Today's focus: SilverBack's service creation

By Dennis Drogseth

SilverBack Technologies has a capability for modular service
creation that bodes well for customer choice, facilitating
virtually on-demand selection of management services.

What's required to do this is largely the following:

* An integrated data store.

* A flexible partitioning capability to allow for discrete,
policy-centric aggregates of information, so that "customer x"
can be mapped to "services x, y, and z" with its own discrete
policies and priorities. In SilverBack's case, it allows for
mapping management domains (fault, performance, security and
asset management) to fit changing customer requirements and

* A user interface designed to securely and accurately generate
multiple views for specific user roles in real-time. One example
for SilverBack might be compliance-specific views - for example,
for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act, or Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

* Reporting focused on business priorities with a close tie-in
to the networked infrastructure.

* Policy enforcement of management actions executed either
automatically or with user approval.

In SilverBack's case, this functionality is combined with easily
deployed and versatile outreach - through either VPN or HTTPS
connections - and an approach to management that has always been
secure and reliable.

If you combine all these ingredients, taking the specific of
SilverBack out of the picture for a moment, you get insights on
some next-generation management requirements that we analysts -
along, one would hope, with many vendors - are trying to define,
promote and evolve.

In this case, it's a paradigm of service creation that includes
service deployment as an automated subset. A new management
service is so easily provisioned and defined that the timeframes
can be responsive to new requirements as they emerge, in
something that approximates real-time.

The implications of this in any market - from small and midsize
business (SMB), to enterprise, to carrier - are significant.
Management services have traditionally not been on the fast
track when it comes to deployment and outreach. Most automation,
when it's there at all, has focused on post-deployment
scenarios, and to a large degree this is a natural outgrowth of
the need to think through management services and management
processes, and treat them with care and forethought.

However, SilverBack's approach, abstractly at least, holds high
value for all markets, as core management services, once
defined, will need to be provisioned and deployed across a
flexible tapestry of networked enterprises, partners and service

The fact that SilverBack is delivering on this today for SMBs is
not in the end a surprise. On the one hand, SMBs require
relatively simple management design points that can be more
easily "commoditized" into a modular menu of choice. On the
other hand, Enterprise Management Associates has long predicted
that some of the more exciting changes in the future of
management will come from the need to address downward
scalability - as well as the upwards scalability which has been
such a strong part of the industry to date. Thanks to
SilverBack, this is at least one EMA prediction that seems to be
on track.

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2004

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Last Modified: March 9, 2008