uXcomm: Eyes End-to-End SOA Management

uXcomm eyes end-to-end SOA management with its Service-Oriented Management Architecture. SOMA looks to unify SOA management across mobile devices, enterprise apps and legacy resources. SOMA lets device makers, ISVs and enterprise architects easily add management to any server, network element, appliance or storage device. IDN learns more.

Tags: Management, SOMA, Applications, Legacy, Enterprise, SOA, Architecture,

Last month uXcomm Inc. released Service-Oriented Management Architecture (SOMA) to unify SOA management across mobile devices, enterprise apps and legacy resources. SOMA is for device makers, ISVs and enterprise architects to easily add management features into any server, network element, appliance or storage device. One key to SOMA's ability is uXcomm's Management Service Bus, a management-tuned variation on ESB.

SOMA's MSB is designed to provide a common communication infrastructure where apps are converted and deployed as run-time services. It is from these XML-based services that developers can construct complete management applications and agents, and implement management actions between any two transactions. The goal: to help IT more quickly and easily accomplish 2 key SOA goals: (1) build new management applications, or (2) integrate existing commercial or open source applications and deploy them.

uXcomm's XManage platform uses SOMA to connect any device or system to any management application, ranging from legacy to Open Source solutions. XManage is available as in a Server Edition and XManage Information Appliance Edition.

IDN speaks with uXcomm's director Earl Hines to learn more about how SOMA might offer end-to-end SOA management options.

Integration Developer News interview with
Earl Hines, Director of Marketing
uXcomm Inc.

IDN: Is SOMA a true standards-based SOA approach to reference implementations and replacing "builds" with iterative updates or services?

Hines: Yes. uXcomm's Service-Oriented Management Architecture (SOMA) is a true SOA based approach because it supports all standard management interfaces including SNMP, IPMI, WS-MAN, and CIM-XML. This ability to support many management protocols is a huge advantage because newer devices using a SOMA agent can be managed by legacy management applications or frameworks via older protocols (e.g., SNMP) and by newer applications and protocols.

Manufacturers could "future proof" his/her devices by enabling support for newer Web services-oriented management protocols like CIM-XML, WS-Management, WSDM, etc. (The newer protocols natively support XML-based request formats and require less mediation work by their respective adapters).

IDN: Many device makers use an increasingly complex mix of proprietary, licensed and Open Source IP for the software and communication layers of their devices. Is SOMA in any way meant to make this more manageable for device designers?

Hines: Yes, based on SOMA, uXcomm's XManage platform allows any legacy, proprietary, or open source solution to connect and interoperate with standards or open source system management technologies. Similar to the way SOA makes it possible to easily interconnect and extend applications, SOMA-based products enable instant management of any network-connected device and integration with any legacy or proprietary management environment. The key ingredient we use in a SOMA is what we call the "Management Services Bus," that provides a common communication infrastructure on which all management applications are converted and deployed as run-time services.

We believe all new management software should be implemented upon a SOMA architecture. It enables systems builders, systems integrators, and end-users to leverage the best of existing management products, support new standards, and quickly build custom management solutions at the lowest possible cost. When new services are required, implementers can write new code or simply encapsulate and integrate existing commercial or open source management code into XManage services. Used this way, SOMA can unify what would otherwise be disparate management solutions.

IDN: Many in IT are looking for new trends in mobile and itinerant applications How much of this type of demand is influencing your SOMA architecture, or your customers?

Hines: Whether IT is adopting new networking, handheld or software as a service (SaaS) applications, the common problem they all have is the lack of built in management from their various vendors. Whether it's the deployment of WiFi or virtualization technology, the IT Data Center manager is demanding that new systems integrate and interoperate within their existing management applications and frameworks. SOMA and XManage offer IT suppliers the ability to make their products manageable out-of-the-box in any environment.

IDN: What is the Use Case for how SOMA might change how device makers and enterprise IT "converge" in the next 2-3 years? Is it enabling enterprise interop/integration, smarter devices for enterprise users or what?

Hines: One of the challenges facing IT managers is finding a way to support new technologies entering the data center, such as virtualization technologies, open source products and low-cost appliances. This challenge can only be addressed by companies that embrace service-oriented approaches, like uXcomm's approach, to dynamically provision and update their network and systems devices. One of our customers, Penguin Computing has embraced our approach and built an advanced, flexible and extensible systems management product for the company's popular BladeRunner systems. The integration was simple, and the time-to-market was accelerated using our approach.

As I've mentioned before, we believe all new management solutions should be built using a SOMA-based architecture. Just like Cisco's SONA vision, whether you're addressing networking applications or extending your legacy management products to support new software and hardware devices, SOMA based development is faster and more extensible than any previous approach.

At uXcomm, Earl Hines drives product positioning, demand generation, and alliances management. Earl 17+ years experience in enterprise IT business management, alliance programs and marketing, and before coming to uXcomm was Intel's Director of Software Partners -- the chipmaker's premier alliance program for ISVs and SIs. He has also driven co-marketing programs with Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Novell, among others.