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SOA World: The Road to SOA Performance

Managing the user experience

Focusing your service-oriented architecture (SOA) performance management efforts on the application testing stage or attempting to manage production SOA applications solely with traditional point solutions and network management tools is a recipe for disaster, putting your customer's satisfaction and your company reputation on the line. Production SOA Performance and Service Level Agreement (SLA) management must be built into the overall SOA strategy.

Service-oriented architecture and virtualization are hot topics in almost every publication, blog, website, and IT strategy meeting today. The reality is that both of these technologies have been around for some time but are finally achieving broad market adoption and playing a key role in improving efficiency and lowering development and operational costs, and contributing to higher service levels, increased customer satisfaction, and contributing to bottom line results.

Since the beginning of the Information Technology (IT) era, newer and more innovative solutions have emerged at a phenomenal rate but most organizations are taking a phased or evolutionary approach and testing the water before widespread adoption. A recent survey of over 600 large enterprise organizations either already invested in, or seriously considering SOA, in North America, Europe, and the Pacific confirms that SOA is in fact becoming more mainstream and adoption is accelerating (see Figure 1).

This article for the most part skips the "Why SOA." The generally accepted and most frequently mentioned reasons for considering SOA include the notion of faster and more cost-effective application development based on the assumption that once a particular service is defined, it can be reused by a number of business processes versus re-inventing that particular service for every business process with a similar need. This also lends itself to enforcing some standards within an enterprise by always delivering or performing a particular service the same way. Faster application development and deployment can help make organizations more agile to introduce new business process functionality in response to user needs and market or product dynamics.

Chances are, if you are reading this article, you already recognize the advantages of SOA, and have already deployed a SOA application or you are seriously considering deploying SOA and need to look more closely at SOA Application Performance Management (APM).

Govern, Manage, and Secure
One characteristic SOA shares with many new technologies is that while it simplifies the visible, user-facing process or service, it typically adds significant complexity to the underlying infrastructure. APM can be viewed as one of the three legs of the SOA infrastructure management stool. The other two are security management and governance. All three are important to managing the SOA infrastructure to provide a high performance, secure, and structured SOA environment.

More Stories By Paul Ellis

Paul Ellis, CA Wily Senior Marketing Manager for CA Wily SOA initiatives, has over 30 years of IT experience spanning a wide range of disciplines including world-wide marketing, product management, strategy and sales-related responsibility at companies like IBM, Amdahl / Fujitsu Software Group and Memorex. His background includes significant experience in infrastructure management software and on-demand applications, in addition to storage and communications hardware platforms. He has written articles and delivered presentations at industry conferences in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific linking business needs with technology solutions.

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