Monday, August 20, 2007

Virtulization, SOA and Service Oriented "Infrastructure"

[Here is a couple of excellent articles on the concept of Service Oriented Architecture (SOI) where web services are used to represent various virtualized and real distributed computational, network elements, storage and data facilities. Web services provides a new management tool to allow managers of these facilities to quickly configure and re-arrange these facilities as required. This, of course, was also the rationale behind UCLP - to allow users, whether enterprise managers or researchers to reconfigure physical and virtual facilities, including network elements as they saw fit for their application. Some excerpts from eWeek and GridToday-- BSA,1895,2158548,00.asp

Virtualization has proved itself in the data center, where companies are deploying the technology as a way to consolidate hardware, save on power and cooling costs, and enhance disaster recovery capabilities.

Now, industry observers say, virtualization will play a key role in the growing SOA (service-oriented architecture) movement. In fact, David Greschler, director of integrated virtualization strategy at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., calls virtualization "the key enabler for SOA."

"Everything is tied together. What virtualization does is provide a way for all these pieces [of IT infrastructure] to be separated from each other, but also to work together," Greschler said.

Those pieces he is talking about include applications, operating systems, presentation layers, virtual machines, and storage and network devices.


At this level resides concepts such as policy-based management and the enablement of self-managing virtualized systems, he said.

SPECIAL FEATURES ==============================================================

[ ] M1579356 ) Connecting the Dots: Applications and Grid Infrastructure
By Yaron Haviv, CTO, Voltaire

The move to grid or grid-like architectures within the datacenter
brings many benefits, such as growth of capacities, lower costs, and
support for an increasing number and variety of applications. This
trend has also brought additional infrastructure requirements and
associated challenges. Connecting and managing hundreds or thousands
of servers and networked storage, and incorporating server and storage
virtualization technologies, has created communication challenges,
network complexity and a steep learning curve for getting the most out
of the ability to virtualize infrastructure.

With all of this complexity to deal with, have we figured out how much
time and resources it takes to deploy applications over grids?

This article examines how grids built around a service-oriented
architecture (SOA) focusing on business tasks, business flows, and
service delivery will significantly shorten the time and efforts in
application deployment and configuration, while delivering the
greatest efficiencies. A datacenter grid model is proposed, which
includes considerations for deployment and provisioning tools for
applications, server and storage infrastructure, and high-performance
grid fabrics.


Service-Oriented Infrastructure (SOI) Management

While virtualization of servers, storage and fabrics is a key element
to achieving a flexible and more efficient datacenter, it also is
critical to develop a new approach to data center resource management.
Instead of manual procedures by which administrators create and
configure the infrastructure, infrastructure resources should be
dynamically created and configured based on the application
requirements. This is achieved through the use of SOI management

Fabric provisioning and SOI management tools, such as Voltaire
GridVision Enterprise software, depend on the use of dynamic and
unified datacenter fabrics, which have loose relationships between
resources and can be programmed to create whatever topology or logical
links are needed at a given time or to satisfy a given application

These tools are complementary to many of the virtualization and
automation/provisioning tools in market today because they focus on
the infrastructure and connectivity aspects of virtual datacenter
resources. They can integrate with the server virtualization products
(such as Xen and VMWare) and typically use an open and extensible API
for optional integration with server and storage provisioning tools
Orchestration and scheduling tools can use the SOI Web services API
and object models to provision infrastructure as needed, collect
health/performance information and get notified on infrastructure
events and changes.

With a SOI, equipment can be wired once, thus eliminating physical
user intervention. Complex application deployment procedures that
cross organizational boundaries can be automated and conducted in few
minutes rather than days or weeks. They are less error-prone and
consume fewer resources. Furthermore, infrastructure can be
built-to-order to meet application-specific requirements with the
right balance of CPU, network and storage resources. Ultimately, this
makes applications on a grid more efficient and eliminates the right