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Where SOA Meets Cloud

David Linthicum

Never Separate Cloud Computing From SOA!

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Let's call this rant Wednesday. There have been some disturbing tendencies to separate SOA and cloud computing. Many companies feel it's necessary to separate architecture teams for the push into cloud computing, and those new teams are not working with the existing SOA teams. The rationale is that they consider cloud computing to be "new," and thus believe it needs a new team with its own budget and different leadership.

Those of you who think you can separate architecture and cloud computing are gravely mistaken. For most of today's projects, the best way to drive toward cloud computing is to leverage SOA approaches, as we describe in this book. This means understanding your problem domain at the data, services, and process levels before moving data, services, and processes out to cloud computing platforms.

The end-state architecture will be a mix of on-premise and cloud computing platforms, and thus the architecture will span on-premise and cloud computing systems. Let's get a clue: It's architecture, not cloud computing, that will save the day here.
This kind of stuff will continue to pop up until those in IT step back from the hype that surrounds cloud computing. Cloud computing is a great way to go if there is an architectural fit. However, like any technological approach, you have to consider it as an "architectural option" and not "the architecture."

The trouble comes when the cloud computing team lives up to its namesake and just focuses on creating new processes and moving existing processes to cloud computing. This solves nothing unless there is complete synergy with the existing enterprise systems. In too many cases, synergy seems to be an afterthought.

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This blog is your first step toward understanding the issues you will face as cloud computing and SOA converge. The movement to cloud computing is a disruptive change that IT departments will soon face as SOA and cloud computing begin to have an effect on the modern enterprise. IT managers must learn how to give as well as take information in this new, shareable environment, while still protecting their company's interests. Innovative companies will take advantage of these new resources and reinvent themselves as unstoppable forces in their markets. Those who don't take advantage of this revolution will become quickly outdated, perhaps out of business.

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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