As the use of Web services grows, so too will the number of XML messages traversing your network. That undoubtedly will mean performance drags because of the heavy processing requirements of XML. But several start-ups are attacking the problem.Those include Sarvega, DataPower and Conformative Systems, and analysts say there are even more still working in stealth mode.\u00a0My colleague John Fontana wrote an interesting article last month that talked about the proliferation of vendors focused squarely on the XML-delivery challenge:https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/news\/2003\/0623xml.htmlWhat the start-ups have in common is that they are all developing hardware to accelerate XML processing. Analysts say addressing the XML factor in software won't be enough as the usage of XML increases, and hardware devices will have to handle the bulky processing. According to ZapThink, XML is expected to account for about 25% of network traffic in 2006; it accounts for less than 2% today.The HTRC Group also recently studied the impact of XML on networks in a paper titled "XML Networking: Moving Up the Stack." It says that nearly 90% of survey respondents indicated they use XML with database-driven applications; that's up from just over 60% who said they did a year ago.The HTRC Group refers to the hardware that will handle XML processing and Web services security issues as application data routers (ADR). It says ADRs will become a key part of network infrastructure as Web services\u00a0 proliferate."While XML and Web Services provide the standards and protocols necessary to more easily exchange data, ADRs will ensure that the flow of data between systems is handled in a reliable, secure, timely and scalable fashion," the report says.As you put together Web services plans, you should keep an eye on what's being introduced in hardware to help speed those Web services along.