IBM offers 'SOA Healthcheck' workshops

By Paul Krill, InfoWorld |  SOA

IBM's global services organization is adding "health check" services
to its repertoire of technical services for SOA deployments, looking to assist
users dealing with issues resulting from poor planning or partnerships with
inexperienced or so-called proprietary IT vendors.

The company also is offering its "identity-aware ESB," which is an
enterprise service bus that combines existing IBM products to provide identity
management capabilities.

Health-check services and software will be offered in two workshops to be held
at customer sites, featuring specialized diagnostics and triage capabilities
to help identify potentially unhealthy areas and recommend cures for problem

"We try to bring a real breadth of capability from the best practices
that we've learned into these workshops," said Marie Wieck, vice president
of middleware services at IBM.

With some clients, IBM has had to perform somewhat of a rescue mission after
clients have done an initial application and then had problems with scalability
or performance, Wieck said.

Workshops, which are priced in the US$50,000 range or less, include IBM SOA
Applications and Services and Healthcheck Workshop and Infrastructure Healthcheck
Workshop for SOA. Both are 2.5-day engagements intended for midmarket and large

The applications and services workshop is intended to provide assurance that
an SOA can expand beyond pilot projects. Factors such as application reuse and
service use will be assessed, as will identification of rogue services as part
of a governance policy. Security also will be checked for service controls and
identity management.

The infrastructure workshop features an assessment of infrastructure supporting
applications and services layers in an SOA. Elements examined include infrastructure
flexibility, the ability to adapt to spikes in demand, and verifying SOA configurations
for connectivity. A service management review ensures that services are being

IBM's identity-aware ESB combines WebSphere ESB products with Tivoli security
and identity management software to help ensure that access to information,
services, and applications is protected. Auditing of identity and access activity
is enabled.

"Identity management is very critical so that you can ensure that only
the right people get access to these services," Wieck said.

An analyst briefed on IBM's efforts lauded both the SOA and ESB programs.

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