IBM offers analysis of SOA effectiveness

IBM has announced services to help IT managers assess how well their service-oriented architecture is working.

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IBM has announced services to help IT managers assess how well their service-oriented architecture is working.

At its ImpactSOA conference the company revealed Infrastructure Architecture Healthcheck for SOA, a service designed for companies who plan to install SOA or who already have it and want to add more features.

It uses "what if?" scenarios taken from IBM's Performance and Capacity Evaluations Services (PACES) running on an IBM cloud computing platform and IBM's SOA PARA-medic.

Because most SOA implementations combine different applications, Infrastructure Architecture Healthcheck for SOA monitors the links between those systems, said Mary Wieck, vice-president for middleware services at IBM.

"When there are performance issues most people tend to blame the network, and it's not always the network that's the problem," she said.

"One of the big differences with SOA is you tend to have composite applications and services that may be spread over a large number of servers or other computer resources. How do you get a good view of the capacity of those individual systems as well as the end to end performance?"

Wieck added the service can combine different applications on to the same system so companies can get more bang for their bucks, and can help load balance and virtualise systems. It can also see whether other systems are "stealing cycles away" from a user's service-oriented architecture.

IBM's health check services are useful for IT departments trying to figure out what exactly their service-oriented architecture has and how well it's put together, said Judith Hurwitz, chief executive at consultancy Hurwitz Group.

"With this idea of a health check, they've put together some best practices from many of the implementations," Hurwitz said.

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