CA’s Wily tool tracks SOA, Web services transactions


CA has added software to its service oriented architecture (SOA) management arsenal that company officials say will let IT operations staff track the performance of loosely coupled SOA applications across production networks.

CA Wily SOA Manager software monitors the performance and availability of Web services and other components in an SOA environment. The software is an extension to Wily Technology’s Introscope, a product that CA picked up when it acquired the company. It enables the auto discovery of SOA components, such as enterprise service buses, portals and Web services.

According to the company, the software can map SOA transactions, dependencies among the various components in the SOA environment and alert IT operations staff when performance degrades.

“A lot of our customers are looking for a full audit trail of Web services transactions, and despite their best efforts in the design phase, transactions never flow as cleanly as they were planned to,” said Karen Jaworski, product manager for CA Wily’s SOA and Web services management products.

“We are able to report on entire services, the steps that have been completed and the steps that have yet to be completed and may not be completed due to performance issues.”

CA and competitors such as Amberpoint, HP and IBM have been stepping up their SOA management games of late, according to industry watchers, because the nature of a SOA environment demands automation and dynamic management capabilities, not present in traditional application management software.

“With SOA, management isn’t like traditional run-time management asking if the service is up or down,” said Ron Schmelzer, a senior analyst at ZapThink. “The nature of the environment is so dynamic, operations staff needs to know if these changes to the services will or will not break the components making up the service.” Software to manage SOA applications and transactions needs to be able to track change as quickly as the components comprising the services change.

“Customers in some cases have postponed their SOA applications from going into production for close to a year because they are concerned they can’t manage the overhead of all the components and dependencies,” Jaworski said. “They fear becoming consumed with this additional processing.”

For instance, CA Wily SOA Manager will monitor “detailed transaction stacks” from multiple machines and pull that data together into a consolidated view and correlate for IT operations staff how transaction performance translates into overall end-to-end service performance. The company says that process could be too manual to scale with products unable to automatically track SOA components at the transaction layer.

Introscope includes server software and distributed software agents. SOA Manager would deploy as an extension to the agent software on managed servers.

The software includes a centralized console called the Enterprise Manager, which sits on a dedicated server and has a Web-based interface for analyzing data and viewing reports.

The data it collects enables the software to identify transaction paths, isolate performance bottlenecks and alert staff automatically to any issues with .Net and Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications.


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