A picture is worth more than 1000 words or probably more than 1000 dollars. Here is the performance of the portfolio since March 27 when it was formed. Also, comparison against S&P 500 performance during that period. S&P 500 number is slightly off since I took the opening price of S&P 500 on March 27 […]
IBM DataPower is considered as an SOA Appliance. Then, you might ask the question, what is SOA and what is an appliance. First let me explain what is an appliance in terms of IT and then I will explain what is SOA.
When we hear appliance, most likely, you think about household appliances like a fridge or microwave oven. They have some specific characteristics.
1. They are purpose-built – They are built to do certain things the best way. For example, a microwave oven cooks or warm up food for you. It doesn’t freeze the food. For that you might want a fridge. So, an appliance in general do certain specific things very well. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
2. They are simple to operate – In most cases, it is easy for you to understand what each appliance does and how to operate without spending too much time. For a microwave oven, there are time controls where you can specify how long you want to heat the food. If you spend some amount extra, you can find a microwave oven which has pre-built controls for different purposes like heating popcorn or warming up foods.
Similar to kitchen appliance, there is a trend in IT to use specialized devices to do specialized tasks. This approach helps to do certain very common tasks very efficiently. The business case for this approach is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is less, Return On Investment (ROI) is high, integration is easy, performance is very good, ease of use and high security. We will discuss more about each of them little bit later.
But, there is also another trend in IT called SOA, which stands for Service Oriented Architecture. Though, I do not want to discuss too much details about it and confuse you, I would like to tell you the essence of it. SOA tries to create reusable services so that the architecture can be flexible and can adjust with the changing business needs. Reusability is an important aspect of SOA. One way to create reusable service is by creating services that encapsulates just business logic alone. This means, common tasks like authenticating the user, logging the information etc., should be kept separately. Then, who will do these security type of tasks? That is where these appliances come into picture. You can let DataPower do tasks like authentication, logging etc and concentrate on your business logic in your services. Now you got the full picture! Just to show the importance of SOA, see the diagram below.
DataPower and TCO
Now, for a moment, think about PCs. PCs have so many things going on it. It has operating system, hard drive, network connections, application servers and the list goes on. If you need to configure this machine, you need many different people who are knowledgeable about each of these technology. Now, considera DataPower. DataPower has a proprietary operating system that does few tasks very efficiently.
Investing can be tricky..but, looks like this can help!