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IBM and DataPower: 6 Months Later

Competitors of DataPower in the SOA management, security, and integration spaces have been wondering what became of the hardware SOA company snatched up by the WebSphere division of software-powerhouse IBM.
Six months after the acquisition, IBM announced the new IBM WebSphere DataPower SOA appliances and SOA security consulting services.
DataPower's mean, green XSLT machine is still green, the XS40 is still in the market, and the XI50, its integration product, is looking like it fits right into Big Blue with its blue-hued chassis.

On the outside, the branding is now IBM, but on the inside, it's still the same DataPower, with some new features designed to make the product fit even better into the IBM-focused data center.

DataPower hasn't lost its focus, it just spent the last 6 months working on its hardware chassis', getting them to conform to IBM's more rigorous requirements, and adding a few new features. New features for the XS40 include:

  • Carrier-grade features including hot-swappable dual power supply - for high availability and reliable services
  • Enhanced security features includes: Web application firewall; Unified Virus scanning; SNMP v.3 encryption; enhanced LDAP; PKCS#7 & S/MIME support for legacy data - to help provide a broader SOA security solution
  • Expanded Web service management and Service-level Management: Integration with IBM's ITCAM for SOA; enhanced UDDI and WSDL fetch/publish - to support enterprises achieve end-to-end SOA management
  • Extended standards / WS-* support - for improved SOA interoperability across enterprises' heterogeneous environments including broader support for connectivity and interoperability with non-IBM systems.

The big news with the announcement is the integration with IBM Tivoli management products and the SOA Security Services announcement. The former we're glad to see, the latter ... well, if you need professional services to implement a hardware-based solution there's just something wrong. IBM's focus with the security services is on consulting for organizations that need to design a resilient, secure SOA, but there are some things you've almost always needed professional services to accomplish when using DataPower to secure or manage your SOA and we're certain that hasn't changed a bit given this announcement. DataPower has always been more focused on professional services than its competitors and despite the outstanding performance and flexibility (you really can do just about anything with the XS40) of its XSLT-based solutions, this has been its biggest drawback.

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