Enterprise Software

SOA may be reincarnating into 'private clouds'

According to Joe McKendrick, the beauty of private clouds vs. public cloud computing is that it offers greater control and security over applications and data.

 

This is a guest post from Joe McKendrick of TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet. You can follow Joe on his ZDNet blog Service Oriented, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

We've been hearing that "SOA is dead," but perhaps there is a new way to look at the way in which service oriented architecture is evolving. Dave Linthicum, in fact, hit the nail on the head when he asked in his most recent post, "Will SOAs morph into private clouds?"

Dave observes that the private clouds being proposed as secure, internal extensions of cloud computing bear a striking resemblance to the service oriented architectures we have been talking about over the last few years:

"Private clouds, albeit different from enterprise to enterprise, have a few common patterns. Private clouds offer shareable resources, or the ability to reuse storage, database, transactional, and business process management services. Moreover, they typically have governance frameworks surrounding them, and have many other features that make them look like core components of an SOA, or at least first instances of SOA."

Agreed. A couple of years back, I pondered whether SOA is effectively Software as a Service, delivered to an internal user base. As also mentioned frequently at this blogsite (more recently here), there is a lot of industry discussion about delivering online services and capabilities via private clouds. (We also talk about this a lot in Dana Gardner’s BriefingsDirect analyst podcasts.)

Okay, I know many of you have your buzzword antennae up, and substituting one buzzword, "SOA", for another, "private cloud," doesn’t help you run your businesses any better. The question is, can following service oriented architecture principles and introducing Software as a Service save money, deliver ROI, and increase effectiveness? The answer varies from business to business.

The beauty of private clouds versus public cloud computing, of course, is that it offers greater control and security over applications and data. Clearly a natural role for SOA, which will be the backbone of any emerging private clouds. But there may be plenty of public cloud computing in the mix as well, more SOA initiatives will include services from outside the firewall -- a sort of "micro-outsourcing" of application functionality.

9 comments
rahul1.k
rahul1.k

SOA is not just about internal use within an enterprise. It is not even a precise specification of an architecture or architectural pattern. It does encourage the development of applications from a 'service-oriented' outlook. The consumers of such SOA Services being clients either internal or external to the enterprise. A key concept behind this idea is reusability of services and one of the key benefits being the IDENTIFICATION of what would be called a Service from the SOA perspective. Unfortunately SOA Service Identification does not have a standard approach - one of the main reasons for the idea not being understood or appreciated as much as it should be. Coming back to SOA and Private Clouds - I agree with Tony that one of the ideas behind SOA was to create a market for third party Services. Given that, SOA based applications need not morph into private clouds but rather private clouds / public clouds / private clouds with public offerings. The third I believe is a likely option to emerge for medium to large enterprises with existing service offerings offered over the cloud (public) while leveraging the cloud for internal use as well.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

You guy's need to get out more, we've been doing that for years. Any distributed batch processing system is SOA and or SaaS by that definition. Which is what industry professionals, have been saying since Gartner types started puking buzzwords. The SOA hype was never about systems architecture, it was about creating a market for third party 'service' providers. Well finally you've admitted that that was a crap idea for service consumers, hoobleedingray. Trying to rescue 'your' concept with this facile drivel though, is pathetic.

Justin James
Justin James

I really don't see the difference between "private clouds" and "SOA", I wish that had been explained a bit better. J.Ja

jck
jck

there really is no outstanding difference. Both are constructs that provide obscured function through defined interfaces. Whether it's a "service" or a "cloud component", seems to me it is just...well...difference in branding for tech professionals vs that for businessheads that gives them a warm fuzzy.

Jaqui
Jaqui

between SOA and dumb terminals? ;) hmm, I just though of a wonderful reason to go back to the mainframe days, no more dumb users infecting their workstations. :D

onbliss
onbliss

Maybe ultimately with all the clouds hovering above us, the PCs would be mostly involved just in the presentation logic.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

New term for when the cloud comes down hard from too much traffic: "monsoon". When the cloud is running at lower than normal capacity: "fog". When the cloud hands you a piece of malware: "thunderstrike".

jck
jck

dumb terminals...hi-res...but, dumb terminals :D

Editor's Picks