What Can Web Services Bring to Integrated Management? [chapter]

Aiko Pras, Jean-Philippe Martin-Flatin
<span title="">2008</span> <i title="Elsevier"> Handbook of Network and System Administration </i> &nbsp;
Since the turn of the millennium, Web services have pervaded the middleware industry, despite their technical limitations, their ongoing standardization, the resulting lack of stable standards, the different meanings of the term service to different people, and the fact that marketing forces have blurred the technical reality that hides behind this term. What is so special about Web services and their underlying Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)? As a major technology on the software market,
more &raquo; ... eb services deserve to be investigated from an integrated management perspective. What does this middleware technology bring to management applications? Is it yet another way of doing exactly the same thing? Or does it enable management software architects to open up uncharted territories for building a new generation of management solutions? Can it help us manage networks, systems and services with unprecedented flexibility, robustness and/or scalability? In this chapter, we first present the technical motivation for shifting toward Web services. In Sections 2, 3 and 4, we describe different facets of this middleware technology: its architecture, its protocols, and the main standards that make up the so-called Web services stack. In Sections 5 and 6, we show that Web services can be used in integrated management in an evolutionary manner. The example studied here is network monitoring. We propose a fine-grained Web service mapping of SNMP operations and managed objects, and show that the same management tasks can be performed with this new middleware to implement network monitoring. In Section 6, we go back to the rationale behind SOA and compare it with fine-grained Web services. This leads us to propose another perspective, more revolutionary, where services are coarse-grained, wrapping up autonomous programs rather than getting and setting managed objects. We analyze the challenges posed by these coarsegrained Web services to management applications, and the changes that they require in today's management habits. Finally, we give examples showing how management platforms could gradually migrate toward SOA in the future.
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