10 tools to manage SOA

Vendors step up to address the governance, quality and management technology triangle that ensures successful implementations

Quick facts on OpTier: Founded in 2002, OpTier recently got a stamp of approval from network giant Cisco, which this past summer invested an undisclosed amount in the company. The funds are in addition to the more than $40 million it's received in several rounds from venture-capital firms.

CEO Israel Mazin, formerly CEO of Memco Software, says OpTier is named for the problem its technology addresses. The software will automatically optimize performance across all tiers of the infrastructure based on predefined business priorities, he says.

9. Progress Software's Actional for SOA Operations

What does the product do? One of three products the company offers for SOA management, Actional for SOA Operations uses agent technology that watches messages entering and exiting XML appliances and application servers to build a map of what happens in an SOA infrastructure. The software helps IT staff dealing with the base-level requirements around managing SOA, including performance alerting, dependency analysis, problem detection and resolution.

Who's using the product? Great American Insurance Group, Pfizer, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, among others.

More on Progress Software's SOA management play: Progress expanded its application performance-management portfolio with its January 2006 acquisition of Actional. The US$32 million purchase built out Progress' application performance-management products with Web-services management and run-time governance capabilities for SOA environments.

10. Tidal Software's Intersperse

What does the product do? Intersperse combines application management, business process tracing and run-time monitoring across multiple application servers to build a detailed final view of SOA applications and environments. The software, Tidal officials say, enables the proactive detection of problems, problem localization and root-cause analysis. In some cases it can help IT managers create self-healing capabilities in their SOA deployments.

Who's using the product? ING Direct, Lehman Brothers, Mizuho Corporate, NYSE and Omgeo, among others.

More on Tidal Software's SOA management play: Tidal's expertise in enterprise job-scheduling technology coupled with the Intersperse technology it acquired in August 2006 enabled the vendor's move into managing today's advanced application environments.

ZapThink's Bloomberg says: "Tidal now offers an SOA management product that enables IT organizations to maximize their automation, visibility and control in the operation of the components platforms and other infrastructure that support the services of an SOA implementation. Tidal brings transaction tracing to SOA management that can capture transaction flow inside components, between tiers and across application servers for end-to-end monitoring and management."

Quick facts on Tidal: Founded in 1978, the venture-backed company has been transforming its business over the past few years to address data center automation. CEO Flint Brenton, who previously served as part of NetIQ's executive management team, heads the company. Tidal has established technology partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle and SAP that bring the intelligence for management of those vendors' applications and environments into its software.

The updated company name (formerly named OCS, which stands for Operations Control System) came from Chairman Gary Leight, who says, "I was impressed with the power and the force of nature. Tides are subliminal and yet they are repeatable, predictable and unstoppable. They don't require effort from man."

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