Important Step For SOA

Important Step For SOA

Most are aware that one of the “hot” best practices in Enterprise IT is Service Oriented Architectures (SOA).  Many large IT shops, as well and ISVs are working to push the state of the art forward with tools, techniques, processes, and management tools (as an example, check out IBM’s excellent SOA site (

I’ve recently read about an interesting approach to SOA deployment by BEA.  BEA has in a sense extended its WebLogic application server to create a new product called WebLogic Server Virtual Edition (WLS-VE).  The product is intended for virtualized servers that are part of a SOA deployment stack – it runs directly on top of VMware and requires no OS, neither Linux or Windows is required.  Your application run time environment becomes:  hardware – a Hypervisor (VMware) – LiquidVM – WLS-VE – Application.  Gone is the OS and the Java VM.  Note LiquidVM is a modified JRockit Java virtual machine that runs directly on a hypervisor.

This makes sense to me.  As VMs have become more robust, and virtualization has become more mainstream and practical, the need for a full featured OS, even a slimmed down OS like many Unix variants, becomes questionable.  BEA’s own estimates claim 25% – 50% less systems resources are required to serve SOA applications in this configuration.

BEA’s WLS-VE is still a first generation product and I am not familiar with any of our Clients who are currently running it in an evaluation mode or in production.  But I’d be interested in hearing other’s comments on this approach, or any direct experience you have with the software.

Mike Brannan