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Governance isn't just for on-premise services anymore

What works for SOA-aware service governance should work for cloud service governance
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

What works for SOA-aware service governance should work for cloud service governance.

Dave Linthicum, author of the recently published Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in Your Enterprise: A Step-by-Step Guide, made the point that its time to bring cloud services under the same governance umbrella as SOA services:

"In the world of SOA, simply put, governance means designing, building, testing, and implementing policies for services monitoring and their use. Governance as related to services, or service governance, is most applicable to the use of cloud computing, since we are basically defining our architecture as a set of services that are relocatable between on-premise and cloud computing-based services."

The question is, where are the vendors on this? Most SOA governance solutions, up to this point, have focused on Web services. Now it appears some vendors are extending the concept of service governance to address cloud-based services.

For example, this week, AmberPoint, best known for its SOA management platform, and SOA Software, which has been in the governance game for a few years, both announced new governance offerings, and both point to the clouds. These offerings extend their reach to REST-based services and beyond, both vendors say.

I spoke with Ed Horst, chief marketing officer, and Dhruv Gupta, vice president of product marketing and management, at AmberPoint about their company's entry into the governance space, and what they intend to do differently. Ed pointed out that AmberPoint Governance System provides discovery and registry/repository for all forms of services and definitions. As he put it: "This product is very open the way we look at services. Not just SOAP services. It can be any shared aspect can be modeled as a service or a resource. Furthermore, customers can go in and extend the data models and the definitions in the environment to cover any object."

Some of the cloud capabilities that are already built it into is cloud discovery, you can point it at cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services and so on. AmberPoint Governance System takes it from there."

For its part, SOA Software announced what it calls its "Atmosphere" cloud services governance initiative, which creates a unifying brand for a suite of SOA and cloud services governance products. The company says the upcoming Atmosphere products -- to start delivery in early 2010 -- are designed to help customers and partners take advantage of an enterprise's combined SOA-cloud computing strategy. (The question is, will SOA Software be adding "Cloud" to its name anytime soon?)

Companies are becoming both providers and consumers of services. As cloud providers, enterprises will be creating, managing and governing services deployed through the cloud -- in many cases, to partners, customers and others in the extended enterprise.  It's interesting to see the next generation of governance solutions evolve in this direction.

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