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Where SOA Meets Cloud

David Linthicum

The Reality of Cloud interoperability

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Everyone wants standards to drive cloud computing, I get that.  However, the larger issue is around interoperability among cloud providers.  First, this is the notion of cloud providers offering built-in communications between the cloud computing providers, as well as application and data portability between providers, meaning they can talk to one another.   Second is the ability to move services, processes, and data between them as needed. 


Focusing on the first concept, there is another concept known as the Intercloud.  The Intercloud is the notion that allows cloud providers to exchange information and behavior in support of those who use the cloud.  Like the Internet, they want to connect many different things together, and provide a standard mechanism for doing so. 


This is important for a few reasons.  First, it puts the responsibility for communicating between providers on the providers' shoulders, and not on the users.  Second, it produces a foundation for interoperability that has been pretty ad-hoc.  Finally, it reduces the price point of cloud computing, and considering the previous two points, cost is the core selling point of the clouds.


Cloud providers see the value of promoting interoperability.  Cloud vendors could find that interoperability gets many enterprises off the fence and moving toward the clouds.  


However, the success of interoperability within the cloud providers' realm will be dependent upon their ability to stop building features and start building for interoperability.  At the end of the day, cloud users will have to insist on interoperability, as they did in the world of SOA and other architectural shifts in thinking. 


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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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