Web services meet chaos theory
Network and data center managers viewing the
proliferation of Web services as chaotic will find that Chris Edden, who is
helping to develop a new generation of management tools, is in full agreement
''I think I could argue that the advent and explosion of
Web services is going to create an environment where you've got to really start
looking at all sorts of chaotic models to begin to manage applications,'' said
Edden, co-founder of Silas Technologies Inc.,
He said the previous generation of management tools
operated from an engineering model that will not work with Web services.
''As you have this proliferation of these assets called
Web services, I think you -- at some point -- exceed the bounds of what we've
historically used as a discrete methodology for managing and observing these
technologies,'' Edden said.
He described existing tools as ''still fundamentally
using a very engineering approach, a very binary discrete approach. But the
operation of an application or technology service will be so complex that the ability to discretely observe all the assets and
their behaviors begins to exceed a
reasonable effort to do so.''
To support his chaos theory of Web services management,
he points to a Forrester Research paper, ''Managing Organic IT Infrastructure,''
published in December 2002. In it, Laura Koetzle predicted: ''Without new management
tools, the data center will descend into chaos.''
The Forrester paper notes that large vendors such as
Hewlett-Packard and smaller ones such as Edden's company are developing new
tools to bring order out of the chaos.
Going beyond what Edden describes as the discrete
engineering approach of notifying a network manager that an individual server is
overloaded or failing, the organic tools will be smart enough to understand
problems, according to the Forester research report.
Organic tools scheduled to be available in 2004 will be
able to make suggestions to a data warehouse administrator, such as ''Move
servers in the file/print pool to support overloading database server,'' the
Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.