IBM DataPower SOA Appliances is a family of purpose-built, easy-to-deploy network devices (xml devices) that simplify, help secure, and accelerate XML and Web Services deployments while extending SOA infrastructure. Originally these devices were created by DataPower Technology Inc., which was acquired by IBM in October 2005.

This family consists of rack-mountable network devices and blade devices.

DataPower Appliances operate a single digitally signed firmware containing an operating system and application stack. DataPower’s firmware runs on a flash storage device. DataPower firmware is a well performing and highly optimized platform to perform electronic messaging functions. As a result, users cannot run 3rd party applications on DataPower as they would a traditional server and operating system. Instead of a traditional file system, DataPower runs with a collection of isolated virtual file systems called ‘Application Domains’. As a result, DataPower can appear to its client connections to be any type of network file system with any type of folders and links.

Overview of IBM DataPower Appliances

Service gateway appliance (XG45) – While SOA and XML Web Services offer the opportunity to simplify IT management and increase business value, securing and exposing services remains a barrier to adoption. The DataPower Service Gateway XG45 is a network appliance built for web services deployments, governance, light integrations and hardened security in a single ‘drop-in’ box.

Integration appliances (XI52, XI50B, and XI50Z)- DataPower Integration Blade XI50B, and DataPower Integration XI50z for zEnterprise are IBM’s hardware ESB, delivering common message transformation, integration, and routing functions in a network device, cutting operational costs and improving performance in a blade form-factor. DataPower Integration Blade XI50B and XI50z provides all the same functions as the DataPower Integration Appliance XI52 but available in a blade form-factor.

DataPower Integration Blade XI50B and XI50z not only offer a number of capabilities and benefits to strengthen business connectivity with partners and customers, but also between internal organizations.

B2B appliance (XB62)- The DataPower B2B Appliance XB62 is IBM’s unique B2B appliance, delivering secure trading partner data integration tracking, routing and security functions in a network device, cutting operational costs and improving performance. The XB62 is a non-disruptive technology that allows organizations to extend their existing B2B implementations and internal integration infrastructure, thus delivering rapid return on investment and reduced total cost of ownership.

Edge appliance (XE82) – The DataPower Edge Appliance XE82 provides an integrated, edge-of-network traffic gateway that can consolidate traffic and monitor, manage and accelerate web application delivery. The DataPower Edge acts as a web application gateway. The XE82 is a reverse proxy for web applications that creates a single point of configuration and maintenance. The device acts as an SSL terminator, using its fast on-board cryptographic hardware to accelerate the initial PKI handshakes and caching SSL session keys to minimize handshake repetition.

The XE82 uses DataPower Application Optimization technology. Application Optimization allows the device to perform self-load balancing, with multiple XE82 appliances sharing the IP address. This function eliminates the need for a load balancer and reduces one hop in access to the server.