Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Log Management, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Governance: Service Catalogs and the Cloud

Can the inherent abstraction of virtualization succeed where SOA did not?

My first read through a post on the Cloud Front Office led me to scoff disdainfully at the re-emergence of a concept central to a successful SOA implementation: the service catalog. Oh, we called it "registry" and then "registry/repository (reg/rep)" and finally "governance" but the concept behind it was exactly the same. Take a gander at the description of a cloud service catalog apparently growing out of discussions that began at Structure 09:

Last week I attended Structure 09, one of the better cloud computing conferences. Everyone I could hear the echo of the need for a service catalog; often it was implicit.

For example, everyone spoke about the need for standardization and multi-tenancy, about the need to abstract computing resources from the application to enable moving workloads as needed.  Which in my mind requires you to a) know what the workload is, b) know the SLA of that workload, c) have well defined underpinning technical services that compose that application service, and therefore d) Have a SERVICE CATALOG to track all of that!

Now, interestingly enough SOA governance utilized standards-based metadata like WSDL and WSIL to describe services. These descriptions included the endpoint (the physical location) of the service as well as the operations available and how to invoke them. In a full SOA implementation, the registry was at the heart of the architecture; if you wanted to invoke a service you queried the registry (usually via UDDI), retrieved the description (WSDL, WSIL), and then gathered the information necessary to invoke the service. This abstraction allowed services, ostensibly, to move and change over time without, allegedly, negatively impacting the client (consumers).

So while I was ready to excoriate this idea at first, a quiet hour trying to get a restless toddler back to sleep in the dark o'night led me to reconsider what appears to have been a rather hasty judgment. Might not this notion of a service catalog be more apposite than I first believed?

Absolutely.

 


ABSTRACTION AND MANAGEMENT (GOVERNANCE)


Let us assume that we can, in some standard way, describe a virtual machine such as is often the foundational building block of an on-demand data center. Perhaps we could even assume that OVF might suffice for this purpose. Imagine then, if you will, that these descriptors are stored in a central repository. A repository that is used not necessarily for developers but for administrators attempting to automate the provisioning smiley-policeman and management processes that are the basis for so many benefits of on-demand computing. If these descriptors, this metadata, contains the appropriate management endpoints rather than just the endpoints of the actual service (application), it would then be possible to easily automate the launch and tear-down of such virtual machines.

 

Furthermore, the inherent chaos that could be caused by virtual machine movement within an on-demand infrastructure could be soothed. When a virtual machine (service) was launched, the descriptor could be updated to include its new physical location. In fact, assuming such services were launched in multiple locations (dare I suggest even across multiple clouds, as might be the case with intercloud) the descriptor could be updated to include all locations, perhaps even prioritized.

One of the interesting things virtualization brings to the table that SOA did not is the ability to abstract management of services. While WSDL abstracted a service and its operations away from the underlying implementation, that underlying implementation was still very much relevant in that managing the service required an understanding of the platform (.NET, Java EE, etc...) on which the service was deployed. You could not use WSDL or WSIL, for example, to actually manage the service - that was the raison d'être for SOA management solutions.

But virtualization solutions - likely because of many cloud implementations heavy reliance - provide management endpoints (APIs) through which virtual machine instances can be managed. VMs can be started and stopped and monitored through these endpoints (APIs) and the APIs are almost universally web-based, meaning the endpoint is the equivalent of a URI. That fits nicely into a service catalog and could easily be automated by any number of existing solutions (BPM systems come to mind immediately) or incorporated into custom solutions with relative ease.

 


IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF A CNS (Cloud Naming Service)?


When you start looking at the usefulness of a service catalog it immediately appears that this is more than just an internal governance solution. By stepping back and looking at the bigger picture and the potential implementation of cloudbursting and intercloud solutions in the future, you begin to suspect that perhaps the service catalog and DNS need to merge, somehow. Perhaps this is where global load balancing can really shine. On the innertubes today if we want to find a site we use DNS to look up the IP address. In a cloudbursting or intercloud scenario we can't be sure exactly where a service may be residing. Using a system similar to DNS we might (a) lookup the service, (b) retrieve its current location and management endpoints, and (c) manage/invoke at will.

 

Perhaps this is an extension to DNS? Perhaps it's something completely different. While many of the core concepts of cloud computing and virtualization are not new at all and, in fact, appear to be heavily borrowed from programmatic models of the past (distributed systems, SOA, object-oriented programming) some of the solutions that will be created to help manage cloud and virtualization will be new, because we have a completely new set of problems and issues to address caused by the convergence of a variety of programmatic and architectural models.

The use of SOA governance solutions never truly took the world by storm, and that may be in part that the metadata it carried wasn't "meta" enough given the level of abstraction used by SOA. Virtualization and cloud computing take that abstraction far enough to be useful both in invocation and management. SOA, too, was hampered by the fact that automation of processes - while nice - was not a necessary piece of the value equation. For cloud computing (on-demand) automation is one of the key variables in the benefit equation, making abstraction of management a necessity.

The more I think about this concept, the more I am liking where it may be going. Service catalogs may, in fact, be one of the "movers" of cloud in the enterprise, as it would offer a firm foundation on which automation and management solutions could be more easily built and deployed.

 

Follow me on Twitter View Lori's profile on SlideShare friendfeedicon_facebook AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Related blogs & articles:

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix 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. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...