SOA must leverage governance in cloud computing runtimes

There are many lessons that can be learned from the foibles of SOA as architects begin looking to deploy on cloud computing platforms. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons is, in order to keep costs and time at a manageable level, policy enforcement is a must. That means governance.

[ANALYSIS] - Much of the recent hype around cloud computing has lead to widespread discussion of SOA in the cloud. Of course, much of this talk revolves around Gartner placing Cloud Computing next to e-book readers at the apex of its "peak of inflated expectations" while SOA climbs the "slope of enlightenment" toward useful adoption.

No less than Phil Wainewright this past week blogged about how the fog is starting to clear around SOA, which is indeed very much alive. Cloud computing, in many ways, is a catalyst to the development of good SOA practices. Even SOA luminaries headed for Cloud pastures seem to agree SOA is a valid architecture and can help cloud computing.

Developing for the cloud allows architects to take on the mindset that part or all of a service-oriented architecture will reach beyond the corporate firewall. This mindset helps bolster the core benefits IT managers are looking for in SOA in the first place: reuse and availability.

More on cloud and SOA
Application governance cannot be ignored on the cloud 

CA bringing SOA to the cloud with Amazon EC2 

Review of protocols for cloud services - Part 1 

IBM CloudBurst tackles cloud configuration issues

Early on, SOA was just as hyped as cloud computing now is. As a result, CTOs were force-fed confusing products and information until they started focusing on what SOA meant in terms of a particular organization.

"SOA, at its essence, is about doing architecture right and leveraging the right technologies and approaches to address the problems at hand," wrote David Linthicum, blogger and IT author. "In some cases, this is traditional on-premise technologies, but more and more SOA is moving out to the clouds."

There are many lessons that can be learned from the foibles of SOA as architects begin reaching to the clouds. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons is that in order to keep costs and time at a manageable level, policy enforcement is a must. That means governance.

We talked recently with HP, and that player clearly sees a similar trend. "When we first started talking about services as a concept, people said the three big challenges are going to be performance, availability and security," said Tim Hall, director of HPs SOA Center products. "And those are the first three major things that we see in the adoption of cloud computing as issues."

This was first published in August 2009

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