Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

Agile Computing: Book Excerpt

Make the Most of Cloud Computing with SOA

Why SOA Needs Cloud Computing – Part 2

SOA in the Cloud on Ulitzer

While there are many attempts to fix the badly broken IT architectures within our enterprises, most ‘solutions' just put another technology layer on top of the existing technologies in hopes that the technology will somehow fix the issues. As you may have guessed, it just makes things more complex. Few enterprises were willing to take the risk and address the core issues.

Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, is really about fixing existing architectures by addressing most of the major systems as services, and abstracting those services into a single domain where they are formed into solutions (see below). Simple in concept - and really nothing new - SOA is our best approach to fixing the broken architectures. With the wide use of standards such as Web services SOA is being promoted as the best way to bring architectural agility to your enterprise, that is, if you do SOA correctly. There is no magic bullet here.

SOA is a valid approach to solving many of the architectural problems that enterprises face today. However, those who implement SOA typically look at SOA as something you buy, not something you do. Thus many SOA projects are again about purchasing some technology that is sold as ‘SOA-in-a-box,' which turns out to be in-a-box, but not SOA, and thus only adds to the problems.

SOA, as the "A" implies, is architecture. Thus it is the orderly arrangement of systems that best serve service needs of the business. Taken in its literal context, enterprise IT can succeed with SOA. However, most do not succeed and much of that failure is due to the fact that the SOA implementers view SOA as something other than architecture, and most often those implementers are not architects.

SOA is a valid architectural pattern and you need to look at SOA as a journey - not a project - and clearly not a product. At the same time you need to break SOA down into small, incremental successes, which also move the enterprise toward the core value proposition of SOA, which become even more powerful when leveraged with emerging concepts such as cloud computing.

We can call this ‘small SOA' and ‘big SOA.' Big SOA encompasses the larger strategic objectives of SOA, moving the enterprise IT assets to something much more agile and easy to change, and doing so all at the same time. An example would be the breaking down of all relevant enterprise systems to a functional primitive, and building them up again as services, as well as adding a process configuration layer to form solutions. Considering that this typically means hundreds and sometimes thousands of systems, this could take many years.

Small SOA is just an instance of a big SOA. Small SOA is still a SOA, but has well-defined objectives, a time box, and a core return on investment that must be met. The lesson here is to leverage small SOA to get to big SOA. For instance, you could build a partner portal using SOA approaches that you can stand up in six months, with an ROI of only three months. A clear benefit and a small and doable project that occurs within a year's time.

While small SOA seems to be working, big SOA has largely been abandoned as something that's just too complex and too expensive to pursue. The reality is that you need both, but you need to know how to leverage both. Hold on to that thought for now.

Cloud computing is any IT resource, including storage, database, application development, and application services, that exists outside of the firewall that may be leveraged by enterprise IT over the Internet. The core idea behind cloud computing is that it's much cheaper to leverage these resources as-a-service, paying as you go and as you need them, rather than buying more hardware and software for the data center. There are other advantages as well.

Thus, cloud computing allows you to expand and contract your costs in direct proportion to your needs. Moreover, it shifts some of the risk around expanding your IT resources from the enterprise to the cloud computing provider.

The relationship between cloud computing and SOA is that cloud computing provides IT resources you can leverage on demand, including resources that host data, services, and processes. Thus you have the ability to extend your SOA outside of the enterprise firewall to cloud computing providers, seeking the benefits we already described.

Why SOA Is Important to Cloud Computing
First, it's a good approach to architecture that deals with the proper formation of the information systems using mechanisms that make them work and play well together, inside and outside of the enterprise.

Second, in order to take advantage of cloud computing, you need to have interfaces and architectures that can reach out and touch cloud computing resources. While many believe they can simply create quick and dirty links between core enterprise information systems and cloud computing resources, the fact of the matter is that you really need an architecture inside of the enterprise, such as SOA, to make the most of cloud computing.

Finally, you need some sort of architectural discipline with guiding principles to document and organize your architecture. Most have ignored this over the past several years to focus on ad-hoc hype-drive stuff. We need to get back to leveraging the best solution for the problem, and SOA is a good approach for doing that if you follow the steps.

The idea here is to drive change for the better. Many enterprises are in such bad shape that it makes sense to leverage disruptive technology and approaches to drive that change. This is really about rethinking, redefining, and shaking things up. It's analogous to taking your 300 pound body to the gym for the first time in your life, or having heart bypass surgery which now allows you to walk 10 miles. It's about making major disruptive changes to very poorly planned IT infrastructures that drive changes for the good.

•   •   •

This article is an excerpt from "Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in Your Enterprise...a Step-by-Step Approach by David Linthicum.

More Stories By David Linthicum

Dave Linthicum is Sr. VP at Cloud Technology Partners, and an internationally known cloud computing and SOA expert. He is a sought-after consultant, speaker, and blogger. In his career, Dave has formed or enhanced many of the ideas behind modern distributed computing including EAI, B2B Application Integration, and SOA, approaches and technologies in wide use today. In addition, he is the Editor-in-Chief of SYS-CON's Virtualization Journal.

For the last 10 years, he has focused on the technology and strategies around cloud computing, including working with several cloud computing startups. His industry experience includes tenure as CTO and CEO of several successful software and cloud computing companies, and upper-level management positions in Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer science for eight years, and continues to lecture at major technical colleges and universities, including University of Virginia and Arizona State University. He keynotes at many leading technology conferences, and has several well-read columns and blogs. Linthicum has authored 10 books, including the ground-breaking "Enterprise Application Integration" and "B2B Application Integration." You can reach him at [email protected] Or follow him on Twitter. Or view his profile on LinkedIn.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which...