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Where SOA Meets Cloud

David Linthicum

The Glue for Cloud is SOA

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I'm speaking at Glue Conference this week in Denver. Kind of a strange, but cool conference. Think of all cool geeky topics delivered by the guys that created them, to people who understand them. Refreshing to me, considering that I spend most of my days explaining just what cloud computing is to CIOs and CEOs. In other words, I'm among my peers for a change.

What's a trend here is that most of what the speakers are talking about relates directly back to SOA, including good database design, integration, API/service interfaces, etc.. Indeed, you could call this a SOA conference other than the fact that many perhaps feel that SOA is a bad word these days, but it's not.

The core issues that I feel are still hindering cloud include:

• The rise of cloud computing has reduced the number of systems that share information and behavior.
• Cloud providers are not working and playing well with others.
• Standards are slow to emerge, as usual.
• Most integration technology providers don't get it.
• SOA is not something you buy, it's "a way of doing." SOA is a way to leverage cloud effectively.
• The API needs to be everything in order to make this all work.
• Most people making architecture decisions around cloud computing are not attending conferences such as this one.

The larger issue is that most people don't understand how to create an architecture that uses cloud computing, versus creating cloud computing that needs to find an architecture. The second option is typically fatal.

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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 Those who don't take advantage of this revolution will become quickly outdated, perhaps out of business.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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