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The power of SOA is in its ability to break down processes into smaller reusable chunks or services. Services can then be deployed on servers anywhere, either internal to the enterprise or from external service providers.
SOA is starting to team up with another hot technology: virtualization. With virtualization, hardware can be more efficiently used by provisioning hardware resources using a ‘right-size’ algorithm. Encapsulated via virtualization, running in an isolated virtualized environment, SOA services can be easily moved around and hardware re-sized according to usage.
InformationWeek predicts that SOA for software and Virtualization for hardware will drive VM vendors to integrate with and develop sophisticated application management and SOA governance tools into the VM toolkit.
BEA (soon to be acquired by Oracle) has innovated the SOA+Virtualization concept with its sell WebLogic Server Virtual Edition (WLS-VE). WLS-VE can run directly on top of VMware, so there is no need to even have an underlying OS. Doing this can boost performance by 50% and saves on system resources.
In the coming months, look for Virtualization vendors to be offering features that target support for SOA and service provisioning and deployment.