SOA Software has partnered with IBM to optimize a ready-to-use SOA governance solution for IBM’s market-leading WebSphere DataPower appliance. SOA Software’s Policy Manager for DataPower takes hassle and expense out of applying SOA governance by automating critical set-up and operations tasks.
SOA Software’s Policy Manager for DataPower take the company’s best practices from SOA governance implementations and packaged them into a “ready-to-use” appliance-specific solution, Simon Barere, SOA Software’s senior systems architect, told IDN. It also delivers new pre-defined templates and support for federating governance across multiple appliances, he added.
By tightly integrating Policy Manager with IBM’s DataPower appliance, customers can more quickly design and deploy a governance SOA solution, end-to-end across their enterprises, Barere added. Specific features let users control the appliance directly from the Policy Manager console, and use and manage DataPower as the runtime engine. In turn, Policy Manager becomes the source for service and policy information for reporting and monitoring.
There are two key components to delivering an appliance-ready SOA governance solution, Barere told IDN. “One, we needed to make it simpler for how customers accomplish SLA, security and monitoring goals,” he said. “Two, once ready, we also needed to provide ways to implement governance more quickly by automating the [required] under-the-covers integration tasks.”
Architecture, Features of SOA Software’s
SOA Software Policy Manager for IBM DataPower Appliance
Architecturally, Policy Manager for DataPower provides deep integration with IBM WebSphere DataPower appliances, which provides IT “one click” management enabling users to control multiple appliances directly from the Policy Manager console.
This approach avoids the need to duplicate configuration manually. It also allows IT to use Policy Manager as the source of service, policy information and monitoring via a consolidated reporting console. It manages the full catalog of services, drives policy definition and distribution, and collects and displays monitoring data for the DataPower devices, providing end-to-end policy enforcement and transaction monitoring. It allows customers to implement and enforce consistent, uniform policies throughout their infrastructures, and provides visibility into enterprise service usage, performance, and availability from network edge to application.
“We provide [DataPower users] ways to implement governance more quickly by automating under-the-covers integration tasks.”
senior systems architect
Barere described the complementary match-up between IBM DataPower and SOA Software’s SOA governance capabilities. Despite DataPower’s abilities to scale and speed message traffic, imposing SOA governance has been laborious for users, he said. “Governance was just not the focus of the DataPower appliance,” he added. “So, it can take two to three hours per service so it’s difficult to scale. And, even after you do your first couple of services, it doesn’t get easier.”
This situation led IBM and SOA Software to explore ways to extend Policy Manager so it could provide the DataPower appliance a more fully-automated, optimized SOA governance solution for DataPower, he added.
The features, driven by customer requests, include: automation to reduce admin set-up and overhead; a zero-coding approach to manage SOA services and conduct ongoing monitoring of services and policies; techniques and patterns to ensure consistent policy and service definition; real-time dashboards; and other features to simplify SOA lifecycle tasks for deployment, contracts, policy management, security, and PKI management.
In detail, notable features of Policy Manager for DataPower include:
Preset service deployment and metadata configuration – reduces administrative overhead and ensures consistency in proxy (virtual) service and configuration metadata across DataPower appliances.
Automated policy management – standardizes installation processes and ensures consistent application of approved enterprise security and management policies across all service instances over a cluster of appliances.
Cluster management patterns – manages groups of DataPower appliances as clusters, ensuring that they all share the same configuration with a single centralized management and monitoring console.
Guidelines for SLA monitoring and management – helps with definition, contracts, management and monitoring of service level agreement policies for services deployed in a single appliance or clusters of appliances.
Centralized cryptographic key and certificate management – eliminates costly and risky manual processes by automating the generation and management of the keys and certificates DataPower uses for message and transport signature and encryption.
SOA Software’s Policy manager for DataPower aims to bring users the same level of simplicity and rapid deployment they get with DataPower to their SOA governance tasks.
One early adopter in the financial services sector used SOA Software Policy Manager for DataPower to improve efficiency and alignment of multiple DataPower appliances deployed worldwide across their enterprise. “Use cases like this show that we can let IT control DataPower appliances directly from Policy Manager, which lets them leverage a full lifecycle suite of features,” Barere said.