who
are trolling for venture capital funding in the wake of an economic
downturn.

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