System Vendors Sight SOA

HP, IBM, and Sun are fixed on the emerging market for products and services built on service-oriented architectures

June 29, 2005

4 Min Read
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With users struggling to run different business services across an increasingly complex landscape of data center hardware and software, service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies are being touted as a solution by vendors such as IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW).

The major vendors today fleshed out their long-term SOA strategies, with IBM opening its arms to partners based on its WebSphere family of middleware products, and HP unveiling a range of consulting services and new competency centers for customers. Sun snapped up SOA specialist SeeBeyond Technology Corp. (see IBM Rolls Out SOA Initiative, HP Expands SOA Services, and SeeBeyond Sucked Into Sun).

The concept of SOA is to let users run services in the form of application software across different computing environments. Analyst firm Gartner Inc.

predicts that, by 2008, most application revenue will come from products conforming to an SOA.

IBM is already pushing some of its WebSphere portfolio as SOA products, including the Application Server and Information Integrator. The vendor also offers a set of industry-specific tools that sit on top of WebSphere to help users develop SOA models. Sandy Carter, a WebSphere vice president, tells NDCF that products within IBMs Rational and Tivoli divisions also can be used, respectively, for managing and developing SOA applications.

HP, however, which does not own a specific middleware technology, is taking a different tack. With its new consulting services, HP is looking to act as an integrator for SOA technologies from different vendors. “You can position us as Switzerland,” says Mark LaJeunesse, HP’s worldwide SOA manager. “We’re not looking to sell a specific middleware solution.”Nonetheless, HP realizes that there is a software buck to be made here. The vendor recently launched OpenView SOA Manager, a tool designed to manage different business services.

Sun Microsystems has also got its eye on this market, coughing up a cool $387 million for SeeBeyond earlier today. The vendor plans to use the acquisition to develop a sixth suite within Sun’s Java Enterprise System platform, which is a key weapon in its SOA armory.

But, against the backdrop of all this hype, Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink warns that users should not be blinded by all the SOA spiel. “There’s a dirty little secret of SOA,” he says. “Most companies don’t need to buy that much more software to do it.”

Bloomberg believes that, in many cases, users can rely on their existing middleware deployments to develop an SOA environment. “SOA is architecture; it’s a set of best practices,” he says. “You can get that pretty much in any middleware that you already have.”

But users may need new software for more specialist tasks such as metadata management, services management, process management, and identity and access management, he adds.The other major challenge users face as they roll out their SOA infrastructures is cultural, rather than technological, according to Bloomberg. “What you need for this to work is discipline." This could mean, for example, working out which parts of the business own which parts of the project and addressing funding issues, he adds.

Nonetheless, both IBM and HP are planning to fill out their SOA initiatives over the coming months. IBM, which has already spent $1 billion on developing WebSphere for SOA, has got plenty more up its sleeve, according to Carter. “You can look for some very significant announcements from us in the second half of the year,” she says.

HP’s LaJeunesse says that the vendor is planning to launch more consulting services during the coming six months, along with another SOA competency center for the Asia/Pacific region.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

21195 76495 Newswire

2005-06-29T12:50:00Z 2005-06-29T12:50:00Z

Maxtor ships Atlas hard drive family with serial attached SCSI interface http://www.byteandswitch.com Other

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MILPITAS, Calif. -- Maxtor Corporation(NYSE:MXO) announced today it is now shipping the Atlas(R) family of disk drives, the fastest drives in their class(1), with the latest enterprise-class interface technology -- Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). The SAS interface allows SAS and SATA disk drives to be configured in the same enclosure, enabling customers to mix and match high-performance Atlas drives with high-capacity MaXLine(R) SATA drives to meet a broad range of price, performance and capacity requirements. Maxtor pioneered the use of high-capacity ATA disk drives in nearline and midline applications with its MaXLine drives, the de facto standard in this market."Maxtor with their new Atlas SAS disk drives is among the leading vendors helping to make the benefits of SAS -- increased performance, scalability and cost-effectiveness -- a reality for customers," said Mark Pollard, vice president of marketing at Adaptec. "The breadth of Maxtor's product line should help customers match system configurations with their application requirements."

"We currently have Atlas SAS drives in qualification with global OEMs and system vendors," said Brendan Collins, vice president of marketing, core products at Maxtor. "We expect those customers to complete testing soon, followed by volume shipments. The Atlas SAS drives, coupled with our MaXLine SATA drives, combine to give Maxtor the industry's broadest SAS/SATA enterprise drive portfolio."

Maxtor Corp.

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