SOA Web Services XML: Why WSDM Matters
The role of WSDM in distributed IT management
Aug. 3, 2005 08:45 AM
- How do I manage the IT infrastructure? Today, many SOAs are built with Web services technologies and it's important to carefully consider the management requirements. For example, you may want to set up SLOs monitoring Web service performance. Or, you may want to provide detailed auditing and historical reports for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Securing Web services traffic using XML-DSIG, XML Encryption, and WS-Security may also have to be addressed.
- How do I leverage an SOA to improve the linkage between business and IT? Creating the proper linkage between business and IT requires a dynamic model that defines the relationships between business services, their supported software assets, and the virtualized infrastructure. This "SOA services model" could then be leveraged to support life-cycle and automation tasks. For example, deployment of a new service into the infrastructure could be automatically synchronized with a model that represents the available business services. This linkage would serve as a way to handle problem isolation and business impact analysis.
- How do I integrate an SOA with my existing environment? An SOA services model offers both a mechanism for virtualization of IT resources and a way to integrate with management consoles, UDDI registries, and the resources that need be managed. WSDM would be seen as a key enabler to this integration. An open, standards-based integration to the SOA model would make it easier to use management models, and to change the management system over time.
Let's illustrate the value of WSDM here with a simple example. We will assume that we want to monitor the overall application performance for a set of Web services that have been deployed in a Web services container. Monitoring the performance of these services could be accomplished in one of two ways:
- You could deploy software on the container that monitors these services and reports them to a central management server.
- You could have an intermediary, such as a broker, that intercepts Web services traffic and keeps track of response times (see Figure 6).
In either case, we can use WSDM to expose the manageability interfaces. WSDM would essentially shield the management system from having to learn about the underlying management technologies or protocols. We could then design an SOA model that uses these WSDM interfaces, thus making it easier to incorporate new types of services into the management ecosystem.
Let's Get Started
Hopefully, these examples illustrated the value that WSDM can bring to IT management. In the end, use of WSDM will help drive down the costs and complexity in building manageable business services so customers can dynamically manage their heterogeneous IT environments. The good news for WSDM is that a number of vendors, including HP, IBM, and CA that participated in the definition of the WSDM standards are now implementing them in their products. For example:
- HP has released HP OpenView SOA Manager and various HP OpenView Smart Plug-ins based on WSDM technologies
- IBM is working on an Emerging Technology Toolkit that uses WSDM
- CA's Web Services Distributed Management product incorporates aspects of this technology
Your role as an application architect might be in the development of manageable resources that expose WSDM interfaces. To that end, HP has donated a set of open source Java toolkits through Apache. These toolkits support WSDM, WS-RF, and WS-Notification (see Table 2
). These efforts were previously under the Apache incubation program, and were recently promoted to full Apache projects.
To learn more about WSDM, you can download and evaluate the Apache WSDM toolkits from http://ws.apache.org/. Additionally, if you would like to learn more about management technology, you can take advantage of a number of whitepapers, articles and tips from HP Dev Resource Central (http://devresource.hp.com). Included on this site is a whitepaper recently released from HP, IBM, and CA describing a proposed architecture and roadmap for management using Web services technologies (see References section below).