What does a business do when they need 2 incompatible systems, such as a purchase order system from vendor X & an invoicing system from vendor Y, to communicate and share information?

 

One popular option is to implement a business process management (aka, information broker) system like BizTalk from Microsoft. In a very simplistic description, it is designed to take information from one system, manipulate it as necessary, and send it to the requesting system (and vice versa). It's a popular method for enabling data from legacy mainframes to be presented on more modern web based platforms such as SharePoint.

 

We are currently engaged with the Microsoft BizTalk team in Redmond to develop guidance on "load balancing Biztalk", and should hopefully have some collateral in the form of deployment guides soon. But in the meantime, I wanted to post a link to a great whitepaper our friends at HP released on scaling BizTalk. You'll notice that HP used a BIG-IP as the load balancer to do their performance testing for this paper

 

http://h20219.www2.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA0-9561ENW.pdf

 

If you get a chance, give the pdf a read. It is a good primer on how BIG-IP can load balance receiver adaptors. We're also working on guidance for XML message security & more that should make for a very compelling solution. Check back soon for more!