|By Aristo Togliatti||
|October 4, 2009 05:00 PM EDT||
Enterprise Architecture on Ulitzer
Is SOA dead? This question keeps popping up every now and then within the IT community and though we all seem to agree that SOA is far from dead something has indeed radically changed: our expectations. Just a few years ago, perhaps months, we considered SOA to be the solution to all of our (IT) problems, promising to unleash the power of our business, and that just by thinking 'services'!
But judging by the decreasing number (still a lot anyhow) of events and focus around SOA it's quite obvious that SOA has been somehow a disappointment. The question is why? What did SOA promise that it did not deliver?
If we just focus on SOA’s technical aspects I do believe SOA has been immensely successful, I don't think there are a lot of companies where 'services' aren’t being considered or haven’t been implemented. Thanks to SOA we stress the value of standardisation and interoperability even more than in the past and even though we did build services before SOA was born, SOA brought a name and common acceptance to the discipline of ‘thinking services’. And it brought a whole lot of hype to the IT world which we most certainly needed.
But there’s more to SOA than implementing a technical platform based on services, once again we need to answer the question: what is SOA and what was it supposed to be?
The ones that did understand what SOA was all about did not succeed in communicating it to the big mass, ironically that probably contributed to it's success as it would have transformed SOA from something easy to understand and straight forward (on a theoretical level of course) to implement into something not a lot of companies fully have managed to achieve - the (at least partial) alignment between IT and business, ultimately an important component of a functioning enterprise architecture.
So, what would happen if we'd look at SOA from the EA perspective, its ability to permeate and contribute to your company's success? I am not so sure we'd like what we'd see.
Implementing the technical part of SOA (like building web services, deploying an ESB, ...) is a challenge by itself but that's far from the effort required to fully implement a SOA. In order to even start talking of services on an enterprise level you first need to create the correct organisational 'environment' and that is an enormous challenge.
Though companies and professionals embracing SOA did leverage the tools and know-how required (in the form of for example guidelines, whitepapers, expertise, etc.) to successfully implement a SOA, they evangelised the 'wrong' people, meaning often the IT people. That of course because they themselves mostly came from the IT-world and IT-departments were the ones they used to target. Imagine a sales-person from some SOA vendor going to the board of directors and trying to explain what SOA and services are and how 'thinking services' could benefit the company... and of course at the same time trying to sell an ESB (which is the sales-person's ultimate objective), it probably wouldn't be that successful.
So they went for the the bottom-up approach instead, sell first (the – technical - SOA concept and tools) and then explain why you are not going to build a SOA with just tools and technique, why governance, organisation, architecture are so vital to it and that without involving the entire organisation you will not succeed.
I'm not saying this approach is wrong, as a matter of fact I am not sure there is any other possible approach as once again, the alternative of going to the board and explaining the concepts of services, enterprise architecture etc. is not really that appealing... it's much easier to start off with an ESB and though it might not be the 'correct' way it's better to start the ‘wrong’ way than not starting at all.
That’s probably why SOA has widely been accepted and adopted by the technical community as a technical architecture, it’s the way it has been presented to it. And even though the concept of 'services' shouldn't necessarily be easier to understand for IT-people it seems that IT rushed to accept and adopt it, overlooking that it wasn't really an integral SOA they embraced rather the technical part of it and aspects such as organisational and political aspects were somehow partially or totally neglected. At least until IT realized that without fully implementing it SOA would never become more than exactly what they created, a technical architecture.
The ‘problem’ is that many companies never take the next step, they welcome SOA as a technical architecture and do not have the strength or the knowledge to implement it to it’s full extent into the organisation thus never unlocking it's true potential.
I guess you could say that SOA's inability to leverage what it promised is not really SOA's fault but lies on the not uncommon gap between IT and management which SOA itself was meant to 'bridge'. Catch-22.
So, what have we learned from all this? A lot. I think SOA helped us a long way on our path to creating a tighter cooperation between IT and the rest of the organisation and we have come much closer to creating an architecture that really ties together all the different parts of the company. It's like when OOP first was born and affected the way programmers thought, SOA made us think 'services', and even though different people thought of different kinds of services (making communicating pretty confusing) the important thing yet is that we introduced a common language that we can use to further develop our communication skills.
I believe that SOA will (or already has?) become part of our EA-toolkit as other architectures have done before it.
Building custom add-ons does not need to be limited to the ideas you see on a marketplace. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sukhbir Dhillon, CEO and founder of Addteq, will go over some adventures they faced in developing integrations using Atlassian SDK and other technologies/platforms and how it has enabled development teams to experiment with newer paradigms like Serverless and newer features of Atlassian SDKs. In this presentation, you will be taken on a journey of Add-On and Integration ...
Mar. 27, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,050
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership abi...
Mar. 27, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 11,042
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
Mar. 27, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,163
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Mar. 27, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,973
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Mar. 27, 2017 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,995
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 27, 2017 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,117
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Mar. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 7,641
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Mar. 26, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 9,608
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,844
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, explored HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Mar. 26, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 10,592
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Mar. 26, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 8,572
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
Mar. 26, 2017 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,612
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,942
The IT industry is undergoing a significant evolution to keep up with cloud application demand. We see this happening as a mindset shift, from traditional IT teams to more well-rounded, cloud-focused job roles. The IT industry has become so cloud-minded that Gartner predicts that by 2020, this cloud shift will impact more than $1 trillion of global IT spending. This shift, however, has left some IT professionals feeling a little anxious about what lies ahead. The good news is that cloud computin...
Mar. 26, 2017 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,285
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 26, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,929
An overall theme of Cloud computing and the specific practices within it is fundamentally one of automation. The core value of technology is to continually automate low level procedures to free up people to work on more value add activities, ultimately leading to the utopian goal of full Autonomic Computing. For example a great way to define your plan for DevOps tool chain adoption is through this lens. In this TechTarget article they outline a simple maturity model for planning this.
Mar. 26, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,289
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
Mar. 26, 2017 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 6,191
The rise of containers and microservices has skyrocketed the rate at which new applications are moved into production environments today. While developers have been deploying containers to speed up the development processes for some time, there still remain challenges with running microservices efficiently. Most existing IT monitoring tools don’t actually maintain visibility into the containers that make up microservices. As those container applications move into production, some IT operations t...
Mar. 26, 2017 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,980
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Mar. 25, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,653
Software development is a moving target. You have to keep your eye on trends in the tech space that haven’t even happened yet just to stay current. Consider what’s happened with augmented reality (AR) in this year alone. If you said you were working on an AR app in 2015, you might have gotten a lot of blank stares or jokes about Google Glass. Then Pokémon GO happened. Like AR, the trends listed below have been building steam for some time, but they’ll be taking off in surprising new directions b...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,841