Monday, August 3, 2009

WebLayers sets sights on cloud governance with updated WebLayers Center 5.0

For all the buzz about cloud computing, there remains a key challenge for companies: regulatory compliance and governance issues.

Left unaddressed, these issues could derail the long-term growth of cloud adoption. That's why more companies are coming to market with ever-evolving solutions that aim to take the pain out of controlling the cloud.

Now, Cambridge, Mass.-based WebLayers just updated its flagship automated governance software, WebLayers Center 5.0, with new features that aim to mitigate the risk and cut the costs of developing in the cloud.

From extended support for Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) to a deeper policy library and from "what if" scenarios to tighter integration with IBM and HP governance software, WebLayers Center 5.0 offers a solution worth exploring for policy enforcement across service-oriented architecture (SOA) and related IT architectures.

Consistent, Measurable, Auditible

John Favazza, vice president of engineering at WebLayers, said governance is transforming from an option to a necessity. It's a necessity because governance can proactively identify and address policy violations in the software development life cycle (SDCL) before they make a negative impact on business operations.

"This necessity is due to the realization that the cost of fixing software code after it’s been deployed can be 50 to 200 times higher than if the issues were addressed as the code was being written by the software developer," Favazza says. "WebLayers Center 5.0 mitigates these risks and reduces unnecessary development costs resulting in greater cost efficiencies.”

WebLayers' approach centralizes policy management and distributes policy enforcement to support automated governance at every point in the infrastructure and across all platforms throughout the SDLC. As WebLayers sees it, distributed governance is a key to breeding a distributed-centric environment and intelligent automation via rules-based logic are a key to reducing errors while meeting business goals. I might call it federated governance, but the point is the same and will be critical to master going forward.

WebLayers 5.0 in Action

WebLayers 5.0's intelligent automated governors work to pinpoint all of the artifacts throughout the infrastructure that are related to a low security score and let the software developer and the SOA architect know specifically where code violates development policies or business rules.

WebLayers Center then picks up where the automated governors leave off, guiding the developer on

"This necessity is due to the realization that the cost of fixing software code after it’s been deployed can be 50 to 200 times higher than if the issues were addressed as the code was being written by the software developer."

the path to address issues no matter where they occur or in what phase they appear in the SDLC. WebLayers Center includes an auto correct feature to correct the violations so developers don't have to review entire applications. It's easy to see how this capability would reduce overall software development errors, lessen learning curves and even accelerate the return on SOA investments.

On the policy distribution front, WebLayers new node director captures a snapshot of each governance point within the enterprise so the manager can distribute recommended policies to any governed system – including each developer's desktop – for knowledge sharing and time savings across the SLDC.

While the debate on the best way to achieve cloud governance continues, the progress toward automated identification and correction and stronger distribution capabilities is a step in the right direction. With a growing list of competitors seeking to solve a real cloud computing challenge, we should see plenty of innovation in this space in the years ahead.

BriefingsDirect contributor Jennifer LeClaire provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached here and here.