Time to start applying SOA lessons to the cloud

"If SOA is Dead, Cloud Computing better start writing its will..."-Mike KavisLast week, Dave Linthicum warned that the mistakes made in SOA risk getting repeated in cloud computing.

"If SOA is Dead, Cloud Computing better start writing its will..."

-Mike Kavis

Last week, Dave Linthicum warned that the mistakes made in SOA risk getting repeated in cloud computing. Mike Kavis echoes Dave's concerns.

Mike reports he has seen first-hand how cloud computing can drive efficiencies and provide incredible competitive advantages to companies that artfully deploy it. However, as has been the case with SOA, Mike warns that proponents, analysts, vendors, and naysayers risk muddying the waters and creating confusion about cloud computing, which eventually translates into disillusionment.

As Mike puts it:

"When industry analysts don’t understand an already misunderstood buzzword and vendors are calling everything “cloud services” or building platforms that lock you in to /their/ cloud, you have the early stages of the same disastrous hype cycle that led to SOA’s eventual funeral... Don’t read this the wrong way. I am absolutely a huge fan of cloud computing and as a CTO for a startup, I am leveraging the cloud to clobber my competition. But let’s face it, how many new technologies, emerging trends, frameworks, or architectural styles does IT have to screw up before we learn our lesson?"

The time is now to start educating the market about what cloud can and cannot do for organizations. "As IT professionals, how can we save our industry from ourselves, and not let cloud computing die a slow agonizing death like its friend SOA?" Mike urges cloud proponents to start applying the lessons learned from SOA (in fact, these guidelines definitely invoke a sense of SOA deja vu):

  • Don’t talk to the business about the cloud, talk to the business about business drivers and benefits that the cloud will generate
  • Use the cloud to solve business problems, not technology problems
  • It still requires architecture and planning. You can outsource your infrastructure, but you still need to design for security, compliance, interoperability, etc.
  • Governance is still critical.
  • Same people + same process + new technology = same mess
  • Don’t forget about organizational impacts

Another scenario is also likely to play out as cloud computing catches on. That is, SOA efforts will increasingly be part of private clouds. On many levels, cloud computing, by extension, is service oriented architecture. The teams and mechanisms already in place to guide SOA-based development and operations may naturally support cloud initiatives as well.


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