Application service architecture
Application service architecture (ASA) is an emerging discipline within IT that involves a top down approach to monitoring, controlling, securing, and optimizing applications in transit. This Application layer approach allows companies to manage the application service independently of the infrastructure to promote flexibility in the deployment, use, and provisioning of their application infrastructure. It also allows companies to better align IT with the business by bridging the gap between infrastructure and applications.
A properly designed ASA solution will enable companies to more effectively manage and secure applications across any kind of network medium. As such, ASA can be broken down into specific categories that represent the primary disciplines associated with managing applications as they transit network resources. Those disciplines include:
- Monitoring: Real-time information, as well as detailed reporting are the keys to supporting the other three principals, and ensure end-to-end visibility on the different components of the application service (application and network performance, backend infrastructure health, application security, trending, capacity planning, etc.)
- Controlling: Understanding the different aspects of a service, through monitoring, helps define specific behaviors in the interactions between the customers and the service provider. These behaviors can be mapped to specific use requirements, and further enforced.
- Securing: Protect against application layer attacks such as; malware, botnet, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc. In conjunction with traditional network layer security solutions; application aware security is quickly becoming an important part of a comprehensive defense-in-depth strategy.
- Optimizing: In this new paradigm, the underlying networks used to deliver the business applications can change from one end to the other. Network optimization is there to maintain end-to-end consistency, and allow optimal performances when delivering the service to the customer.
This approach to managing applications provides a comprehensive strategy for delivering any application to any user. This focus is especially important for initiatives like virtualization, cloud computing, software or infrastructure as a service, and any external applications, like Web 2.0, that are used by the business.
This framework is focused on the application delivery process not the application server environment, which becomes an important distinction when contrasted against application performance management solutions.
Disciplines incorporated in ASA: