Linthicum opened by sharing the distinctions and connections between SOA and cloud computing. SOA is something you do, an architectural pattern. Cloud computing is an architectural option.
The value of SOA comes from having an architecture that readily accommodates change. The more your business changes, the more SOA pays for itself. However, the initial build-out of SOA, prior to business change or service sharing, is cost-ineffective. By incorporating cloud computing in SOA, the time to value is shortened because you leverage ‘other people’s work’. The trick, Linthicum shares, is to determine which services, information, and processes are good candidates to reside in, come from, the clouds.
To determine the right mix of internal and external services for your SOA, Linthicum emphasizes starting with your architecture. Understand your business drivers, information under management, existing services under management and core business processes. A common failure pattern is jumping to the technology prior to understanding own issues.
Beyond understanding your issues, understand the state of cloud computing. While there are safe, reliable offerings, cloud computing is at an early stage. Linthicum warned attendees to factor in integration costs and to beware of cloud interoperability and portability limitations.
For organizations contemplating extending SOA to the cloud, Linthicum suggests three preparatory actions. First, accept the notion that it's okay to leverage external services as part of your SOA. Second, create a strategy for the consumption and management of cloud services. Third, create a proof of concept now.
To listen to an audio recording of Linthicums’s presentation and view the slides go here.
Keep an eye out for Dave’s new book on the convergence of SOA & Cloud Computing, to be released by Pearson this summer.
This is the first of several podcasts to be released from our DC meeting. Next up, Sandy Carter on Smart SOA approach in a tough economic climate.