Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Derek Weeks, Harry Trott

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Post

Finding New Life For SOA in the Cloud

SOA Announces Comeback Tour

We’ve been having quite a few discussions with analysts over the past few months on the subject of “cloud”. The interesting thing about these discussions is the vast array of points of view from which those analysts are viewing “cloud”. Some are focused on the network aspects, others on pricing/differentiation, and some are even very focused on what “cloud” means to applications – and the organizations that will, allegedly, take advantage of the cloud as a means of application deployment.

One such analyst is Daryl Plummer of Gartner. Daryl has always been very application focused so it’s always a pleasure to speak with him and, of late, read what he has to say via his blog. (Daryl is also a cartoonist, and has turned his interests in that area on the cloud, resulting in “G-Men”. If you haven’t yet, take a gander. He’s quite talented.)

The last time we spoke to Daryl he asked “What can you do to help an organization move a monolithic application into the cloud?” That’s a fairly straightforward answer for F5, unless you specify that the organization wants to move workload into the cloud, not necessarily the entire application.

SOA IS BACK IN BUSINESS

See, the problem here is that workload is not the same thing as an application. Workload is more equivalent to, say, an activity in a business process orchestration than it is the entire process, which would equate more closely to the application.

Workload is a discrete block of application logic that is self-contained, and can be executed on its own. In structured languages we might codify event_ticket this as a function, in an object-oriented language we’d likely go the route of a method, and in the land of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) we’d call this a web service.

That’s right, folks, SOA has risen from the dead and is about to embark on a comeback tour.

Invariably applications always seem to have one or two “functions” that are fairly compute intense; these are the chunks of application logic that require more processing than others usually because they’re mathematically complex, or require a lot of analysis, or just involve churning through huge data sets. For whatever the reason, these “workloads” are expensive to run.

The belief is that these workloads are the ones that can be more effectively offloaded to the cloud. Often, these workloads are of a nightly or weekly execution nature; they aren’t run all the time and when they are running, nothing else can because it’s chewing up resources faster than housing values are dropping.

But you can’t “pull them out” of a monolithic application. The cloud wasn’t designed to assist in decomposition of monolithic applications into composite processes. It was designed, for the most part, to run applications; the two are not the same.

In order to move a “workload” into the cloud you have to decouple it from the application; you have to use the basic principles associated with SOA and decompose the application into its composite processes such that you can distribute those processes in a way that most effectively utilizes the processing power at hand – whether that’s locally or in the cloud. You can’t simply move a monolithic application into the cloud and expect the cloud provider to be able to dig into it and optimize the execution of specific processes. It just isn’t that smart.

BUT WHAT ABOUT GRID?

The concept of grid has always revolved around parallelization of processes; executing lengthy or computationally expensive tasks in parallel to reduce the amount of time required to complete. But grid requires that you separate out (decouple) the processes to be parallelized from the application. Grid isn’t necessarily smart enough either to move the distribute a specific function or operation across multiple machines in order to increase the speed of execution. At least not yet.

The problem appears to be that we’re attributing cloud and grid with attributes that are more akin to CPU scheduling than what they really are capable of doing. Yes, the use of CPU cycles is an integral part of the concept of cloud and grid, but the ability to schedule individual pieces of logic across CPUs is not something the cloud or grid is capable of doing – unless the developer uses tools and methodologies available to tell it to do so.

Which is the point of SOA, isn’t it? SOA (is supposed to, anyway) decomposes applications into discrete services so they can be distributed intelligently. If one service is reused by multiple business processes it can be replicated or moved into the cloud so that it scales appropriately to meet the demands that are placed upon it by other applications.

The problem, of course, is that decomposing monolithic applications requires resources and time. But there really is no other way to solve the problem – at least not yet. The cloud is not a huge bank of CPUs across which discrete functions can be distributed. It’s not. The cloud is a huge bank of servers and while it’s more than capable of distributing applications across those servers, it isn’t necessarily about optimizing the execution of applications across CPUs. That’s more grid, and taking advantage of grid is going to require some changes to the application, too.

Basically, if you’ve got a monolithic application you’re either (a) moving it en masse to the cloud or (b) ripping it apart into services or grid-enabled processes. Those are your options right now, take it or leave it. If you want to move “workload” into the cloud, you’re going to have to enable your applications to do so. And that means SOA or proprietary grid-enablement.

Or you can wait and see what happens next. But it’s likely that before grid meets cloud and actually creates a system capable of distributing both applications and workload – automatically – across servers and CPUs that it’ll be somebody else’s problem.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence a...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akvelon will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Akvelon is a business and technology consulting firm that specializes in applying cutting-edge technology to problems in fields as diverse as mobile technology, sports technology, finance, and healthcare.