Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Elizabeth White, Karthick Viswanathan, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

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
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
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...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
"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...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
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 ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
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.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"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...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...