|By Jason Bloomberg||
|July 15, 2009 10:15 AM EDT||
As we predicted earlier in the year, Cloud computing is starting to take hold, especially if you believe the marketing literature of vendors and consulting firms. Yet, we are seeing an increasing number of Cloud success stories, ranging from simplistic consumption of utility Services and offloading of compute resources to the sort of application and process clouds we discussed in a previous ZapFlash. Perhaps the reason why usage of the Cloud is still nascent in the enterprise is because of an increasing chorus of concerns being voiced about the usage of Cloud resources:
Cloud availability. Cloud security. Erosion of data integrity. Data replication and consistency issues. Potential loss of privacy. Lack of auditing and logging visibility. Potential for regulatory violations. Application sprawl & dependencies. Inappropriate usage of Services. Difficulty in managing intra-Cloud, inter-Cloud, and Cloud and non-Cloud interactions and resources. And that’s just the short list.
Do any of these issues sound familiar? To address these concerns, we have to return to a topic we’ve hashed over and again on the SOA side of things: governance. The above issues are primarily, if not exclusively, governance concerns. Thankfully, in many ways, we can apply what we’ve already learned, implemented, and invested in SOA Governance directly to issues of Cloud Governance. However, SOA and Cloud, while complementary, are not equivalent concepts. There are a wide range of patterns and usage considerations that are either new to the SOA Governance picture or ones that we were able to gloss over. To make Cloud computing a success, we need to make Cloud governance a success. So, what can we apply from our existing SOA governance knowledge, and what new things do companies need to consider?
Design-Time Cloud Governance
Designing Services to be deployed in the Cloud is much like designing Services for your own SOA infrastructure. In fact, that’s the point – most Cloud infrastructure providers, whether they are third-party Cloud providers like Amazon.com, or self-hosting Cloud infrastructure vendors, pitch the simplicity of Cloud Service development and deployment. However, within this simple mode lurks an insidious beast: if you thought it was hard to get your developers on the same page with regards to Service development when you owned your own SOA infrastructure and registry, try it when you have little visibility into the Service assets built by unknown developers. Like the early days of Web Services-centric SOA development, companies faced developers hacking out a wide array of incompatible “Just a Bunch of Web Services (JBOWS)” style Services thrown willy-nilly on the network, now to face the same issue in the Cloud. Of course, JBOWS doesn’t a SOA make, and neither does it a Cloud make.
Furthermore, with the simplicity of Cloud Service development, deployment, and consumption, developers can use Cloud capabilities undetected by IT management. It’s not unusual for a developer to dabble with an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) image for a project. Simply use a personal Amazon account and credit card and off you go! And to make matters worse, not everyone creating or consuming Cloud Services will even be from within the IT department. In a previous ZapFlash, I admonished IT to become more responsive to the business lest they become disintermediated. Don’t want your sales and marketing folks using Cloud services? Good luck trying to prevent that. I wish you even more luck trying to get visibility into what they are doing. Without adequate design-time Cloud governance, you’re up a croc-infested river without a paddle.
Making matters worse, SOA governance tools are often missing in the Cloud Computing environment. There’s no central point for a Cloud consumer / developer to view the Services and associated policies. Furthermore, design-time policies are easily enforceable when you have control over the development and QA process, but those are notoriously lacking in the Cloud environment. The result is that design-time policies are not consistently enforced on client side, if at all. Clearly, SOA governance vendors and best practices need to step up to the plate here and apply what we already know about SOA registries/repositories and governance processes to give the control that’s needed to avoid chaos and failure. This means that IT needs to provide the enterprise a unified, Service-centric view of IT environment across the corporate data center and the Cloud.
Run-Time Cloud Governance
Making matters worse are a collection of run-time and policy issues that are complicated by the fog of Cloud computing infrastructure. Data reside on systems you don’t control, which may be in other countries or legal jurisdictions. Furthermore, systems are unlikely to have the same security standards as you have internally. This means that your security policies need to be that much more granular. You can’t count on using perimeter-based approaches to secure your data or Service access. Every message needs to be scrutinized and you need to separate Service and data policy definition from enforcement. The Cloud doesn’t simplify security issues – it complicates and exacerbates them. However, there’s nothing new here. Solid SOA security approaches, such as those we espouse in our LZA Boot Camps have always pushed the “trust no one” approach, and the Cloud is simply another infrastructure for enforcing these already stringent security policies.
In addition, Cloud reliability is pretty much out of your hands. What happens if the Cloud Service is not available? What happens if the whole Cloud is unavailable? Now you don’t only need to think about Service failure, but whole Cloud failover. Will you have an internal SOA infrastructure ready to handle requests if the Cloud is unavailable? If you do, doesn’t that entirely kill the economic benefit of Cloud in the first place? An effective Cloud governance approach must provide the means to control, monitor, and adapt Services, both with on-premises and Cloud-based implementations, and needs to provide consistency across internal SOA & cloud SOA. You should not keep your business (or IT) Service consumers guessing as to whether a Service they are consuming is inside the network or in the Cloud. The whole point of loose coupling and the Cloud is location independence. To make this concept a reality, you need management and governance that spans SOA infrastructure boundaries.
Yet, there’s more to the runtime Cloud governance picture than management and policy enforcement. Data and compliance issues can be the most perplexing. Most third-party Cloud providers provide little, if any, means to do the sort of auditing and logging that’s demanded from most compliance and regulatory requirements, let alone your internal auditing needs. Companies need to intentionally compose all Cloud Services with internal auditing and logging Services deployed on the Cloud (or preferably) local network, negotiate better access to logging data from the Cloud provider, and implement policies for Cloud Service use to control leakage of private information to the Cloud. Furthermore, companies need to implement usage policies to control the excessive, and potentially expensive, use of Cloud Services in unauthorized ways.
One way to solve this problem is through the use of network intermediaries and gateways that keep a close eye on traffic between the corporate network and the Cloud. Intermediaries can scan cloud-bound data for leakage of private or company-sensitive data, filter traffic sent up to cloud platforms, apply access policies to Cloud Services, provide visibility into authorized and unauthorized usage of Cloud Services, and prevent unsanctioned use of Cloud Services by internal staff, among other benefits. Of course, these benefits do not extend to intra-Cloud Service consumption, but can provide a lowest common denominator of runtime governance required by the organization.
Change Management and Cloud Governance
Finally, the last major Cloud governance issue is one of change management. How do you prevent versioning of Cloud Services or even Cloud infrastructure from having significant repercussions? Proper Cloud governance techniques need to lift a page from the SOA governance book and deal with versioning at all levels: Service implementation, contract, process, infrastructure, policy, data, and schema. If you can deal with these inside the network and in the Cloud, you’re golden. If you have any gaps, you’re just itching for trouble.
But the biggest bugaboo here is testing. There simply aren’t many good approaches for testing a Cloud-implemented Service other than to do it in the live, Cloud “production” environment. Indeed, we usually get rotten tomatoes thrown at us when we teach in our LZA boot camps that it is increasingly ineffective to test SOA implementations in a QA environment as the SOA implementation becomes more mature, but now we just get blank stares when we ask if there’s such thing as a Cloud “QA” environment. Of course not. The same approach applies to SOA testing as Cloud testing: test your Services in a live environment by making sure that failures are self-contained and that automated fall-back mechanisms exist. If it can work in your own SOA environment, it can work in the Cloud… and vice-versa.
The ZapThink Take
SOA is an architectural approach and philosophy guiding the development and management of applications. Cloud is a deployment and operational model suited to host certain types of Services within an existing SOA initiative. The Cloud concept within the SOA context is one of Service infrastructure, implementation, composition, and consumption. The SOA concept within the Cloud context is one of application-level abstraction of Cloud resources. Therefore, think of Cloud Governance as evolved SOA governance.
Companies with a proper SOA governance hat on should have few problems as they move to increasingly utilize Cloud services, but those who have failed to take either an architectural perspective on Cloud or have glossed over SOA governance issues will be forced to quickly get a SOA perspective to get things right. In order for these both to work together, companies need to have a consistent SOA and Cloud Governance strategy. To address these issues, ZapThink recently launched our SOA and Cloud Governance training & certification workshops. By addressing each of the issues and potential solutions discussed above, we plan to dive deeper than anyone else has into this topic. We hope to see you there and continue the conversation and movement to SOA and Cloud success!
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 836
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 26, 2014 10:45 PM EST Reads: 978
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 940
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 26, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 964
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 970
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 917
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,006
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 975
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,470
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,223
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,278
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,316
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,318
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,626
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,514
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,653
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,666
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,836
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,786
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,815