Welcome!

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

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Post

Finding New Life For SOA in the Cloud

SOA Announces Comeback Tour

We’ve been having quite a few discussions with analysts over the past few months on the subject of “cloud”. The interesting thing about these discussions is the vast array of points of view from which those analysts are viewing “cloud”. Some are focused on the network aspects, others on pricing/differentiation, and some are even very focused on what “cloud” means to applications – and the organizations that will, allegedly, take advantage of the cloud as a means of application deployment.

One such analyst is Daryl Plummer of Gartner. Daryl has always been very application focused so it’s always a pleasure to speak with him and, of late, read what he has to say via his blog. (Daryl is also a cartoonist, and has turned his interests in that area on the cloud, resulting in “G-Men”. If you haven’t yet, take a gander. He’s quite talented.)

The last time we spoke to Daryl he asked “What can you do to help an organization move a monolithic application into the cloud?” That’s a fairly straightforward answer for F5, unless you specify that the organization wants to move workload into the cloud, not necessarily the entire application.

SOA IS BACK IN BUSINESS

See, the problem here is that workload is not the same thing as an application. Workload is more equivalent to, say, an activity in a business process orchestration than it is the entire process, which would equate more closely to the application.

Workload is a discrete block of application logic that is self-contained, and can be executed on its own. In structured languages we might codify event_ticket this as a function, in an object-oriented language we’d likely go the route of a method, and in the land of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) we’d call this a web service.

That’s right, folks, SOA has risen from the dead and is about to embark on a comeback tour.

Invariably applications always seem to have one or two “functions” that are fairly compute intense; these are the chunks of application logic that require more processing than others usually because they’re mathematically complex, or require a lot of analysis, or just involve churning through huge data sets. For whatever the reason, these “workloads” are expensive to run.

The belief is that these workloads are the ones that can be more effectively offloaded to the cloud. Often, these workloads are of a nightly or weekly execution nature; they aren’t run all the time and when they are running, nothing else can because it’s chewing up resources faster than housing values are dropping.

But you can’t “pull them out” of a monolithic application. The cloud wasn’t designed to assist in decomposition of monolithic applications into composite processes. It was designed, for the most part, to run applications; the two are not the same.

In order to move a “workload” into the cloud you have to decouple it from the application; you have to use the basic principles associated with SOA and decompose the application into its composite processes such that you can distribute those processes in a way that most effectively utilizes the processing power at hand – whether that’s locally or in the cloud. You can’t simply move a monolithic application into the cloud and expect the cloud provider to be able to dig into it and optimize the execution of specific processes. It just isn’t that smart.

BUT WHAT ABOUT GRID?

The concept of grid has always revolved around parallelization of processes; executing lengthy or computationally expensive tasks in parallel to reduce the amount of time required to complete. But grid requires that you separate out (decouple) the processes to be parallelized from the application. Grid isn’t necessarily smart enough either to move the distribute a specific function or operation across multiple machines in order to increase the speed of execution. At least not yet.

The problem appears to be that we’re attributing cloud and grid with attributes that are more akin to CPU scheduling than what they really are capable of doing. Yes, the use of CPU cycles is an integral part of the concept of cloud and grid, but the ability to schedule individual pieces of logic across CPUs is not something the cloud or grid is capable of doing – unless the developer uses tools and methodologies available to tell it to do so.

Which is the point of SOA, isn’t it? SOA (is supposed to, anyway) decomposes applications into discrete services so they can be distributed intelligently. If one service is reused by multiple business processes it can be replicated or moved into the cloud so that it scales appropriately to meet the demands that are placed upon it by other applications.

The problem, of course, is that decomposing monolithic applications requires resources and time. But there really is no other way to solve the problem – at least not yet. The cloud is not a huge bank of CPUs across which discrete functions can be distributed. It’s not. The cloud is a huge bank of servers and while it’s more than capable of distributing applications across those servers, it isn’t necessarily about optimizing the execution of applications across CPUs. That’s more grid, and taking advantage of grid is going to require some changes to the application, too.

Basically, if you’ve got a monolithic application you’re either (a) moving it en masse to the cloud or (b) ripping it apart into services or grid-enabled processes. Those are your options right now, take it or leave it. If you want to move “workload” into the cloud, you’re going to have to enable your applications to do so. And that means SOA or proprietary grid-enablement.

Or you can wait and see what happens next. But it’s likely that before grid meets cloud and actually creates a system capable of distributing both applications and workload – automatically – across servers and CPUs that it’ll be somebody else’s problem.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO 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 t...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
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 Bi...
Contextual Analytics of various threat data provides a deeper understanding of a given threat and enables identification of unknown threat vectors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Dufour, Head of Security Architecture, IoT, Webroot, Inc., discussed how through the use of Big Data analytics and deep data correlation across different threat types, it is possible to gain a better understanding of where, how and to what level of danger a malicious actor poses to an organization, and to determ...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...