Web services and messaging — better together

In the late 70s, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups struck advertising gold with a memorable campaign in which people accidentally blended chocolate and peanut butter only to discover that they were “two great tastes that taste great together!”

Blogging about web services and cloud computing may not be as much fun as writing a commercial for a tasty treat, but today’s announcement that Solace has partnered with Layer7 Technologies reminded me of that same idea: two things that are independently useful, and even better together.

When companies extend to the web using either web services or cloud computing there is generally a division between the management of security and policies for these outward-facing services and the interactions with in-house application components that comprise the service. It’s not a new problem, but many firms are still struggling with the implementation of large projects, and throwing racks of servers and armies of people at the problem to achieve necessary performance, reliability and scalability.

Appliances have taken off in the last few years because they make some pretty complex problems do-it-yourself friendly. Layer 7 has built a successful business providing turnkey solutions for web services, SOA, and cloud security, while Solace has made enterprise service buses rack-and-run simple with unrivaled performance and scalability. Before today, each company had a compelling appliance solution for one side of the equation.

Now Solace and Layer 7 have connected the peanut butter with the chocolate, so to speak, to provide an easy-to-use and truly end-to-end platform for enabling communications between internal and external systems and users. Two great tastes that taste great together!

This architecture is applicable to many applications and industries, for example:

  • Government — Secure, inter-agency communications are a top priority for the U.S. government and many others around the world. National security and emergency response both rely on connecting the dots between information sources in real time so people can identify and respond to risks and emergencies as they take shape.
  • Retail banking — Automating consumer services with a secure, high-performance and reliable web experience is essential for modern retail banking.
  • Telecommunications — Mobile services and highly personalized provisioning and billing are the future for telecommunications providers worldwide.

Each of these industries faces the same fundamental challenge of securely delivering real-time information and interactive services to their (often huge) audience. We may not have groovy headphones or cowboy hats, but just like in the videos, the feedback from our customers suggests we’re onto something with this combination.