AmberPoint Inc. on Tuesday will bring another level of business maturity to Web services when it introduces its new AmberPoint Service Level Manager.
The new tool, which works with both J2EE and .Net Web services platforms, provides three primary functions. It can monitor performance and availability of Web services to match business priorities for Web services. For example, the system can track usage based on whether the traffic is being generated by a gold-level or lesser customer and insure that gold customers are given “preferential treatment,” described Ed Horst, vice president of marketing for the Oakland, Calif., company.
AmberPoint SLM also prevents Web services quality of service failures by anticipating performance level and taking automated correction action before problems happen. Then the tool can be used to collect performance metrics over time for longer term reporting and trend analysis.
Although a handful of startups address Web services performance management in different ways, the greater focus to date among pilot projects has been on managing the security of such applications, believes industry watcher Sandra Rogers, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass.
“Security is the area of management most people are thinking about first. There arent even standards introduced yet on the management side that need to take place. There are a handful of very focused Web services management companies that are startups. The traditional infrastructure management vendors are just now getting on the bandwagon,” she said.
Early AmberPoint users at AgentWare Inc., a travel information Web services company, are using the new tool to ensure that clients receive reliable Web services from the companys offering, according to Les Ottolenghi, president and CEO of the Atlanta company.
The company gathers inventory data on airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars from a variety of sources and makes it available to its Web clients. “A lot of those travel Web sites where we get information from have different sizes of servers, different amounts of bandwidth available. Were not always able to get to them. Service Level Manager allows us to make sure those sources are available for us to collect data and then distribute it to our customers. Our system using AmberPoint can have greater assurance that the information is available,” he said.
AgentWare is also using the performance metrics that the tool collects to create Service Level Agreements with customers and ensure that it is in compliance with those SLAs. It also helps technical operations personnel to better troubleshoot performance problems, and as its services ramp up, AgentWare will use the tool for capacity planning.
The AmberPoint SLM is made up of agents that collect basic information, and a server that aggregates and processes that information and evaluates it for trends. The agents can run as proxies into the target applications such as PeopleSoft or SAP, or they can be plugged directly inside the container of the application server running the Web service.
“The whole system is designed to work non-invasively. We can do management of the Web service without recoding the Web service, changing the headers or what have you. From a single SLM system I can manage all the components of the Web service Im involved with,” described Anjan Mitra, senior product manager in Oakland.
The tool is intended for three types of users: Web developers, technical operations staff and marketing or line of business managers responsible for Web services applications. Each can interact with the system in a customized fashion.
AgentWares Ottolenghi believes AmberPoints tools excel at working well together across different platforms.
AmberPoint SLM is available next month and starts at about $50,000.
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