Experimental Research and Future Approach on Evaluating Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Challenges in a Hard Real-Time Combat System Environment



As the integration and interoperability demands among heterogeneous systems increase, Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) have provided a potential technical solution to integrate these complex systems within an enterprise framework. This paper presents experimental results and future approaches to assess the employment of an SOA within a hard real-time (stringent time constraints), deterministic (maximum predictability) combat system (CS). For these systems with hard real-time requirements, web services have generally not demonstrated the necessary and sufficient characteristics to satisfy these stringent needs. Specifically, this paper provides a characterization of hard real-time, deterministic systems; results from a recent small-scale experiment to assess various SOA products in this demanding architecture; and the future direction to research real-time applications in a representative operational environment. Experimental results to date indicate that emerging real-time technologies are contributing to improved performance and better predictability within the internal processing latencies of web service applications. This preliminary research focuses on a simplistic computing architecture, but it provides a good baseline for more detailed experimentation using the actual systems. If successful, this research could lead down a path to increase synergy and consolidate computing infrastructures by supporting multiple user domains with the potential of reducing cost for both acquisition and lifecycle support.