|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!
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Jan. 31, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,941
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
Jan. 31, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,835
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 ...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,087
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Jan. 30, 2015 10:00 PM EST Reads: 2,878
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Jan. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EST Reads: 3,152
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.
Jan. 30, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 3,532
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,715
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Jan. 30, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 3,242
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
Jan. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,380
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 30, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,625
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Jan. 30, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,030
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Jan. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 4,139
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
Jan. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,741
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
Jan. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,930
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jan. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 8,066
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...
Jan. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,690
"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.
Jan. 30, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 3,641
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...
Jan. 30, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,798
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Jan. 30, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,344
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!
Jan. 30, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,067