The middle child is generally perceived as the overlooked offspring whose parents unintentionally leave to fend off on his own. The IT tools, processes, and applications that companies use to keep their workload up and running efficiently have their own version of the middle child. Appropriately enough, they collectively make up a layer of functionality that has become known as “middleware,” which is a combination of two terms: “middle” and “software.” It handles the functions and tasks that fall between the software apps and the operating system. They are connected to the distributed server, the database, and the solution that powers up the mainframe.
Middleware processes behave like the human middle-managers who do the important but less visible work that cannot be handled by junior staff, but are too lightweight to be escalated to the C-suite. In creating a link between business processes and desktop computing, middleware processes fulfill service-level agreements. Integrella gives a casual but accurate description: “Middleware applications are the bridge that make your computers do what you want them to do with your business systems.”
Many of these middleware processes are still being performed by human employees who manage or use the software, including but not limited to configuration, upgrades, backups, snapshotting, monitoring, and releases. Think of a dozen IT staff in one unit checking on desktop performances, updating anti-virus systems, configuring protocols, testing applications, and troubleshooting problems. That is the situation today. There is no one platform that can oversee every middleware activity happening, track down the progress, address issues when they happen, and then formulate recommendations for future scenarios.
Middleware processes are similarly in a state of creative chaos. Michael Vizard of IT Business Edge describes it this way: “There is so much disparate middleware strewn across the enterprise that it’s become difficult to manage.”
This is where middleware management comes in. Automation through IT Operations Management Solutions (ITOM) can bring order and structure to this chaos. ITOM’s middleware management provides the IT administrator a transparent overview of middleware processes, while coordinating them under one unified platform. There are three reasons automation is becoming more of a requirement than an option for IT managers who want to make their middleware management more efficient and optimal:
Middleware management needs no longer be the awkward, neglected middle child of your IT infrastructure. Automating middleware processes through ITOM can elevate it to become one of its most powerful and efficient solutions.