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Top five service-oriented cloud computing articles in 2011

Cloud computing has gained momentum as a force in enterprise architecture throughout 2011. In the summer of 2010, Gartner released their Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies which included just three cloud technologies:

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private cloud computing, cloud computing, and cloud/web platforms. In the summer of 2011, Gartner introduced a new Hype Cycle that focuses exclusively on the cloud. Enterprise architects who haven't done so yet should take a serious look at running some enterprise services in the cloud in 2012, but be wary of over-hyped or "cloud-washed" vendor offerings.

As cloud computing and service-oriented architecture experts came together to discuss what's really important over the past year, two major themes emerged. One is that data is an important architectural consideration that can create serious problems if left too long. Data silos aren't planned for, they just happen when there isn't enough foresight given to the data models.

The other factor is that governance is the key to maintaining any successful enterprise architecture, whether it's SOA or cloud, or something else entirely. It doesn't matter how good your plan is, if it isn't followed it won't prove valuable. Keeping the team on the same page is more important than just putting together the perfect playbook. Here is a look back at SearchSOA.com's Top 5 stories on service-oriented cloud computing, plus an honorable mention.

Honorable mention

What could go wrong in cloud computing?

With a topic and a title as dour as "What could go wrong" in the cloud, you might think this article would be all doom and gloom, but what Cloud and SOA expert David Linthicum is really talking about is what to concentrate on as you move into the cloud to make sure that everything goes right. Linthicum's tips range from planning your cloud migration to architectural concerns like cost and performance to security issues.

The point in a nutshell: Plan your migration before you jump in. Do some upfront analysis so you know what you're in for. And don't be surprised if you still have the same basic challenges in the cloud that you've already got in your internal systems.

5th hottest service-oriented cloud computing story

cloud computing providers don't understand service orientation

Cloud and SOA expert David Linthicum is back again with more cloud wisdom. But this time, he's talking to the other side of the fence. For cloud service providers, Linthicum has a few words of advice:

  • Put cloud services into the context of a service-oriented architecture by providing patterns around key concepts such as discovery, provisioning, management and governance.
  • Provide the raw materials for customers to build their own solutions via design and deployment tools that can be accessed via API, like Google Mapping and Commerce APIs.
  • Leverage SOA as a core concept by staffing up with talented individuals that have the right experience to really integrate the cloud with a service-oriented architecture in a fundamental way.

It's good to see something written for the cloud providers because after all, they're only human too, and we all have to learn as we go along. I hope that Linthicum is right about the concepts of service-oriented architecture and cloud computing finding each other. It brings a touch of romance to the regular daily grind of enterprise architecture.

4th hottest service-oriented cloud computing story

 Choosing a cloud computing provider requires understanding services needs

Selecting a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider is one of the most important first steps toward adopting cloud technologies. ELC technologies – a Portland, Ore.-based mobile application developer and early cloud adopter – have had dealings with several PaaS providers and have selected just a few that work best for them. According to ELC CTO Dylan Stamat, different PaaS providers excel with different development languages, which is important because different languages excel as different tasks.

3rd hottest service-oriented cloud computing story

Cloud computing governance builds on Web services governance

Governance is always an important factor in any well-run enterprise architecture, but governance is particularly important in the cloud. Although cloud solutions can address a broad range of specific problems, if these individual solutions are not implemented with the big picture well in mind, they might cause a few new big problems. Lots of new cloud-based services create lots of new loose associations that – just like Web services – need to be maintained in a holistic unified effort in order to preserve a sense of trust that the services will be ready and available as expected.

2nd hottest service-oriented
cloud computing story

Service-oriented cloud computing connects master data with enterprise architecture

Some see the cloud bringing together the complimentary concepts of master data management (MDM) and service-oriented architecture (SOA). MDM is seen as the logical way to take care of the data half of an SOA, while SOA is seen as the right architectural fit for a mature MDM hub. This synergetic fit has been recognized in a traditional on premise infrastructure but is seen as creating further advantages in leveraging the cloud by reinforcing consistent governance across the enterprise architecture from the data governance level, to the services governance level, and on into cloud governance.

THE hottest service-oriented cloud computing story

Cloud computing best practices built on application integration

Application integration specialists have long understood the importance of breaking down information silos to create one version of the truth. Like most new technologies, the cloud brings with it certain advantages and challenges when it comes to integrating your organizations architecture. Introducing cloud computing can create new SaaS silos within your data architecture, but if implemented properly there are cloud-based integration tools that can have a positive impact in terms of increased speed and reduced costs. According to David Linthicum, there are Integration-as-a-Service tools provide enterprise application integration functionality as an external service. Linthicum's advice when paired with advice from Informatica's VP of Marketing Darren Cunningham boils down to three main points: understand the data, build an architectural plan and work with line-of-business groups to ensure proper governance both internally and externally.

This was first published in December 2011

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