Top 5 Tell-tale Signs of SOA Evolving to the Cloud

By E.G. Nadhan, HP Enterprise Services

Rewind two decades and visualize what a forward-thinking prediction would have looked like then —  IT is headed towards a technology agnostic, service-based applications and infrastructure environment, consumed when needed, with usage-based chargeback models in place for elastic resources. A forward thinking tweet would have simply said – IT is headed for the Cloud. These concepts have steadily evolved within applications first with virtualization expediting their evolution within infrastructure across enterprises. Thus, IT has followed an evolutionary pattern over the years forcing enterprises to continuously revisit their overall strategy.

What started as SOA has evolved into the Cloud.  Here are five tell-tale signs:

  • As-a-service model:  Application interfaces being exposed as services in a standardized fashion were the technical foundation to SOA. This concept was slowly but steadily extended to the infrastructure environment leading to IaaS and eventually, [pick a letter of your choice]aaS. Infrastructure components, provisioned as services, had to be taken into account as part of the overall SOA strategy. Given the vital role of IaaS within the Cloud, a holistic SOA enterprise-wide SOA strategy is essential for successful Cloud deployment.
  • Location transparency: Prior to service orientation, applications had to be aware of the logistics of information sources. Service orientation introduced location transparency so that the specifics of the physical location where the services were executed did not matter as much. Extending this paradigm, Cloud leverages the available resources as and when needed for execution of the services provided.
  • Virtualization: Service orientation acted as a catalyst for virtualization of application interfaces wherein the standardization of the interfaces was given more importance than the actual execution of the services. Virtualization was extended to infrastructure components facilitating their rapid provisioning as long as it met the experience expectations of the consumers.
  • Hardware: IaaS provisioning based on virtualization along with the partitioning of existing physical hardware into logically consumable segments resulted in hardware being shared across multiple applications. Cloud extends this notion into a pool of hardware resources being shared across multiple applications.
  • Chargeback: SOA was initially focused on service implementation after which the focus shifted to SOA Governance and SOA Management including the tracking of metrics and chargeback mechanism. Cloud is following a similar model, which is why the challenges of metering and chargeback mechanisms that IT is dealing with in the Cloud are fundamentally similar to monitoring service consumption across the enterprise.

These are my tell-tale signs. I would be very interested to know about practical instances of similar signs on your end.

Figure 1: The Open Group Service Oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure Technical Standard

It is no surprise that the very first Cloud technical standard published by The Open Group — Service Oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure – initially started as the Service Oriented Infrastructure (SOI) project within The Open Group SOA Work Group. As its co-chair, I had requested extending SOI into the Open Group Cloud Work Group when it was formed making it a joint project across both work groups. Today, you will see how the SOCCI technical standard calls out the evolution of SOI into SOCCI for the Cloud.

To find out more about the new SOCCI technical standard, please check out: http://www3.opengroup.org/news/press/open-group-publishes-new-standards-soa-and-cloud

 This blog post was originally posted on HP’s Technical Support Services Blog.

HP Distinguished Technologist, E.G.Nadhan has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry across the complete spectrum of selling, delivering and managing enterprise level solutions for HP customers. He is the founding co-chair for The Open Group SOCCI project and is also the founding co-chair for the Open Group Cloud Computing Governance project. Twitter handle @NadhanAtHP.

4 Comments

Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Service Oriented Architecture, Standards

4 responses to “Top 5 Tell-tale Signs of SOA Evolving to the Cloud

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