Layer 7 Technologies', CEO, Paul Rochester, and VP of Engineering/Chief Architect, K. Scott Morrison, stopped by telephonically to introduce their company, its philosophy and bring me up to date on their product portfolio. The company offers server appliances and virtual appliances that take on the tasks of firewall, compliance enforcer, and service oriented architecture management.
The main message is that security, compliance and several other important functions can be achieved by controlling the messages sent into and coming out of virtual and physical environment rather than being forced to install agents on each and every system in the network. Let's look into what the company has to say about itself.
Here's what Layer 7 has to say about its technology
Layer 7 Technologies is the market leader for XML security, SOA Governance and Web services. We offer enterprises, service providers and federal customers a powerful set of XML appliances and software to secure, simplify and scale their applications.
Web services are applications that can expose their functionality to other applications over the Internet using standards based XML data formats like SOAP, REST, AJAX, and RSS. Modern service oriented application integration models and Web oriented application delivery models depend on effectively addressing the performance, security, complexity, reliability and availability issues inherent in sharing Web services with other applications.
Layer 7 Technologies therefore aims to provide the essential application oriented security and networking infrastructure to enable Service-oriented and Web-oriented architectures (i.e. SOA and Web 2.0) that are central to the next wave of Internet and software innovation.
Founded in 2003, Layer 7 operates in the US, Canada and Europe. Our customers include leading insurance, banking, telecom and government organizations. The company is venture backed by leading Canadian and US investors.
Layer 7 helps organizations manage and secure their IT assets by letting them control, monitor and adapt their Web services no matter where they originate – in the enterprise or in the cloud – using a turnkey appliance that features sophisticated runtime governance, agent-less Web services management and industry-leading XML security.
Although I was impressed with Layer 7's approach, I've heard the same music before from many players in the security for virtualized resources market. Folks such as Catbird, OPnet and ManageSoft come immediately to mind. I imagine if I spent a bit more time thinking about it, I could come up with at least five other players who've taken a somewhat similar approach.
The key difference Layer 7 would assert is that they're making their technology available either as an appliance server or a virtual appliance server. The simplicity of installation and management, they would say, of this approach makes their technology more accessible and, possibly, far more reliable. After all, they would say, it is hard to execute an improper installation when everything comes preconfigured and ready to go. This, I would have to point out, is also true of other competitors.
I hope to speak with them again soon to learn more about their technology. I'm scheduling time at the 451 Group's ICE conference next month to have a face-to-face conversation with them. I also hope to speak with some of their customers to learn about their experiences. I'll get back with you with the results of both projects.
If you are a security maven for your organization, it might be worth taking the time to visit their website and learn more about what they're doing.