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XML routers turbocharge Web services

Although development around XML and Web services continues to be primarily a software story, hardware, specifically the XML router, has a key role to play, according to Girish Juneja, co-founder of Sarvega Inc., Chicago.

Sarvega, which has previously released hardware products for XML wire-speed optimization and security, this week announced its XML Context Router for facilitating Web services transactions in a SOA environment.

Juneja said his company's new router can "route XML content at wire speed based on deep content inspection, supporting publish-subscribe models while simultaneously providing secure and reliable delivery guarantees." Rather than requiring a point-to-point connection, this router is designed for loosely coupled, multipoint Web services operating in WANs, he said.

The new router also is said to deliver "Gigabit performance for XPath-based routing" through the use of XML routing tables that support both XPath 1.0 and XPath 2.0, according to the product announcement from Sarvega.

"This is not just simple XML-based content forwarding, which a lot of products do, where you look at an X-Path expression and you can forward an XML [document] to some sort of static end point," Juneja told XDT. "This is about creating a Level 7 network that rides on top of an underlying Layer 3 network and, in a very complementary fashion, offers secure, reliable wire-speed publish-subscribe delivery, separating the invocation of Web services from fulfillment; as a result, [this] addresses the problems of finance, industry and government."

Telcos are also seeking this kind of routing capability so that they can build XML WANs for customers looking to create SOA-based Web services transaction environments.

James Kobielus, senior analyst at Burton Group, offered support for the XML router approach. In a statement included in Sarvega's product announcement, he wrote: "As Web Services traffic grows, XML routers, as a new category of intermediary devices, will become essential components in most enterprise and carrier networks. XML routers complement lower-layer traffic-management devices such as IP routers and network load balancers. The principal value-added from XML routers is their ability to reliably and securely route XML traffic over the wide area and perform policy-driven, fine-grained inspection, filtering, and transformation of SOAP message headers and contents."

Earlier this month DataPower, which also makes XML hardware products, announced the availability of firmware release 3.0 for its DataPower XS40 XML Security Gateway and DataPower XA35 XML Accelerator. The new releases are more "mature," incorporating enhancements requested by customers, said Bill Tao, vice president of engineering at Cambridge, Mass.-based DataPower. He noted that the firmware releases are now "easier to configure and manage."

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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