It's not hard to find IT articles touting the benefits of SOA and virtualization. However, some technologists question how you track down and manage problems in the abstract IT environment resulting from adopting both SOA and virtualization. Yesterday, Chuck Hollis, EMC's vice president of Technology Alliances, offered one possible solution in his blog: modeling.
As he explains in his post, Hollis has long been intrigued by the potential for modeling to managing IT resources. But so far, IT has chosen point solutions over modeling, which tends to focus on the big picture more than managing the small parts.
It turns out, modeling has quite a bit to offer organizations as they adopt SOA and virtualization.
According to Hollis, modeling focuses on relationships and interactions. Plus, it's multi-dimensional. This means a model can give you a complete view of the IT landscape, from the network server to the data center.
Hollis lists a number of reasons modeling can help manage IT resources, and he speaks specifically about how it works with SOA. But what really piqued my interest is that modeling helps you correlate backwards and forwards. In other words, with modeling, you can trace a problem through the IT system to its root, and likewise, you can see what would happen if you add a component -- say, a new service -- to your IT landscape.
Of course, you don't build a literal model; there's software that does it for you. And, according to Hollis, the best part is you use an "integrate-don't-replace strategy," which means you can use modeling software with your existing tools.
If you're interested in modeling, learn more by attending a Microsoft Webcast, "SOA Workshop for Architects: Tools & Modelling," scheduled for Friday, June 22. The 75-minute event will start at 8 a.m. Pacific time. Microsoft's Erik Gunvaldson and Don Smith will explain how modeling can reduce project expenses and missteps.