Sun Dangles SOA Service Registry

Can Sun make a serious run at the Service Registry for those in the business that are not already tied to Sun's approach to SOA?  Is there a coziness between the Sun Service Registry and Microsoft's Web services offerings, particularly in the service management arena?

Link: Sun Dangles SOA Service Registry.

The Sun Service Registry software offers a central repository to help users discover, use and, if necessary, reuse Web services. The utility manages services across systems that employ various vendor software pieces, supporting both UDDI (define) version 3 and ebXML Registry 3.0 standards.

The registry allows users to manage Web services, based on pre-set policies, from the time they are created until users are ready to be dispose of them. The software also includes a compartment to store metadata about the services. This helps specific transactions be easily found.

Ashesh Badani, group manager for SOAs at Sun, said the metadata storage and Web services lifecycle management are what separates Sun's Service Registry from products from rivals such as Systinet, IBM, Microsoft, HP and others.

"Our contention is that for true SOA governance, you need more than just the discovery of and access to Web services, you need the lifecycle management services and metadata management," Badani said in an interview.

The software is the latest move by the systems vendor to help customers corral and integrate myriad computing components under a service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOAs are frameworks for reusable code and services that facilitate Web services (define) transactions across disparate networks.


Open source progresses into back-end integration

Now it starts to get interesting... an open source ESB.  I'd like to understand a bit better how Iona distinguishes its Artix product from the Celtix open source offerings.

Link: Open source progresses into back-end integration | Tech News on ZDNet.

The intention of Celtix is to create a low-end, freely available integration product that adheres to Java standards. A standards-based integration server, which use messages to carry data between different programs, is called an enterprise service bus.

The Celtix software is a subset of an Iona product called Artix, which links together existing computing systems, said Eric Newcomer, Iona's chief technology officer. ObjectWeb expects to release the Celtix software by the end of the year.

By creating an open-source project, Iona intends to encourage the use of ESBs over proprietary integration software. And because Celtix and Artix are based on the same code and have a similar method for creating add-ons, Iona hopes to lure customers to its high-end product as their needs grow, Newcomer said.


Univa's Tuecke 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Grid Standards

A nice interview (if I do say so myself) of Steve Tuecke, CEO of Univa, regarding Grid, Univa and standards.

Link: Univa's Tuecke 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Grid Standards.

Univa CEO and co-founder, and founding member of the Globus Alliance, Steve Tuecke speaks with GRIDtoday editor Derrick Harris about Grid's standing in the enterprise realm, its evolution from the lab to the data center and what industries are best utilizing the technology. He also comments on the need for standards, calling on IT companies to work together and be willing to compromise on this front.


Forbes on IBM's Growth Engine

After spending the past four months in close proximity and constant communication with the tech journalists and analysts covering grid computing, the next generation data center and utility computing, I still wonder at the major misconceptions that are purpetuated (perpetrated?).  Here's one of them.

Most of the article sets out the list of failed business deals that IBM's engaged in regarding various forms of outsourcing and "on demand" services.  The author (Dan Lyons) then makes a statement like the one below.  It bespeaks two things: the superficial nature of tech journalism, and the inability of the technology providers to make simple the distinctions among approaches being lumped together as "grid" or "on demand."

On the first issue -- tech journalism superficiality.  Tech journalists are called upon to learn an awful lot, break it down to its essence, package it for a wide variety of readers, hit the deadlines, and ... oh, by the way ... manage to do this simultaneously for six or eight different topics which change weekly.  It's no wonder that when I read a journalist's piece about something with which I'm involved or something I've witnessed, I marvel at either the inaccuracy or the lack of depth.

On the second issue, "on demand" and the complete delegation of resource manangement to an outside agency... it ain't so.  That model MIGHT well describe the days of the timesharing bureaus and centralized glasshouse models of the 70's and early 80's, but not necessarily today's On Demand models.  The point of Grid computing (... OK, ONE of the points of Grid computing ...) done using service oriented infrastructure and late binding is that compute, storage and communication resources can be managed in a federated manner.  The "customer" in Dan Lyon's scenario does not have to turn over complete management responsibility to the "service provider".  Sets of resources can be offered up to the customer on an as-needed basis, federated in such a way that the policy defining the shared use of the resource defines how a particular computer, storage unit, or data set is utilized, under what conditions management control is transferred (and for how long), with the assurances that the customer's requirements can be well-defined in advance and the performance of the service is auditable.

Why is IBM's On Demand computing efforts missing the mark? Because they're not yet based on shared infrastructure that supports this kind of federation of resources.  This stuff takes time. One can possibly fault Palmisano and crew for mistaking a clear vision for proximity.  On Demand IS doable, but there's some heavy lifting yet to be done to build out the basis on which it can be done successfully.

Blanket statements like Dan Lyon's serve to just scare the customer and the industry, and muddy the issues. It does us all a disservice. The On Demand vision  demands more studiousness by the reader and the tech journalist, and better explanation and clarification by the vendor and supplier.

Link: IBM's Growth Engine Sputters.

The On Demand approach relies on customers surrendering all control over tech, but some clients are deciding to take it back.


Microsoft Releases 'Indigo' Preview

One of the seemingly consistent efforts at Microsoft to proceed into SOA is the Indigo project.  The fact that it's making headway more rapidly than originally scheduled, and that it's possibly going to show up in the market early is definitely a "good thing" for the general adoption of Service Oriented approaches to application and infrastructure.

Link: Microsoft Releases 'Indigo' Preview.

Microsoft officials said the Indigo infrastructure simplifies development through a service-oriented programming model where programs are composed using asynchronous message passing. To enable this programming model, Indigo provides a set of technologies for creating, processing and transmitting messages.

Indigo represents a unified programming model for building applications that support the broad array of Web services standards, which Microsoft refers to as the WS-* specifications. Indigo combines the features of ASP.Net Web Services, .Net Remoting, .Net Enterprise Services, WSE (Web Services Enhancements) and System.Messaging, the company said.