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Related Topics: Virtualization Magazine, SOA & WOA Magazine, ERP Journal on Ulitzer, SOA Testing

Virtualization: Article

What Is SOA and Service-Oriented Virtualization?

Solving the problems of access and dependency on live SOA implementations

Server virtualization provides an immediate reduction in hardware and configuration cost. But in focusing merely on the hardware side of virtualization, are we leaving money on the table?

While organizations can reduce the number of boxes they need, and save the cost of replicating servers for virtual test beds, these servers are becoming commodities. What if we could apply the benefits of virtualization where we spend 80 percent or more of the IT budget – in the key enterprise software that runs our business and in the extensive development, support and maintenance costs of these applications?

Today’s leading businesses rely on a mix of distributed technologies and new functionality, such as service-oriented architecture (SOA). Virtualization can improve the quality and time-to-market for these systems. But how can teams virtualize to improve the quality and time-to-market of SOA functionality that does not necessarily reside under a centralized team's control? The extended organization must connect these two strategies by virtualizing the shared behaviors of services, thereby multiplying the value of SOA.

Three Types of Virtualization for SOA
There are three distinct ways that the enterprise can apply virtualization concepts in SOA:

  1. Hardware Virtualization involves running multiple copies of the operating system as virtual machines (VMs) within one physical hardware device. This offers some great cost, flexibility and risk management benefits for the internal applications running in the data center – as well as providing a useful way to replicate test beds for SOA systems.
  2. Virtual Endpoints allow the SOA to define virtual locations for services that need to be invoked, when in fact you’re completely shielded from the actual end point of the service. This is ideal for the dynamic processes inherent in SOA applications, as the physical address (or URL) of a service may need to change depending upon when and how it is used as part of a given workflow.
  3. Virtual Services are not just useful for SOA testing. They can provide value by streamlining development and deployment practices as a whole.

More Stories By John Michelsen

John Michelsen is co-Founder and “Chief Geek” at iTKO. He has over twenty years of experience as a technical leader at all organization levels, designing, developing, and managing large-scale, object-oriented solutions in traditional and network architectures. He is the chief architect of iTKO's LISA cloud virtualization and testing product and a leading industry advocate for efficient software development and quality. Before forming iTKO, Michelsen was Director of Development at Trilogy Inc., and VP of Development at AGENCY.COM. He has been titled Chief Technical Architect at companies like Raima, Sabre, and Xerox while performing as a consultant. Through work with clients like Cendant Financial, Microsoft, American Airlines, Union Pacific and Nielsen Market Research, John has deployed solutions using technologies from the mainframe to the handheld device.

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