Where SOA Meets Cloud

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Where SOA Meets Cloud
David Linthicum

More Confusion Around Cloud Computing and SOA

By David Linthicum on March 5, 2010 7:17 AM 0 0 Vote 0 Votes

I caught this article on the UK CIO Magazine Web site entitled, “Cloud Computing is the new SOA.”   Actually, a debate around the issues with the hype around cloud computing looking a lot like the hype that surrounded SOA for so many years. 

“So let’s get to the topic at hand: why is Cloud Computing the new SOA?

From an IT or enterprise architect’s point of view, there are definitely similarities. If we put the commercial and financial aspects of the Cloud Computing model to one side for a moment, and just concentrate on how Cloud Computing platforms work to deliver software functionality, then what we’re looking at is a software service delivery platform – something that is conceptually at the heart of every SOA initiative. From an application and data integration standpoint, too, the principles of SOA shine through Cloud Computing very strongly indeed.”

While I do see similar patterns, and as I highlight very clearly in my book, we need to distinguish between SOA and cloud computing, and the best way to do that is to consider SOA as a pattern of architecture, and cloud computing as a potential set of target platforms for that architecture.  Pretty simple, but I suspect that many will confuse SOA and cloud computing going forward.

Indeed, when looking at cloud computing SOA is the best approach.   However, SOA has a lot of baggage these days considering that the concept has been around for years, and while many enterprises may have purchased an ESB or two (AKA “SOA in a box,” yeah right!), they still don’t have a clue how to leverage SOA to drive architecture. 

So, now comes the cloud computing opportunity, and another chance to get our architectures healthy and to leverage private and public cloud resources that could drive more efficiency and effectiveness into the enterprise.    To do this we need to get a good grasp of SOA, the ‘what” you do, and a good grasp of cloud computing…the architectural options.    

I’m still holding out hope.

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