Watchdogs keep short leash on Web services performance issues

Staff reports

Actional Corp., Mountain View, Calif., announced today an addition to its Actional Looking Glass Server called Web services watchdogs that monitor the end-to-end availability and performance of a Web service.

The watchdogs alert enterprises using Web services to potential service failures by automatically checking its availability and performance.

As more enterprises implement Web services,

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management is becoming a higher-profile issue for IT directors, said Jasmine Noel, principal analyst, Ptak, Noel & Associates, in a statement.

"Web services applications are coming of age and are proliferating throughout the organization as a result. While the highly distributed, interconnected nature of service-oriented environments enhances business agility, the amount of unforeseen availability and performance glitches will increase," said Noel. "Monitoring end-user availability and performance of a service-oriented environment is absolutely critical for the enterprise to truly capitalize on its new agility. Actional is taking Web services management to a new level with their new watchdog tools that proactively monitor Web services from a customer perspective."

The watchdog feature interoperates with Actional's policy and service stabilizer and creates transactions that ping each service, determining its availability, even if a service is not in use at the time. They can also measure service performance from a user's point of view against service level agreements to ensure acceptable response times.

Should services become unavailable, or a performance issue arises, administrators are alerted. The feature can also be tied to policy crafted within the Looking Glass Server. Should a service degrade here, pre-defined workarounds are automatically employed until the problem is solved.

The watchdog feature is included in Actional Looking Glass and is available for .NET. A J2EE version is due in the second quarter.

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