SOA and Network Management Architecture
In recent years, the field of Network Management has been absorbing the principles of Service Oriented Architecture. Examples of service oriented Network Management architectures include the TS 188 001 NGN Management OSS Architecture from ETSA, as well as the more recent M.3060 Principles for the Management of Next Generation Networks, which was a recommendation of the ITU-T Service Oriented Architecture.
Some of the tools for the management of Service Oriented Architecture infrastructure include the HyPerformix IPS Performance Optimizer, the Total Software Intersperse, the HP Management Software / Mercury Service Oriented Architecture Manager, and the IBM Tivoli Framework.
Service Oriented Architecture
SOA is not something you can just go out and purchase. It is a set of architectural principles. While you might be able to directly purchase certain middleware that enables services and technologies, they alone do not constitute a SOA.
Being service oriented basically means that you are employing an architecture that consists of a variety of services. This might sound familiar to those who have had some experience in the past with Object Oriented Design. In fact, Object Oriented Design and Service Oriented Architecture do have a lot of things in common.
By thinking in terms of services, you are effectively considering how to make your Business function so that it stands on its own. This approach is enabled via the use of SOA. It takes in to consideration the needs of both providers and consumers of services.
The providers of services offer functionality in the form of interfaces to the service capabilities they are providing. The consumer then accesses those capabilities. Such consumers may be an application or even another service provider.
For example, a checking account service may offer a functionality set that relates to a particular checking account. Such an account may offer the possibility to make deposits, withdrawals, create new accounts, and more. These capabilities, you may notice, are very particular to the context of a checking account service. We have not yet stated whether such a service might be provided by an ATM machine, a bank teller, or software.
A lot of people tend to believe that this definition of SOA is merely the latest way to describe the functionality of applications. The fact is, a lot of applications in today’s day and age have already been built with an end user in mind. Thus, an application may encapsulate a group of several different tasks that are somehow related, yet also retain some degree of discretion.
SOA distinguishes itself in that the consumer of certain application functionalities may very well be another service or application. It is true that human users mostly prefer all functionality to be aggregated together and also accessible through a single user interface. But a lot of other applications do not come with this requirement. Thus, it is logical to have functionality organized around a set of services which may or may not be self contained, yet even in the event that they are, can be somehow woven together in order to create a higher level of services or functionality.
Once these principles of architecture have been applied, you will find yourself with a lot of services that are able to interact as a means of providing a specific functionality set with benefits for your Business. This is when re-use comes in to the game. You are now able to quickly build up another solution that will reuse a lot of these services while also providing additional services that the Business may require.
Such services are woven in to a sort of ecosystem of software. In this scenario, they cooperate as a means of achieving some sort of Business objective, while possibly participating in some other ecosystems that offer similar service capability for a possibly different end solution.
In architectural terms, a modern architectural design should be Service Oriented, loosely coupled, driven by events, able to support both integration and assembly, aligned with valuable life cycle support processes, and able to leverage existing infrastructure and applications.
When it comes to SOA, it tends to offer a variety of different advantages over more traditional methods of distributing computing. These include offering Business services across several platforms; providing location independence; providing authentication as well as authorization support on ever tier; a loosely coupled approach; and dynamic search and connectivity to other services. At the same time, SOA allows that services do not have to be located on a particular system or network.
Some of the short term benefits of SOA implementation include an enhancement of reliability; a reduction of hardware acquisition costs; an acceleration of movement towards standards based servers and application consolidation; the leveraging of existing development skills; and the providing of a data bridge that connects previously incompatible forms of technology.
There are also numerous long-term benefits of Service Oriented Architecture implementation. These include the creation of a self healing infrastructure that effectively reduces management costs; the proven ability to build composite applications; the access to truly real time decision making applications; the resulting compilation of a unified taxonomy of data across an enterprise, which includes both partners and customers; and a whole lot more.
From the perspective of Business Value, the advantages of SOA include the ability to meet customer demands at a much faster pace than ever before; a reduction of costs previously associated with the maintenance and acquisition of key technological needs; the management of Business functionality at a physically closer location to the Business units; a reduction in reliance on pricey custom development; and a leverage of existing investments in the technological sector.
As of the year 2007, service oriented industry professionals view architecture as an underlying structure that supports communications among different services. Service Oriented Architecture is now viewed as a method for two separate computer entities, such as programs, to interact in a way that enables one of those entities to perform a unit of work on behalf of the other entity it is connected to.
Service interactions are viewed through the utilization of a description language. Every interaction is self contained and coupled loosely, enabling every interaction to be independent of any other interaction. Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP based web services have evolved as the most common SOA implementation. There are, however, non-web service implementations that exist that provide similar benefits. SOA’s protocol independence thus means that consumers can communicate with the service in a variety of ways.
In an ideal set up, there should be a Network Management layer that is situated between protocols and consumers as a method for ensuring total flexibility in terms of implementation protocols.
SOA Network Management
The phrase “Network Management” is used in reference to the administration and maintenance of massive telecommunications networks and computer networks on the highest level. Network Management can be thought of as the execution of the set of functions that is necessary for planning, deploying, controlling, allocating, monitoring, and coordinating a network’s resources. That includes the performance of such tasks as frequency allocation, initial network planning, accounting management, managing bandwidth, managing performance, managing security, managing faults, managing configuration, as well as cryptographic key distribution authorization.
Many protocols are in existence that work as a support for networks and manage network devices. Some of these protocols include SNMP, netconf, CMIP, Java Management Extensions, WBEM, Transaction Language 1, and Common Information Model.
The data for the management of networks can be collected via numerous mechanisms. Some of these include real user monitoring, infrastructure agents, sniffers, synthetic monitoring that serves as a transaction simulator, as well as activity logs.
HyPerformix is an enterprise software Business based in Austin, Texas that specializes in performance engineering and capacity management software solutions for applications, servers, and storage and IP networks. HyPerformix’s vast array of solutions helps prevent and predict Information Technology performance and capacity problems.
The main HyPerformix products include Capacity Manager, Performance Optimizer, Performance Optimizer for SAP, Performance Designer, and Data Manager.
HyPerformix is a privately held Business. It was started in the 1970s as a means for conducting engineering and scientific research. In the year 1989, HyPerformix began to market and develop products that modeled simulation to the engineering community. By the year 2000, HyPerformix had applied general application simulation modeling technology to Information Technology related enterprise performance optimization and capacity management solutions.
IBM Tivoli Framework
Another Network Management architecture solution is the IBM Tivoli Framework. IBM acquired this systems management platform in the year 1995. It is a CORBA based architecture that allows the platform to take care of numerous remote devices and locations.
The IBM Tivoli Framework is regarded as a best practices paradigm. Many different projects utilize the Tivoli Framework. Over time, however, it seems that Service Oriented Architecture techniques will come to completely replace the IBM Tivoli Framework.
Some of the products that utilize the IBM Tivoli Framework include the IBM Tivoli Distributed Monitoring Classic, the IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console, the IBM Tivoli Configuration Manager, the IBM Tivoli Remote Control, and the IBM Tivoli NetView.
IBM Tivoli Framework