IT Security in the SOA Era: Facilitating the Migration of Legacy Mainframe Systems Into an SOA Environment
Managing the IT infrastructure is already a tough challenge for today’s enterprise IT managers. Overseeing multi-faceted networks with many operating systems, applications, and communications protocols can be extremely complex and time-consuming for even the sharpest IT practitioner.
Now there’s an additional wrinkle as many organizations are increasingly migrating toward a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) environment. SOA offers several benefits, including helping organizations respond faster to changing market conditions, and reducing costs and risks, which is attractive for companies seeking to make critical information more accessible to internal or external users.
However, SOA isn’t without its share of challenges. For example, some newly implemented SOA systems aren’t flexible enough to meet growing business demands or may fail to produce a synchronized architecture, which is required to sustain various application connections and support organizational data sharing. Migrating legacy mainframe systems into an SOA environment also can be problematic; these systems were designed well before SOA arrived and require IT managers to deal with unprecedented integration issues in real-time.
Given that these mainframes serve as the repository for core business and customer information in many organizations and are now being required to interface with entirely new systems and platforms, securing mainframe data in an SOA environment is vital.
As new SOA-based environments emerge, IT managers will be tasked with effectively administering the transition to SOA for mainframe systems. Moreover, they’ll need to ensure that sensitive business data is secured across all SOA-enabled systems, platforms, and technologies that will ultimately access legacy mainframe data.
Transitioning the Mainframe
A recent study from BMC Software underscores the mainframe’s role in today’s new SOA environments. A significant number of the 1,000 mainframe users surveyed:
• Listed the mainframe as “critical” to their emerging SOA initiatives as a data hub and transaction server
• Noted that large-scale mainframe users continue to see a strong demand for new capacity
• Anticipated increased spending for current and future projects.