Earlier this month I hung out for a while at Candle Corp.s user group meeting in San Francisco and got a refresher on the importance of using computers to automate the management of other computers. If I learned one thing from the engineers and users that I spoke with, its that data center managers must automate any task that is repeated more than once a year.
Im not saying this was an exciting meeting, but it made me think about how the theme of automation with regard to computer management is recurring in the products Ive been seeing lately.
Anti-spam tools, distributed denial of service engines, intrusion detection tools and a host of other management systems look for tasks that can be repeated (like: throw away this packet, look for this message in a log file) and then automate them so that the human beings in the system can concentrate their flexible learning skills on other problems.
Candle is figuring out ways to use SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)--which uses XML messages to cross system boundaries, including those protected by firewalls--to monitor and manage system performance. This is significant, because the data center crowd is best described as "deliberate": Their consideration of SOAP indicates a cautious acceptance of a new way to improve efficiency.
The new OMEGAMON DE server, which Candle is launching soon, will use SOAP to get information from a variety of different sources, including the companys OMEGAMON agents, along with third-party tools to create reports that show performance impact on business operations.
This kind of innovation is heartening because it shows that some useful technology can be rummaged from the still-smoldering ashes of the dot-com meltdown—technology that will perhaps pay off at least some of the debt incurred by the heady promises made in the late 90s.
Click here for more on SOAP and how it will be used by Candle Corp.
Is there SOAP in your future? Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at cameron_Sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.