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IBM Global Technology Services

Six critical IT operations questions

for a successful SOA deployment.

There’s a lot of talk about service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Organizations eagerly anticipate the increased development
flexibility it can bring as well as its promise to speed business
innovation. Much less discussed is the importance of the IT
operations department to SOA success. To fully capitalize on the
value of SOA, IT operations must work with the enterprise SOA
team to define standards that will ensure efficient implementation,
management and operation. This paper presents six questions
IT operations should ask the enterprise architecture team before
making the leap to a more dynamic, SOA-based environment.
Six critical IT operations questions for a successful
SOA deployment.

SOA is no passing fad The advantage of a service-oriented architecture is clear,

According to IBM’s most recent CEO study, most CEOs and it translates into some very real benefits. For exam-
regard innovation as the lifeblood of their businesses. 1
ple, it can:
It’s not surprising, then, that many organizations are
increasingly adopting SOA as part of their efforts to • Lower the cost of integration by using standards-based
enable innovation. SOA-based initiatives have the poten- interfaces
tial to drive costs down and service quality up, while also • Enable the reuse of application components in
improving business flexibility. As a result, organizations dynamic, new ways
are able to reallocate portions of their IT budgets to new • Allow IT to compose new processes from existing services
projects designed to enable innovation. • Enable organizations to extend services to new groups
of users such as key business allies, additional custom-
In a recent Forrester survey, close to 70 percent of enter- ers and suppliers
prises worldwide reported that they are planning to increase • Improve business impact analysis because the enter-
their SOA usage over the next 12 to 24 months.2 The main prise services can be monitored and managed in the
driver of this trend is the improved application and business business context.
flexibility that an SOA promises. That promise is based on
the notion of “loose-coupling,” which states that certain ele- For SOA-based initiatives to be effective, however,
ments in an IT environment, such as an application interface, IT operations must implement the architecture with an
can be separated from an application implementation. By eye toward long-term use and support. That is because
taking advantage of this, business application developers service-oriented architectures often:
and IT operations staff can make changes to the environ-
ment without necessarily affecting either the interface or • Expose functionality within a single monolithic applica-
the clients and end users. Leveraging this simple notion tion as a set of reusable services — all of which need to
has huge potential to lower the time and cost of making be managed — that can then be combined into com-
changes to the environment and to introduce superior posite applications
levels of flexibility. • Introduce services as an intermediate layer to the envi-
ronment, along with new dependencies and relationships

• Add software and hardware technologies that need to It is important to recognize that the term “service” can have
be managed, such as service registries, the enterprise two meanings. In traditional IT operations environments, a
service bus (ESB) and XML appliances service can refer to a capability that IT operations delivers
• Make it challenging to replicate problems in situations and supports — such as user on-boarding and provision-
where IT operations may not own the end-to-end infra- ing — or it can refer to a more coarsely grained business
structure, especially after the service has been introduced function such as e-mail. In the context of SOA and technolo-
into a production environment. gies such as Web services, the notion of a service is more
finely grained and typically refers to a specific application
Realizing value by making SOA environments operational function. These unique functions are then integrated to build
Managing an SOA environment involves all the same multiple composite applications. This paper will focus on the
disciplines as managing traditional IT environments — for more finely grained SOA-based definition of services.
example, application monitoring, security, event manage-
ment, problem and bottleneck isolation, performance By teaming with enterprise architects before they design an
management, configuration and change management, and SOA environment, IT operations can dramatically improve
service level agreement (SLA) measurement and report- the IT environment’s effectiveness and manageability from
ing. However these activities must be reoriented to include the start. But if SOA implementation has already begun,
services as key objects to be managed. With SOA-based teaming with enterprise architects at any point in time can
projects, it is vital to view these services as top-priority still provide benefits.
managed resources and to recognize their relationships to
business processes as well as to the underlying compo- To that end, we are posing the following six questions,
nents and systems that support them. which can be used as a discussion guide to facilitate
collaboration between IT operations and the enterprise
architecture team.

Six critical IT operations questions for a successful
SOA deployment.

1. How will the enterprise architecture team design By its very nature, an SOA environment introduces new
SOA-based services that improve manageability without managed object types into the IT landscape — so it’s
increasing service management costs? important to weigh the effect of these new elements and
By anticipating operational considerations in the planning disciplines on IT management processes during the
and design stages, organizations can avoid additional design phase.
management and maintenance costs and increased
network loads. Early in the transition to SOA-based applica- Helpful IBM tools
tions, IT operations must ensure that SOA-based services • IBM SOA Infrastructure Consulting Services – infra-
are designed for manageability. IT operations should: structure strategy and planning for SOA — assesses
your current IT environment to help you understand the
• Understand the business application performance effect of an SOA project on your IT infrastructure and ser-
requirement vice management; helps develop a clear SOA strategy
• Determine where SOA management processes can be
automated for improved performance
• Be aware of the service infrastructure dependencies • IBM SOA Infrastructure Consulting Services – infra-
and the service-to-service dependencies structure architecture and design for SOA — recom-
• Make sure that service management considerations are mends SOA infrastructure improvements, transition
included throughout the development lifecycle roadmaps and tooling to help optimize service quality
• Warrant that services meet information, security and and enhance application and information integration
privacy requirements
• Confirm that the design incorporates performance,
capacity and availability requirements • IBM IT Management Consulting Services – service
• Ensure that composite applications are designed so management design — helps develop the IT service
that they can be monitored. management processes required in a service-oriented
management architecture

2. How will the development team incorporate security, Helpful IBM tools
access compliance and audit controls? • SOA application security assessment and implemen-
SOA-based services involve composite applications with tation services from IBM — offer a comprehensive
service-to-service dependencies. To enhance traditional review of application security requirements and
resource-centric security for dynamic SOA environments, potential vulnerabilities, along with deployment recom-
an organization should add an identity-focused security mendations on eliminating or reducing exposures
layer, called trust management, to the environment, as well
as a message-focused security layer. At the same time, it
must ensure that all of this remains auditable. To manage • IBM Tivoli ® Federated Identity Manager — offers an
this, IT operations should ensure that it will be able to: efficient and effective way to manage and provision user
identities across the SOA environment and provide a
• Identify the scope of IT configurations required to realize robust identity assurance and trust management solution
and implement business compliance objectives
• Identify a service request and propagate identities
across multiple domains of trust • Tivoli Compliance Insight Manager — offers a robust
• Securely transmit the request across a heteroge- dashboard and reporting engine through which to view
neous environment Tivoli Federated Identity Manager data as well as virtu-
• Enforce the appropriate access control and define limits ally all related security data
on what one can do
• Protect against attacks and measure operational
security risk • IBM WebSphere ® DataPower ® XML Security Gateway
• Report whether it has met goals and complied XS40 Appliance — intercepts, parses, validates, filters
with regulations. and decrypts the Web service request, thereby provid-
ing more reliable, security-rich and scalable hardware
policy enforcement and XML threat protection

• IBM SOA Integration Services for connectivity and

reuse – design and implementation services for
WebSphere DataPower SOA appliances — assists
in design and deployment to efficiently use IBM
WebSphere DataPower technology

Six critical IT operations questions for a successful
SOA deployment.

3. How will IT operations monitor the end-to-end envi- Helpful IBM tools
ronment to detect, isolate and fix services problems, • Tivoli Composite Application Manager Family of
including composite applications that have service-to- products — provides an integrated set of specialized
service dependencies? application management tools to help identify service
Once the IT operations team isolates the problem, the and application problems proactively and enable IT
actual fix is usually fairly straightforward. However, because operations to isolate root causes and fix them quickly
SOA-based environments introduce a new layer of abstrac-
tion, problems can be more difficult to find and isolate. The mgr-basic-websphere
management system must be able to dynamically discover
• SOA Integration Services – design and implementa-
services, reconcile them with a system of record, such as a
tion for Tivoli Composite Application Manager —helps
registry, and then isolate problems and perform root-cause
you ensure that all design and configuration consid-
analysis. Because the messaging infrastructure and other
erations required for a successful Tivoli Composite
middleware take on increasing importance, the end-to-end
Application Manager implementation have been cap-
application management has to:
tured and deployed

• Recognize this new layer

• Dynamically discover new services and reconcile them a1027700
with a system of record • IBM Rational ® Tester for SOA Quality and Rational
• Understand the relationships between the services layer Performance Extension Tester for SOA Quality —
and the underlying component and messaging layers provide automated regression and functional testing for
• Understand when a problem in the infrastructure or GUI-less Web services and performance testing for Web
application layer affects a service above it service-based applications
• Know when a service is down and determine the
root cause.
• IBM IT Lifecycle Management and Governance

When IT operations is able to monitor and manage IT Services – service management implementation –

resources and services from a real-time business out- Accelerator for Service Management for Problem

come perspective, it can align IT operations with business Determination — delivers an affordable, prepackaged

priorities. As a result, IT operations can streamline busi- service for deployment of process and technology

ness processes and optimize resources to help manage for determining the root cause of problems in com-

costs, increase efficiency to manage productivity and plex IT environments

increase revenue, and help ensure service availability to

enhance customer satisfaction — rather than simply focus
on technology.

4. How will IT operations ensure that the environment Helpful IBM tools
has the flexibility to adapt and track changes if trending • Tivoli Change and Configuration Management
shows that the environment is in trouble? Database — enables IT operations to implement
Because SOA-based initiatives mean more flexibility, IT change management controls and put proactive IT
has to deal with more things changing at a faster pace. Infrastructure Library ® processes into practice to
Since most organizations cannot increase their head count maintain service levels
to do this, they need to implement tools that can automate
IT processes and make existing staff more productive. IT
operations must ensure that it can: • Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager —
dynamically discovers elements and configurations in
• Deal with change management in an SOA world where your IT environment and creates dependency relation-
flexibility is the goal ships that can be tracked over time; is used to populate
• Administer availability and release management the change and configuration management database
• Keep track of what’s changed in order to quickly iden-
tify where a problem is and fix it.
• IBM IT Lifecycle Management and Governance
Because SOA environments can have an effect on orga- Services – service management implementation —
nizations, including processes and tooling, IT operations develops a specialized project plan and statement of
needs enhanced approaches and tools for release, change work to rapidly deploy Tivoli Application Dependency
and configuration management. Discovery Manager and Tivoli Change and Configuration
Management Database

Six critical IT operations questions for a successful
SOA deployment.

5. How will IT operations report on services in a Helpful IBM tools

business context or in terms of SLAs? • IBM IT Lifecycle Management and Governance
One of the principal benefits of an SOA-based approach Services – business of IT dashboard — helps you
is having services made up of individual functions that design and implement your IT dashboard with required
can be reused by multiple business applications. It thus reporting; also integrates the dashboard and reporting
becomes critical to measure the business service or cus- into your existing IT infrastructure
tomer experience with the metrics involved in business
services — for example, key performance indicators (KPIs)
and SLAs. Using this information, IT operations can trans- • Tivoli Service Level Advisor — enables IT operations
late raw IT monitoring data into a useful business impact to proactively predict when SLA violations are likely to
analysis. Anticipating these requirements, IT operations occur and take corrective actions to help avoid them
should be able to:

• Understand the configuration, dependencies and • Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager—creates reports
relationships of the components that make up the showing usage of services and provides accounting and
business service integration with billing systems to support chargeback
• Establish goals and objectives for service delivery
documented in the SLAs
• Measure the effectiveness of its services (such as Web • Tivoli Business Systems Manager — enables IT to target
server availability and performance) and business ser- resources and actions toward the most critical and costly
vices (such as payment processing response time) IT resources and issues, ultimately delivering the great-
• Analyze and report on the actual services delivered for est impact to the business
the IT group and the clients that use them
• Create usage and accounting reports that can be used
for chargeback and billing.

In short, service management reporting must be based

on the full range of SOA services to be truly effective.

6. How does IT operations know it has the right then recommends SOA infrastructure improvements,
virtualization infrastructure in place to support SOA? transition roadmaps and tooling to help optimize
Because SOA-based services are virtualized and dynamic, service quality and enhance application and infor-
organizations need to adjust and fine-tune their infrastruc- mation integration
tures to meet changing capacity requirements. IT operations
can quickly balance service workloads by spreading work
across available servers and storage resources and quickly • IBM Application Infrastructure Services – Web infra-
provisioning new resources as needed. structure optimization and virtualization — provides
design and implementation services for building cost-
There is a high level of synergy between SOA-based imple- effective, virtualized application server environments
mentations and traditional virtualization. They both increase
business flexibility and improve responsiveness to rapidly
changing business requirements. To make sure it has the right • Tivoli Dynamic Workload Broker — enables IT operations
end-to-end, virtualized environment, IT operations should: to intelligently manage cross-enterprise workloads and
resources from a central point across heterogeneous
• Have services workload virtualization, along with sup- operating environments
porting technologies
• Have the right server and storage virtualization tech-
nologies and a flexible infrastructure design
• Dynamically adjust the infrastructure to manage capacity • WebSphere Extended Deployment — delivers enhanced
• Have the right capacity and know-how to manage that quality of service (QoS) through centralized workload
capacity more dynamically in order to respond to the management, application virtualization and manage-
flexible nature of an SOA environment. ment of large data volumes
Virtualization is key to exploiting the benefits of SOA. Server,
storage and network virtualization will enable business and • IBM Application Infrastructure Services – Web infra-
IT workload balancing, thereby increasing the quality of ser- structure optimization and virtualization – design and
vice management. implementation services for WebSphere Extended
Deployment — helps clients design and implement
Helpful IBM tools WebSphere Extended Deployment software with
• IBM SOA Infrastructure Consulting Services – infra- reduced risk, complexity and time to market, thereby
structure strategy and planning for SOA – infrastructure enabling a more rapid return on their investment
readiness for SOA — assesses the infrastructure, and

Six critical IT operations questions for a successful
SOA deployment.

The potential benefits of an SOA environment far While traditional service application connections were
outweigh the challenges — and understanding and “hard coded” and depended on the application in which
planning for IT operational requirements can increase they resided, SOA services are linked dynamically and
the odds of success flexibly. This means they can be challenging to manage.
Although this paper has focused on the many challenges But advanced planning and close collaboration between
involved in SOA services management, it’s important to IT operations and architecture — in conjunction with
reiterate the many good reasons forward-looking organi- IBM’s expertise, tools and ability to bring the two worlds
zations are adopting SOA in the first place. SOA services together — can make it a whole lot easier. And, if you’ve
management can: already started an SOA deployment, IBM can provide
SOA diagnostic services to help you analyze your envi-
• Act as a unifying force between IT and business ronment and make necessary improvements.
• Offer greater reusability across and beyond the
enterprise than traditional IT environments
• Provide more flexible connections between services
and the business processes they support
• Provide flexible business processes that give com-
panies the ability to innovate and thrive in today’s
business world.

For more information
To learn more about IBM’s views and capabilities
regarding SOA service management, contact your
IBM representative or visit:

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1 IBM, Expanding the Innovation Horizon: The Global

CEO Study 2006, March 2006.

2  Forrester Research, Planned SOA Usage Grows

Faster Than Actual SOA Usage, Randy Heffner, Feb-
ruary 28, 2007.