Monthly Archives: October 2012

Barcelona Highlights

By Steve Philp, The Open Group

Within a 15 minute walk of Camp Nou (home of FC Barcelona), The Open Group Conference “kicked off” on Monday morning with some excellent plenary presentations from Scott Radedztsky of Deloitte followed by Peter Haviland and Mick Adams of Ernst & Young, and after the break from Helen Sun of Oracle and finally Ron Tolido and Manuel Sevilla from Capgemini. You can see most of these Big Data presentations for yourself on The Open Group’s Livestream page.

The “second half” of the day was split into tracks for Big Data, Enterprise Architecture (EA), TOGAF® and ArchiMate®. Henry Franken of BiZZdesign talked about EA in terms of TOGAF and ArchiMate (you can see this on our Livestream site, too) and the other ArchiMate presentations from Peter Filip of Tatra Bank, Gerben Wierda of APG Asset Management and Mieke Mahakena of Capgemini were also well received by an enthusiastic audience. Networking and drinks followed at the end of the track sessions, and the “crowd” went away happy after day one.

Tuesday started with a plenary presentation by Dr. Robert Winter from the University of St Gallen on EA and Transformation Management. See the following clip to learn more about his presentation and his research.


This was followed by tracks on distributed services architecture, security, TOGAF 9 case studies, information architecture, quantum lifecycle management (QLM) and a new track on Practice Driven Research on Enterprise Transformation (PRET) and Trends in EA Research (TEAR). The evening entertainment on day two consisted of dinner and a spectacular flamenco dancing show at the Palacio de Flamenco – where a good time was had by all.

After the show there was also time for a number of us to watch Barcelona v. Celtic in their European Champions League match at the Camp Nou. This is the view from my seat:

 

The game ended in a 2-1 victory for Barcelona, and following the game there was much debate and friendly banter in the bar between the conference delegates and the Celtic fans that were staying at our hotel.

The track theme continued on day three of the conference along with member meetings such as the next version of TOGAF Working Group, the TOGAF Standard and ArchiMate Language Harmonization Project, Certification Standing Committee, and TOGAF Value Realization Working Group, etc. Member meetings of the Architecture Forum and Security Forum were held on Thursday and brought the Barcelona event to its conclusion.

At the end of the day, if your “goal” is to listen to some great presentations, network with your peers, participate in meetings and influence the generation of new IT standards, then you should get a ticket for our next fixture in Newport Beach, Calif., USA on January 28-31, 2013. The theme, again, will be Big Data.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Steve Philp is the Marketing Director at The Open Group. Over the past 20 years, Steve has worked predominantly in sales, marketing and general management roles within the IT training industry. Based in Reading, UK, he joined the Open Group in 2008 to promote and develop the organization’s skills and experience-based IT certifications. More recently, he has become responsible for corporate marketing as well as certification.

Comments Off

Filed under Conference

Barcelona Conference Spotlight: Dr. Robert Winter

By The Open Group Conference Team

The Open Group sat down with Dr. Robert Winter, professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, to talk about Enterprise Architecture management and transformation management following his keynote at the Barcelona Conference on Tuesday, October 23.

Dr. Winter’s session opened with the question, “Should we design and engineer methods like software?” His answer: “Yes!” Dr. Winter stresses that customization and componentization are essential when building Enterprise Architectures, making sure that architectures are constructed to fit a specific need or case and that components are reused. He also notes that enterprise architects cannot accomplish everything alone, as team work between enterprise architects and other departments are critical to organizational success.

Comments Off

Filed under Conference

The Open Group Conference in Barcelona – Day One Recap

By The Open Group Conference Team

Monday was jam-packed with excitement at The Open Group Conference in Barcelona. Since not everyone could make the trip, we’ve put together a recap of the day’s most popular sessions. Stay tuned for more recaps, which are coming soon!


How to Gain Big Insight from Big Data

In his talk titled, “How Companies Extract Insight and Foresight from Big Data,” Scott Radeztsky, CTO of Deloitte Analytics Innovation Center, discussed how companies can tackle Big Data. Scott recommended three specific steps that will help organizations make sense of Big Data:

  1. Get Buy-in First: Without the right tools, it is near impossible to make sense of Big Data. Research the technologies that will help you understand, break down and analyze Big Data. After determining which technology/technologies you would like to invest in, present a strong case to all decisions makers on why it is necessary, focusing on the activities that it will enable and the output that it will produce. Be sure to convey the direct business benefits to ensure that all stakeholders understand how this will ultimately help the business, both in the short- and long-term.
  1. Be Lean: Borrowing from Eric Ries’ Lean Startup Methodology, Scott encouraged attendees to think “low-fi before thinking high-fi.” Often times, planning and project management can be time consuming without producing results. By breaking up larger tasks and projects into smaller pieces, IT professionals can focus on a smaller number of features and really concentrate on the task at hand, rather than more administrative duties, which are necessary but don’t produce output.
  1. Create visuals: A spreadsheet full of numbers does not help anyone grasp data, let alone Big Data. Use visuals to present data to other users and stakeholders, to help them understand what the data means sooner rather than later. This will mean that dashboards and abstraction layers should be designed with user experience (UX) first, before diving into the user interface (UI). Helping all users within an organization understand Big Data more efficiently should be the primary focus of your efforts, and this is done through visuals and superior UX.

To view Scott’s presentation, please watch the session here: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Radeztsky-BCN12

Talking Big Data in the Boardroom

Peter Haviland, chief architect and head of business architecture within Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services, along with his colleague Mick Adams, emphasized that data impacts decision. Big Data is in prime position to help organizations improve the execution of strategy across business functions. We are moving toward a Big Data platform, and according to Haviland and Adams, the conversation for architects starts with technology.

The data explosion is happening and executives recognize the need to invest in and integrate technology and analytic capabilities into their architecture. According to Haviland and Adams, business capabilities need to support an information-centric reference model in order to take advantage of Big Data. During the session, Haviland and Adams presented a framework for architects to implement effective analytics using a wide range of common transformation tools, that when used in a coordinated fashion, unlocks the promise of enterprise analytics.

To view Peter and Mick’s presentation, please watch the session here: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Mick-Peter-BC12

Big Data Needs Big Architecture – An Architectural Approach to Business Information Management

In their talk titled, “Big Data Needs Big Architecture – An Architectural Approach to Business Information Management,” Ron Tolido and Manuel Sevilla of Capgemini asked, “Do we really need big frameworks to support big data?” They both concluded that they didn’t think so. Capgemini commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey over 6,000 business leaders worldwide about the use of Big Data on their organizations. Their research showed that a surprising 85 percent of respondents say the issue with Big Data is not the volume, but the ability to analyze and act on the data in real time.

Volume, variety and velocity is what Ron and Manuel think most people focus on in regards to Big Data. However, it’s not about volume; it’s really about value. By velocity, they mean that what happened one minute ago in more relevant than what happened one year ago. Time and the turnover of information is directly linked with value and relevancy.

Manual explained that there is a lot of data that isn’t being exploited. Big Data is about using all that data to yield a return on investment.

Ron and Manuel presented a “Big Data Process Model” with four steps:

  1. Acquisition (collecting the data)
  2. Marshaling (organizing the data)
  3. Analytics (finding insight and predictive modeling)
  4. Action (using insights to change business outcomes)

In sum, Manuel reiterated that volume is essentially a non-issue. IT has been seen often as a constraint when it comes to business; that is no longer. Big data means big business.

To view Ron and Manuel’s presentation, please watch the session here: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Tolido-BC12

Delivering Enterprise Architecture with TOGAF® and ArchiMate®

On Monday, BiZZdesign’s CEO Henry Franken opened his session titled, “Delivering Enterprise Architecture with TOGAF and ArchiMate” by speaking about what exactly Enterprise Architecture is, and why it’s needed. He explains it is both a model and a product and believes it falls into the implementation category in a business and bridges that gap between “as is” and what is “to be.”

Henry also covered TOGAF’s popular Architecture Development Method (ADM), which is broken down into four steps (but is a continuous process):

  1. Getting the organization committed and involved
  2. Getting the architecture right
  3. Making the architecture work
  4. Keeping the process running

Henry discussed The Open Group’s visual modeling language for Enterprise Architecture, ArchiMate. He explained that the language of ArchiMate is designed to talk about Enterprise Architecture domains (information architecture, process architecture, product architecture, application architecture and technical architecture), but more importantly to maintain the interrelationships between them. It allows for one language for all Enterprise Architecture change. The latest version also adds a motivation extension to facilitate what a stakeholder wants and what is changed within Enterprise Architecture. This way, changes can be easily traced back to stakeholder and business goals.

In closing, Henry explains the links between TOGAF and ArchiMate, in three layers – the business layer, application layer and technology layer. Together they can help a business accomplish its goals in the final migration and integration layer. He says TOGAF and ArchiMate are the perfect basis for a tool-supported enterprise architecture practice.

Henry provided examples of each layer and step, which can be viewed here, along with the whole presentation: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Franken-BC12

Comments Off

Filed under Conference

Key Concepts Underpinning Identity Management

By Ian Dobson, The Open Group

Having trust in the true Identity of who and what we connect with in our global online world is vital if we are to have confidence in going online to buy and sell goods, as well as sharing any confidential or private information.  Today, the lack of trust in online Identity forces organizations to set up their own identity management systems, dishing out their own usernames and passwords/PINs for us.  The result is that we end up having to remember (or write and keep in a secret place) typically well over 50 different online identities, which poses a large problem since our online identities are stored by many organizations in many places that are attractive targets for identity thieves.

Online identity is important to all users of computing devices.  Today, our mobile phones are powerful computers.  There are so many mobile apps available that phones are no longer primarily used to make phone calls.  The Internet connects us to a global online world, so we need a global online identity ecosystem that’s robust enough to give us the confidence we need to feel safe and secure online.  Just like credit cards and passports, we need to aim for an online identity ecosystem that has a high-enough level of trust for it to work worldwide.

Of course, this is not easy, as identity is a complex subject.  Online identity experts have been working on trusted identities for many years now, but no acceptable identity ecosystem solution has emerged yet.  There are masses of publications written on the subject by and for technical experts. Two significant ones addressing design principles for online identity are Kim Cameron’s “Laws of Identity“, and the Jericho Forum’s Identity Commandments.

However, these design principles are written for technical experts.  Online identity is a multi-million dollar industry, so why is it so important to non-techie users of online services?

What’s In It For Me?
Why should I care?
Who else has a stake in this?
What’s the business case?
Why should I control my own identity?
Where does privacy come in?
What’s the problem with current solutions?
Why do identity schemes fail?
What key issues should I look for?
How might a practical scheme work?

This is where the Jericho Forum® took a lead.   They recognized the need to provide plain-language answers to these questions and more, so that end-users can appreciate the key issues that make online identity important to them and demand the industry provide identity solutions that make then safe and secure wherever they are in the world.  In August 2012, we published a set of five 4-minute “Identity Key Concepts” videos explaining in a non-techie way why trusted online identity is so important, and what key requirements are needed to create a trustworthy online identity ecosystem.

The Jericho Forum has now followed up by building on the key concepts explained in these five videos in our “Identity Commandments: Key Concepts” guide. This guide fills in the gaps that couldn’t be included in the videos and further explains why supporting practical initiatives aimed at developing a trusted global identity ecosystem is so important to everyone.

Here are links to other relevant identity publications:

Laws of Identity: http://www.identityblog.com/?p=354

Identity Commandments: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/jsp/publications/PublicationDetails.jsp?publicationid=12677

Identity Key Concepts videos: https://collaboration.opengroup.org/jericho/?gpid=326

Identity Commandments: Key Concepts: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/jsp/publications/PublicationDetails.jsp?publicationid=12724

Ian Dobson is the director of the Security Forum and the Jericho Forum for The Open Group, coordinating and facilitating the members to achieve their goals in our challenging information security world.  In the Security Forum, his focus is on supporting development of open standards and guides on security architectures and management of risk and security, while in the Jericho Forum he works with members to anticipate the requirements for the security solutions we will need in future.

Comments Off

Filed under Identity Management

ArchiMate® 2.0 and Beyond

By The Open Group Conference Team

In this video, Henry Franken of BiZZdesign discusses ArchiMate® 2.0, the new version of the graphical modeling language for Enterprise Architecture that provides businesses with the means to communicate with different stakeholders from the business goals level to implementation scenarios.

Franken explains that the first edition allowed users to express Enterprise Architecture at its core – modeling business applications and infrastructure. ArchiMate® 2.0 has two major additions to make it fully aligned with TOGAF® – the motivation extension and the migration and planning extension. The motivation extension provides users with the ability to fully express business motivations and goals to enterprise architects; the migration and planning extension helps lay out programs and projects to make a business transition.

There are several sessions on ArchiMate® at the upcoming Open Group Conference in Barcelona. Notably, Henry Franken’s “Delivering Enterprise Architecture with TOGAF® and ArchiMate®” session on October 22 at 2:00-2:45 p.m. UTC / 8:00-8:45 a.m. EST will be livestreamed on The Open Group Website.

To view these sessions and for more information on the conference, please go to: http://www3.opengroup.org/barcelona2012

Comments Off

Filed under ArchiMate®, Conference, Enterprise Architecture

The Open Group is Livestreaming The Open Group Barcelona Conference

By The Open Group Conference Team

The Open Group Conference in Barcelona will commence next week and cover the theme of “Big Data – The Next Frontier in the Enterprise.” During the four day conference, which runs Oct. 22-24, speakers and sessions will address the challenges and solutions facing Enterprise Architecture within the context of Big Data.

With travel budgets tight, we know Barcelona is hard to get to for many of our Open Group members. As such, The Open Group will be Livestreaming some of our sessions on Monday, Oct. 22. The keynote speakers include Deloitte Analytics CTO Scott Radeztsky; Ernst & Young Head of Architecture Peter Haviland; Ernst & Young Chief Business Architecture Mick Adams; Oracle Senior Director of Enterprise Architecture Helen Sun; Capgemini CTO Ron Tolido; and Capgemini CTO Manuel Sevilla.

BiZZdesign CEO, Henry Franken, will host a Livestreaming session on how ArchiMate® with TOGAF® improves business efficiency. And on Wednesday, we are Livestreaming an “Ask the Experts” panel session with FACE™ Consortium members on their efforts to transform the U.S. Department of Defense’s Avionics Software Enterprise with open standards.

Livestreaming Sessions

Title: How Companies Extract Insight and Foresight from Big Data

Speaker: Scott Radeztsky, CTO, Deloitte Analytics Innovation Centers

Date: Monday, October 22

Time: 8:50-9:45 a.m. UTC / 2:50-3:45 a.m. ET

Link: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Radeztsky-BCN12

 

Title: Boardroom Business Architecture – What Executives Want to Know About Big Data and Analytics

Speaker: Peter Haviland, Head of Business Architecture, Ernst & Young; Mick Adams, Chief Business Architect, Ernst & Young

Date: Monday, October 22

Time: 9:50-10:35 a.m. UTC / 3:50-4:35 a.m. ET

Link: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Mick-Peter-BC12

 

Title: Enterprise Information Management

Speaker: Helen Sun, Senior Director of Enterprise Architecture, Oracle

Date: Monday, October 22

Time: 11:10-11:55 a.m. UTC / 5:10-5:55 a.m. ET

Link: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Sun-BC12

 

Title: Big Data Needs Big Architecture – An Architectural Approach to Business Information Management

Speaker: Ron Tolido, CTO, Application Services in Europe, Capgemini; Manuel Sevilla, Chief Technical Officer, Global Business Information Management TLI, Capgemini

Date: Monday, October 22

Time: 12:00-12:40 p.m. UTC / 6:00-6:40 a.m. ET

Link: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Tolido-BC12

 

Title: Delivering Enterprise Architecture with TOGAF® and ArchiMate®

Speaker: Henry Franken, CEO, BiZZdesign

Date: Monday, October 22

Time: 2:00-2:45 p.m. UTC / 8:00-8:45 a.m. ET

Link: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Franken-BC12

 

Title: Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™): Ask the Experts (panel)

Speakers: Jeff Howington, Rockwell Collins – FACE Steering Committee Vice-Chair; Kirk Avery, Lockheed Martin – FACE Technical Working Group Vice-Chair; Dennis Stevens, Lockheed Martin, FACE Business Chair; Chip Downing, Wind River – FACE Business Working Group Outreach Lead

Moderator: Judy Cerenzia, FACE Program Director

Date: Wednesday, October 24

Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. UTC / 10:00-11:00 a.m. ET

Link: https://new.livestream.com/opengroup/Downing-BC12

 

We hope you we see you either in Barcelona or online during one of the Livestreaming sessions!

For more information on The Open Group Barcelona Conference, please visit: http://www.opengroup.org/barcelona2012.

Comments Off

Filed under Conference

SOA Provides Needed Support for Enterprise Architecture in Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Says Open Group Panel

By Dana Gardner, BriefingsDirect

There’s been a resurgent role for service-oriented architecture (SOA) as a practical and relevant ingredient for effective design and use of Cloud, mobile, and big data technologies.

To find out why, The Open Group recently gathered an international panel of experts to explore the concept of “architecture is destiny,” especially when it comes to hybrid services delivery and management. The panel shows how SOA is proving instrumental in allowing the needed advancements over highly distributed services and data, when it comes to scale, heterogeneity support, and governance.

The panel consists of Chris Harding, Director of Interoperability at The Open Group, based in the UK; Nikhil Kumar, President of Applied Technology Solutions and Co-Chair of the SOA Reference Architecture Projects within The Open Group, and he’s based in Michigan, and Mats Gejnevall, Enterprise Architect at Capgemini and Co-Chair of The Open Group SOA Work Group, and he’s based in Sweden. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

The full podcast can be found here.

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Why this resurgence in the interest around SOA?

Harding: My role in The Open Group is to support the work of our members on SOA, Cloud computing, and other topics. We formed the SOA Work Group back in 2005, when SOA was a real emerging hot topic, and we set up a number of activities and projects. They’re all completed.

I was thinking that the SOA Work Group would wind down, move into maintenance mode, and meet once every few months or so, but we still get a fair attendance at our regular web meetings.

In fact, we’ve started two new projects and we’re about to start a third one. So, it’s very clear that there is still an interest, and indeed a renewed interest, in SOA from the IT community within The Open Group.

Larger trends

Gardner: Nikhil, do you believe that this has to do with some of the larger trends we’re seeing in the field, like Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS)? What’s driving this renewal?

Kumar: What I see driving it is three things. One is the advent of the Cloud and mobile, which requires a lot of cross-platform delivery of consistent services. The second is emerging technologies, mobile, big data, and the need to be able to look at data across multiple contexts.

The third thing that’s driving it is legacy modernization. A lot of organizations are now a lot more comfortable with SOA concepts. I see it in a number of our customers. I’ve just been running a large Enterprise Architecture initiative in a Fortune 500 customer.

At each stage, and at almost every point in that, they’re now comfortable. They feel that SOA can provide the ability to rationalize multiple platforms. They’re restructuring organizational structures, delivery organizations, as well as targeting their goals around a service-based platform capability.

So legacy modernization is a back-to-the-future kind of thing that has come back and is getting adoption. The way it’s being implemented is using RESTful services, as well as SOAP services, which is different from traditional SOA, say from the last version, which was mostly SOAP-driven.

Gardner: Mats, do you think that what’s happened is that the marketplace and the requirements have changed and that’s made SOA more relevant? Or has SOA changed to better fit the market? Or perhaps some combination?

Gejnevall: I think that the Cloud is really a service delivery platform. Companies discover that to be able to use the Cloud services, the SaaS things, they need to look at SOA as their internal development way of doing things as well. They understand they need to do the architecture internally, and if they’re going to use lots of external Cloud services, you might as well use SOA to do that.

Also, if you look at the Cloud suppliers, they also need to do their architecture in some way and SOA probably is a good vehicle for them. They can use that paradigm and also deliver what the customer wants in a well-designed SOA environment.

Gardner: Let’s drill down on the requirements around the Cloud and some of the key components of SOA. We’re certainly seeing, as you mentioned, the need for cross support for legacy, Cloud types of services, and using a variety of protocol, transports, and integration types. We already heard about REST for lightweight approaches and, of course, there will still be the need for object brokering and some of the more traditional enterprise integration approaches.

This really does sound like the job for an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). So let’s go around the panel and look at this notion of an ESB. Some people, a few years back, didn’t think it was necessary or a requirement for SOA, but it certainly sounds like it’s the right type of functionality for the job.

Loosely coupled

Harding: I believe so, but maybe we ought to consider that in the Cloud context, you’re not just talking about within a single enterprise. You’re talking about a much more loosely coupled, distributed environment, and the ESB concept needs to take account of that in the Cloud context.

Gardner: Nikhil, any thoughts about how to manage this integration requirement around the modern SOA environment and whether ESBs are more or less relevant as a result?

Kumar: In the context of a Cloud we really see SOA and the concept of service contracts coming to the fore. In that scenario, ESBs play a role as a broker within the enterprise. When we talk about the interaction across Cloud-service providers and Cloud consumers, what we’re seeing is that the service provider has his own concept of an ESB within its own internal context.

If you want your Cloud services to be really reusable, the concept of the ESB then becomes more for the routing and the mediation of those services, once they’re provided to the consumer. There’s a kind of separation of concerns between the concept of a traditional ESB and a Cloud ESB, if you want to call it that.

The Cloud context involves more of the need to be able to support, enforce, and apply governance concepts and audit concepts, the capabilities to ensure that the interaction meets quality of service guarantees. That’s a little different from the concept that drove traditional ESBs.

That’s why you’re seeing API management platforms like Layer 7Mashery, or Apigee and other kind of product lines. They’re also coming into the picture, driven by the need to be able to support the way Cloud providers are provisioning their services. As Chris put it, you’re looking beyond the enterprise. Who owns it? That’s where the role of the ESB is different from the traditional concept.

Most Cloud platforms have cost factors associated with locality. If you have truly global enterprises and services, you need to factor in the ability to deal with safe harbor issues and you need to factor in variations and law in terms of security governance.

The platforms that are evolving are starting to provide this out of the box. The service consumer or a service provider needs to be able to support those. That’s going to become the role of their ESB in the future, to be able to consume a service, to be able to assert this quality-of-service guarantee, and manage constraints or data-in-flight and data-at-rest.

Gardner: Mats, are there other aspects of the concept of ESB that are now relevant to the Cloud?

Entire stack

Gejnevall: One of the reasons SOA didn’t really take off in many organizations three, four, or five years ago was the need to buy the entire stack of SOA products that all the consultancies were asking companies to buy, wanting them to buy an ESB, governance tools, business process management tools, and a lot of sort of quite large investments to just get your foot into the door of doing SOA.

These days you can buy that kind of stuff. You can buy the entire stack in the Cloud and start playing with it. I did some searches on it today and I found a company that you can play with the entire stack, including business tools and everything like that, for zero dollars. Then you can grow and use more and more of it in your business, but you can start to see if this is something for you.

In the past, the suppliers or the consultants told you that you could do it. You couldn’t really try it out yourself. You needed both the software and the hardware in place. The money to get started is much lower today. That’s another reason people might be thinking about it these days.

Gardner: It sounds as if there’s a new type of on-ramp to SOA values, and the componentry that supports SOA is now being delivered as a service. On top of that, you’re also able to consume it in a pay-as-you-go manner.

Harding: That’s a very good point, but there are two contradictory trends we are seeing here. One is the kind of trend that Mats is describing, where the technology you need to handle a complex stack is becoming readily available in the Cloud.

And the other is the trend that Nikhil mentioned: to go for a simpler style, which a lot of people term REST, for accessing services. It will be interesting to see how those two tendencies play out against each other.

Kumar: I’d like to make a comment on that. The approach for the on-ramp is really one of the key differentiators of the Cloud, because you have the agility and the lack of capital investment (CAPEX) required to test things out.

But as we are evolving with Cloud platforms, I’m also seeing with a lot of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendor scenarios that they’re trying the ESB in the stack itself. They’re providing it in their Cloud fabric. A couple of large players have already done that.

For example, Azure provides that in the forward-looking vision. I am sure IBM and Oracle have already started down that path. A lot of the players are going to provide it as a core capability.

Pre-integrated environment

Gejnevall: Another interesting thing is that they could get a whole environment that’s pre-integrated. Usually, when you buy these things from a vendor, a lot of times they don’t fit together that well. Now, there’s an effort to make them work together.

But some people put these open-source tools together. Some people have done that and put them out on the Cloud, which gives them a pretty cheap platform for themselves. Then, they can sell it at a reasonable price, because of the integration of all these things.

Gardner: The Cloud model may be evolving toward an all-inclusive offering. But SOA, by its definition, advances interoperability, to plug and play across existing, current, and future sets of service possibilities. Are we talking about SOA being an important element of keeping Clouds dynamic and flexible — even open?

Kumar: We can think about the OSI 7 Layer Model. We’re evolving in terms of complexity, right? So from an interoperability perspective, we may talk SOAP or REST, for example, but the interaction with AWS, SalesforceSmartCloud, or Azure would involve using APIs that each of these platforms provide for interaction.

Lock-in

So you could have an AMI, which is an image on the Amazon Web Services environment, for example, and that could support a lab stack or an open source stack. How you interact with it, how you monitor it, how you cluster it, all of those aspects now start factoring in specific APIs, and so that’s the lock-in.

From an architect’s perspective, I look at it as we need to support proper separation of concerns, and that’s part of [The Open Group] SOA Reference Architecture. That’s what we tried to do, to be able to support implementation architectures that support that separation of concerns.

There’s another factor that we need to understand from the context of the Cloud, especially for mid-to-large sized organizations, and that is that the Cloud service providers, especially the large ones — Amazon, Microsoft, IBM — encapsulate infrastructure.

If you were to go to Amazon, Microsoft, or IBM and use their IaaS networking capabilities, you’d have one of the largest WAN networks in the world, and you wouldn’t have to pay a dime to establish that infrastructure. Not in terms of the cost of the infrastructure, not in terms of the capabilities required, nothing. So that’s an advantage that the Cloud is bringing, which I think is going to be very compelling.

The other thing is that, from an SOA context, you’re now able to look at it and say, “Well, I’m dealing with the Cloud, and what all these providers are doing is make it seamless, whether you’re dealing with the Cloud or on-premise.” That’s an important concept.

Now, each of these providers and different aspects of their stacks are at significantly different levels of maturity. Many of these providers may find that their stacks do not interoperate with themselves either, within their own stacks, just because they’re using different run times, different implementations, etc. That’s another factor to take in.

From an SOA perspective, the Cloud has become very compelling, because I’m dealing, let’s say, with a Salesforce.com and I want to use that same service within the enterprise, let’s say, an insurance capability for Microsoft Dynamics or for SugarCRM. If that capability is exposed to one source of truth in the enterprise, you’ve now reduced the complexity and have the ability to adopt different Cloud platforms.

What we are going to start seeing is that the Cloud is going to shift from being just one à-la-carte solution for everybody. It’s going to become something similar to what we used to deal with in the enterprise context. You had multiple applications, which you service-enabled to reduce complexity and provide one service-based capability, instead of an application-centered approach.

You’re now going to move the context to the Cloud, to your multiple Cloud solutions, and maybe many implementations in a nontrivial environment for the same business capability, but they are now exposed to services in the enterprise SOA. You could have Salesforce. You could have Amazon. You could have an IBM implementation. And you could pick and choose the source of truth and share it.

So a lot of the core SOA concepts will still apply and are still applying.

Another on-ramp

Gardner: Perhaps yet another on-ramp to the use of SOA is the app store, which allows for discovery, socialization of services, but at the same time provides overnance and control?

Kumar: We’re seeing that with a lot of our customers, typically the vendors who support PaaS solution associate app store models along with their platform as a mechanism to gain market share.

The issue that you run into with that is, it’s okay if it’s on your cellphone or on your iPad, your tablet PC, or whatever, but once you start having managed apps, for example Salesforce, or if you have applications which are being deployed on an Azure or on a SmartCloud context, you have high risk scenario. You don’t know how well architected that application is. It’s just like going and buying an enterprise application.

When you deploy it in the Cloud, you really need to understand the Cloud PaaS platform for that particular platform to understand the implications in terms of dependencies and cross-dependencies across apps that you have installed. They have real practical implications in terms of maintainability and performance. We’ve seen that with at least two platforms in the last six months.

Governance becomes extremely important. Because of the low CAPEX implications to the business, the business is very comfortable with going and buying these applications and saying, “We can install X, Y, or Z and it will cost us two months and a few million dollars and we are all set.” Or maybe it’s a few hundred thousand dollars.

They don’t realize the implications in terms of interoperability, performance, and standard architectural quality attributes that can occur. There is a governance aspect from the context of the Cloud provisioning of these applications.

There is another aspect to it, which is governance in terms of the run-time, more classic SOA governance, to measure, assert, and to view the cost of these applications in terms of performance to your infrastructural resources, to your security constraints. Also, are there scenarios where the application itself has a dependency on a daisy chain, multiple external applications, to trace the data?

In terms of the context of app stores, they’re almost like SaaS with a particular platform in mind. They provide the buyer with certain commitments from the platform manager or the platform provider, such as security. When you buy an app from Apple, there is at least a reputational expectation of security from the vendor.

What you do not always know is if that security is really being provided. There’s a risk there for organizations who are exposing mission-critical data to that.

The second thing is there is still very much a place for the classic SOA registries and repositories in the Cloud. Only the place is for a different purpose. Those registries and repositories are used either by service providers or by consumers to maintain the list of services they’re using internally.

Different paradigms

There are two different paradigms. The app store is a place where I can go and I know that the gas I am going to get is 85 percent ethanol, versus I also have to maintain some basic set of goods at home to make that I have my dinner on time. These are different kind of roles and different kind of purposes they’re serving.

Above all, I think the thing that’s going to become more and more important in the context of the Cloud is that the functionality will be provided by the Cloud platform or the app you buy, but the governance will be a major IT responsibility, right from the time of picking the app, to the time of delivering it, to the time of monitoring it.

Gardner: How is The Open Group allowing architects to better exercise SOA principles, as they’re grappling with some of these issues around governance, hybrid services delivery and management, and the use and demand in their organizations to start consuming more Cloud services?

Harding: The architect’s primary concern, of course, has to be to meet the needs of the client and to do so in a way that is most effective and that is cost-effective. Cloud gives the architect a usability to go out and get different components much more easily than hitherto.

There is a problem, of course, with integrating them and putting them together. SOA can provide part of the solution to that problem, in that it gives a principle of loosely coupled services. If you didn’t have that when you were trying to integrate different functionality from different places, you would be in a real mess.

What The Open Group contributes is a set of artifacts that enable the architect to think through how to meet the client’s needs in the best way when working with SOA and Cloud.

For example, the SOA Reference Architecture helps the architect understand what components might be brought into the solution. We have the SOA TOGAF Practical Guide, which helps the architect understand how to use TOGAF® in the SOA context.

We’re working further on artifacts in the Cloud space, the Cloud Computing Reference Architecture, a notational language for enabling people to describe Cloud ecosystems on recommendations for Cloud interoperability and portability. We’re also working on recommendations for Cloud governance to complement the recommendations for SOA governance, the SOA Governance Framework Standards that we have already produced, and a number of other artifacts.

The Open Group’s real role is to support the architect and help the architect to better meet the needs of the architect client.

From the very early days, SOA was seen as bringing a closer connection between the business and technology. A lot of those promises that were made about SOA seven or eight years ago are only now becoming possible to fulfill, and that business front is what that project is looking at.

We’re also producing an update to the SOA Reference Architectures. We have input the SOA Reference Architecture for consideration by the ISO Group that is looking at an International Standard Reference Architecture for SOA and also to the IEEE Group that is looking at an IEEE Standard Reference Architecture.

We hope that both of those groups will want to work along the principles of our SOA Reference Architecture and we intend to produce a new version that incorporates the kind of ideas that they want to bring into the picture.

We’re also thinking of setting up an SOA project to look specifically at assistance to architects building SOA into enterprise solutions.

So those are three new initiatives that should result in new Open Group standards and guides to complement, as I have described already, the SOA Reference Architecture, the SOA Governance Framework, the Practical Guides to using TOGAF for SOA.

We also have the Service Integration Maturity Model that we need to assess the SOA maturity. We have a standard on service orientation applied to Cloud infrastructure, and we have a formal SOA Ontology.

Those are the things The Open Group has in place at present to assist the architect, and we are and will be working on three new things: version 2 of the Reference Architecture for SOA, SOA for business technology, and I believe shortly we’ll start on assistance to architects in developing SOA solutions.

Dana Gardner is the Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, which identifies and interprets the trends in Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and enterprise software infrastructure markets. Interarbor Solutions creates in-depth Web content and distributes it via BriefingsDirect™ blogs, podcasts and video-podcasts to support conversational education about SOA, software infrastructure, Enterprise 2.0, and application development and deployment strategies.

Comments Off

Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Service Oriented Architecture