IBM Powers Up SOA Machines

IBM has taken some of its hardware and software technology and applied it to three appliances designed to secure and improve the performance of service-oriented architectures (SOA) .

The devices are adapted versions of the machines created by DataPower, which IBM purchased last fall to dip a leg into the lucrative pool for XML processing.

Such products are needed to help securely facilitate the digestion of application-to-application communication and XML transmission because corporations are leaning more heavily on Web services to execute sales transactions and purchase orders.

For example, more businesses are conducting Web transactions using RFID technology and wireless devices.

These methods require machines to secure, manage and authenticate the validity of data from multiple sources at a time when new hacking, identity theft crimes, viruses or other security vulnerabilities are piling up.

Jim Ricotta, vice president and general manager of IBM SOA appliances, said the appliances will help IBM play well in what the company expects to be a billion-dollar market for products that improve Web services and SOA security and delivery.

The IBM WebSphere DataPower XML Security Gateway XS40 validates, encrypts, signs and authenticates XML script and Web Services-Security standard to enable the safe exchange of Web services.

The XS30 also provides a firewall to help network admins fend off denial of service attacks, and provides policy-based access to make sure only certain people are privy to certain information.

The WebSphere DataPower XML Security Gateway XS40 can also be integrated with IBM Tivoli security and compliance management software to help enterprises reduce IT administration costs and address compliance needs

IBM is also offering the WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance XI50 for application integration and the IBM WebSphere DataPower XML Accelerator XA35, which assures better application performance.

Ricotta said his staff has worked with xSeries server engineers to add hot-swappable, dual-power supply for high availability and reliable services to the new systems, which are all 1U (1U=1.75 inches) in height and 19 inches wide.

The machines, which all start at $35,000, also include a new Web application firewall; unified virus scanning; SNMP v.3 encryption; enhanced LDAP; better Web service management support for connectivity and interoperability with non-IBM systems.

If protection from security threats isn’t enough to sway IT buyers, compliance with regulations is another hook: IBM promises the machines help meet the record retention safety requirements of HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and many others.

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