The monitoring of Web services
- By John K. Waters
Monitoring the performance of distributed systems remains one of the great
challenges for IT managers today -- one that has only intensified with the
advent of Web services. According to Diane Hagglund, director of product
marketing at Freshwater Software, the evolution of enterprise systems away from
the client/server model to the highly distributed systems typical of Web
services infrastructures is causing a shift in monitoring paradigms to support
the underlying architecture.
In this highly distributed environment, Hagglund said, the so-called
agentless monitoring model is ''removing a huge stumbling block to the
realization of the promise of Web services,'' giving IT managers the ability to
keep track of software that, essentially, they cannot control.
''As IT operations groups are asked to become more efficient with their
resources, it is important that they choose a monitoring solution that will
deploy quickly and have a low cost of maintenance,'' Hagglund said. ''Today's
distributed applications provide native mechanisms to system metrics and no
longer require costly maintenance of agents on the system, making an agentless
model the true next-generation of monitoring.''
Boulder, Colo.-based Freshwater, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercury
Interactive, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based maker of performance testing and analysis
tools, is offering its own agentless monitoring solution that is based on
Freshwater-built technology. Freshwater officials say the firm's new SiteScope
7.6 is based on what it calls an agentless monitoring architecture that can
allow users to monitor a system's entire infrastructure remotely from a single,
non-intrusive location. The new tool is said to support all of the key Web
services standards, including SOAP, Dynamic WSDL invocations and XML Schema
complex data types. It can send alerts to execute a Web service automatically,
summon diagnostic Web service when a base Web service fails, and monitor 65
other infrastructure components and applications.
Company officials contend that the agentless model maps well to Web services,
which assumes a boundary-less infrastructure and a dynamic nature that requires
a flexible and fluid architecture.
SiteScope 7.6 is available immediately. Pricing for the new version of the
product starts at $2,995. A free evaluation copy can be downloaded at http://www.freshwater.com.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached