Chapter 1. Transaction management imperatives 11
b. Create additional competency groups within IT operation, with the ability to
receive and analyze application-related problems in cooperation with the
development groups.
c. Improve the communication and cooperation between competency silos
within IT operations, since many problems are going to involve multiple
hardware and software platforms.
d. Establish or improve the cooperation between QA and operations to make
sure that the testing phase is a true preparation of the deployment phase,
and that many integration and performance problems are tackled
beforehand.
1.3 e-business applications: complex layers of services
A modern e-business solution is much more complex than the standard terminal
processing-oriented systems of the 1970s and 1980s, as illustrated in Figure 1-2
on page 12. However, despite major revisions, especially during the turn of the
last century, legacy systems are still the bread-and-butter of many enterprises,
and the e-business solutions in these environments are designed to front-end
these mainframe-oriented application complexes.
12 End-to-End e-business Transaction Management Made Easy
Figure 1-2 Growing infrastructure complexity
The complex infrastructure needed to facilitate e-business solutions has been
dictated mostly by requirements for standardization of client run-time
environments in order to allow any standard browser to access the e-business
sites. In addition, application run-time technologies play a major role, as they
must ensure platform independence and seamless integration to the legacy
back-end systems, either directly to the mainframe or through the server part of
the old client-server solution. Furthermore, making the applications accessible
from anywhere in the world by any person on the planet raises some security
issues (authentication, authorization, and integrity) that did not need addressing
in the old client-server systems, as all clients were well-known entities in the
internal company network.
Because of the central role that the Web and application servers play within a
business and the fact that they are supported and typically deployed across a
e-business
e-business
with Legacy Systems
Client-Server
GUI Front-End
Terminal
Processing
Internet
Enterprise Network
Central Site
Browser
Browser
Browser
Browser
Web
Server
Web
Server
Appl.
Server
Appl.
Server
Personal
Computer
"Dumb" Terminal
Personal Computer
Business Systems
Databases
Business Systems
Applications
Business Systems
Front End
Server
Chapter 1. Transaction management imperatives 13
variety of platforms throughout the enterprise, there are several major challenges
to managing the e-business infrastructure, including:
򐂰 Managing Web and application servers on multiple platforms in a consistent
manner from a central console
򐂰 Defining the e-business infrastructure from one central console
򐂰 Monitoring Web resources (sites and applications) to know when problems
have occurred or are about to occur
򐂰 Taking corrective actions when a problem is detected in a platform
independent way
򐂰 Gathering data across all e-business environments to analyze events,
messages, and metrics
The degree of complexity of e-business infrastructure system management is
directly proportional to the size of the infrastructure being managed. In its
simplest form, an e-business infrastructure is comprised of a single Web server
and its resources, but it can grow to hundreds or even thousands of Web and
application servers throughout the enterprise.
To add to the complexity, the e-business infrastructure may span many platforms
with different network protocols, hardware, operating systems, and applications.
Each platform possesses its unique and specific systems management needs
and requirements, not to mention a varying level of support for the administrative
tools and interfaces.
Every component in the e-business infrastructure is a potential show-stopper,
bottleneck or even single point of failure. Each and every one provides
specialized services needed to facilitate the e-business application system. The
term
application systems is used deliberately to enforce the point that no single
component by itself provides a total solution: the application is pieced together by
a combination of standard off-the-shelf components and home-grown
components. The standard components provide general services, such as
session control, authentication and access control, messaging, and database
access, and the home-grown components add the application logic needed to
glue all the different bits and pieces together to perform the specific functions for
that application system. On an enterprise level, chances are that many of the
home-grown components may be promoted to standard status to ensure specific
company standards or policies.
At first glance, breaking up the e-business application into many specialized
services may be regarded as counterproductive and very expensive to
implement. However, specialization enables sharing of common components
(such as Web, application, security, and database servers) between more
e-business application systems, and it is key to ensuring availability and

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