Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston

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
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
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...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
"We view the cloud not as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), held June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...