A Practitioner's Approach to Successfully Implementing Service Virtualization - Page 5
Deploy and Manage Phase
Virtual images created in the previous phase are now configured and deployed in virtual service containers by the virtualization teams.
Most virtual images require minor corrections as they are used in their target environments. The architects may change the intent of certain parameters or minor service behaviors. Well-designed virtualization tools allow this by incorporating the changes to the configuration or data without requiring the recreation of the images from scratch. Data in a virtual database often needs to be tweaked to meet the rigors of federated relationships. Without this, fine tuning the process models will not work as expected. Given the iterative nature of the SOA lifecycle, virtualization teams also expect to see changes in the virtual images as new behaviors are added with every iteration. Contract versioning can be handled by copying the old image and making changes. Therefore evaluating the reusability factor of a well-designed virtualization tool is indispensible for such scenarios.
In many cases, developers could benefit from virtual services by supporting the development activities right from the start. Then the “deploy and manage” phase may begin as early as the beginning of the implementation phase in the larger SOA lifecycle. Project managers should also expect to expend large efforts in managing image data for performance testing scenarios if there is no robust automation in place (same is the case while preparing data for systems in performance testing environments).
The usage data collected from virtualization tools can provide ROI information. Usage data collated against environment build guides can help managers evaluate the dollar savings and quantify the benefits accrued by service virtualization.
Disciplined and rigorous adherence to a well-defined virtualization lifecycle can alleviate many problems faced by implementation teams when they adopt Service Virtualization. As mentioned in the beginning, a solid adoption methodology/approach to Service Virtualization must be complemented with the right selection of the Service Virtualization tools/products and the implementation expertise of the product. This is the only way organizations can maximize benefits from their Service Virtualization implementations. Further, the use of mature SOA testing processes and good SOA testing tools help increase the effectiveness of the overall Service Virtualization implementations.