7 Oct 2012

SOA and Cloud Computing – How They Work Together, Part 2: Providing Services in Cloud

As more and more businesses today continue the trend to using a cloud based integration into their business processes, the need for continued service-oriented architecture (SOA) within this cloud environment is profoundly clear. While there are still those who are putting up a fight against the combination of SOA and cloud computing, they are dwindling.

There is a good analogy that has been talked about concerning cloud computing and SOA integration. This analogy is to think of books in a library. The books represent the different services that customers can access once the library purchases them. Following this train of thought, the library building, then,  represents the cloud where people come to check out the books/services. Since the books are reusable, and several books might make up a series or topic, this means that there is a continuation of the services/book lending over a long period of time.

Looking at this analogy of books in the library, there are two distinct points to consider when thinking about services in a cloud environment. The first of which, providing of services (books) to the cloud (library), and the the second is the consuming (checking out) of those services (books). As you can tell each one of these would have different requirements/prerequisites.

Architectural Prerequisites for Providing Services Within A Cloud Computing Integration

Before you venture into offering your services into a cloud computing environment you must build your SOA around certain prerequisites. Most of the items are simply extensions of those things already implemented within your current SOA.

  • Virtualization – Looking at your current IT atmosphere you must locate the services can be run in the most cost-effective place. This relates to the horizontal view of services in SOA across the organization. The cloud simply extends your services away from the local server, thus cutting costs.
  • Support for Reusability – This is an important consideration that looks back to the library analogy. This speaks to the ability to have multiple people use the service at the same time. A consistent deployment methodology makes sure each service does not have to be treated individually.
  • Governance Services – This is a direct SOA requirement which provides continued management of the services where they may not be under direct control while in a cloud based environment.
  • Control of Access and Security – Along with quality service implementation, that is automated, an automated security is important in any cloud based computing environment.

What makes these prerequisites so important to the success of an SOA and cloud computing business process is that they are already involved in most SOA management already. Take a look at your current structure and you’ll see these requirements already at play. The integration of the cloud will require some new architectural design, but the services rendered, and the services saved, will help boost profits and lowering costs.

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