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An Introduction to SOA and Virtualization

The second type of virtualization is virtual service end points

I’ve been asked a number of times recently by industry peers and technology journalists about “virtualization” as it relates to SOA.

Well, there are in fact at least 3 distinct ways that you can use virtualization concepts in SOA, so I think that it would be good for me to give you a definition of those three, and then in the next few days I will blog on each one of them independently.

Rich Seeley recently interviewed me for a SearchWebServices.com article on the first and most often mentioned type of virtualization I’ll introduce -- which is hardware virtualization. This is not a SOA specific thing.  This is when you’re running many copies of the operating system within one physical hardware device so that you can get independence of those several virtual machines from each other -- from a configuration, app server and operating system point of view, but leveraging one piece of hardware to do that. I’m going to talk about why you do that in a future blog.

The second type of virtualization is virtual service end points. In a sense what you’re doing is creating a virtual location for your consumers to access in order to invoke the service when in fact you’re completely shielded from the actual end point of the service itself. So there is more disconnection between the consumer and the producer in that kind of virtual service end point. Again, I’ll tell you why you’d do something like that and what the pros and cons are on a future blog.

The third type is virtual services themselves: services that don’t actually exist -- you construct them without actually implementing them in a development tool.   Again, this type is separate from the other two types I’ve just introduced and has its own reason(s) to exist.  This is a powerful concept for managing the design and change cycles of SOA that I'll discuss soon.

So I hope you can get from this at least a basic idea of the three different kinds of virtualization you might be interested in with regards to SOA. Over the next couple of days we’ll take a look at what these are in a little more detail.

More Stories By Jason English

Jason joined iTKO in 2004, bringing more than 15 years of experience in executing marketing plans, re-engineering business processes and meeting customer requirements for companies such as IBM, EDS, Delphi, TaylorMade, Sun, Motorola and Sprint. As Director of eMarketing and Executive Producer, in2action Consulting at i2 Technologies, he was responsible for i2's outbound messaging during a period of extreme growth, as well as marketing services and working directly with clients to build easy-to-learn front ends to B2B systems. Prior to that, he managed customer experience as an Information Architect at Agency.com. Jason scored and designed several internationally released computer games in addition to conventional print advertising and television commercials.

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