Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Matt Brickey, Mehdi Daoudi, Astadia CloudGPS

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

SaaS Creating Eventually Consistent Business Model

Our reliance on cloud and external systems has finally trickled down (or is it up?) to the business

The success of SOA, which grew out of the popular Object Oriented development paradigm, was greatly hampered by the inability of architects to enforce its central premise of reuse. But it wasn't just the lack of reusing services that caused it to fail to achieve the greatness predicted, it was the lack of adopting the idea of an authoritative source for business critical objects, i.e. data.

A customer, an order, a lead, a prospect, a service call. These "business objects" within SOA were intended to represented by a single, authoritative source as a means to ultimately provide a more holistic view of a customer that could be then be used by various business applications to ensure more quality service.

It didn't turn out that way, mores the pity, and while organizations adopted the protocols and programmatic methods associated with SOA, they never really got down to the business of implementing authoritative sources for business critical "objects". As organizations increasingly turn to SaaS solutions, particularly for CRM and SFA solutions (Gartner’s Market Trends: SaaS’s Varied Levels of Cannibalization to On-Premises Applications published: 29 October 2012) the ability to enforce a single, authoritative source becomes even more unpossible. What's perhaps even more disturbing is the potential inability to generate that holistic view of a customer that's so important to managing customer relationships and business processes.

The New Normal

Organizations have had to return to an integration-focused strategy in order to provide applications with the most current view of a customer. Unfortunately, that strategy often relies upon APIs from SaaS vendors who necessarily put limits on APIs that can interfere with that integration. As noted in "The Quest for a Cloud Integration Strategy", these limitations can strangle integration efforts to reassemble a holistic view of business objects as an organization grows:

"...many SaaS applications have very particular usage restrictions about how much data can be sent through their API in a given time window. It is critical that as data volumes increase that the solution adequately is aware of and handles those restrictions."

Note that the integration solution must be "aware of" and "handle" the restrictions. It is nearly a foregone conclusion that these limitations will eventually be met and there is no real solution around them save paying for more, if that's even an option.

While certainly that approach works for the provider - it keeps the service available - the definition of availability with respect to data is that it's, well, available. That means accessible. The existence of limitations means that at times and under certain conditions, your data will not be accessible, ergo by most folks definition it's not available.

If it's not available, the ability to put together a view of the customer is pretty much out of the question.

But eventually, it'll get there, right? Eventually, you'll have the data.

Eventually, the data you're basing decisions on, managing customers with, and basing manufacturing process on, will be consistent with reality.

Kicking Costs Down the Road - and Over the Wall

Many point to exorbitant IT costs to setup, scale, and maintain on-premise systems such as CRM. It is truth that a SaaS solution is faster and likely less expensive to maintain and scale. But it is also true that if the SaaS is unable to scale along with your business in terms of your ability to access, integrate, and analyze your own data, that you're merely kicking those capital and operating expenses down to the road - and over the wall to the business.

The problem of limitations on cloud integration (specifically SaaS integration) methods are not trivial. A perusal of support forums shows a variety of discussion on how to circumvent, avoid, and workaround these limitations to enable timely integration of data with other critical systems upon which business stakeholders rely to carry out their daily responsibilities to each other, to their investors, and to their customers.

Fulfillment, for example, may rely on data it receives as a result of integration with a SaaS. It is difficult to estimate fulfillment on data that may or may not be up to date and thus may not be consistent with the customer's view. Accounting may be relying on data it assumes is accurate, but actually is not. Most SaaS systems impose a 24 hour interval in which it enforces API access limits, which may set the books off by as much as a day - or more, depending on how much of a backlog may occur. Customers may be interfacing with systems that integrate with back-office SaaS that shows incomplete order histories, payments and deliveries, which in turn can result in increasing call center costs to deal with the inaccuracies.

The inability to access critical business data has a domino effect on every other system in place. The more distributed the sources of authoritative data the more disruptive an effect the inability to access that data due to provider-imposed limitations has on the entire business.

Eventually consistent business models are not optimal, yet the massive adoption of SaaS solutions make such a model inevitable for organizations of all sizes as they encounter artificial limitations imposed to ensure system wide availability but not necessarily individual data accessibility.

Being aware of such limitations can enable the development and implementation of strategies designed to keep data - especially authoritative data - as consistent as possible. But ultimately, any strategy is going to be highly dependent upon the provider and its ability to scale to meet demand - and loosen limitations on accessibility.

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.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
If you read a lot of business and technology publications, you might think public clouds are universally preferred over all other cloud options. To be sure, the numbers posted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure platform are nothing short of impressive. Statistics reveal that public clouds are growing faster than private clouds and analysts at IDC predict that public cloud growth will be 3 times that of private clouds by 2019.
For over a decade, Application Programming Interface or APIs have been used to exchange data between multiple platforms. From social media to news and media sites, most websites depend on APIs to provide a dynamic and real-time digital experience. APIs have made its way into almost every device and service available today and it continues to spur innovations in every field of technology. There are multiple programming languages used to build and run applications in the online world. And just li...
If you are thinking about moving applications off a mainframe and over to open systems and the cloud, consider these guidelines to prioritize what to move and what to eliminate. On the surface, mainframe architecture seems relatively simple: A centrally located computer processes data through an input/output subsystem and stores its computations in memory. At the other end of the mainframe are printers and terminals that communicate with the mainframe through protocols. For all of its appare...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"Peak 10 is a hybrid infrastructure provider across the nation. We are in the thick of things when it comes to hybrid IT," explained Michael Fuhrman, Chief Technology Officer at Peak 10, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Data reduction delivers compelling cost reduction that substantially improves the business case in every cloud deployment model. No matter which cloud approach you choose, the cost savings benefits from data reduction should not be ignored and must be a component of your cloud strategy. IT professionals are finding that the future of IT infrastructure lies in the cloud. Data reduction technologies enable clouds — public, private, and hybrid — to deliver business agility and elasticity at the lo...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 w...
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From personal care products to groceries and movies on demand, cloud-based subscriptions are fulfilling the needs of consumers across an array of market sectors. Nowhere is this shift to subscription services more evident than in the technology sector. By adopting an Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) delivery model, companies are able to tailor their computing environments to shape the experiences they want for customers as well as their workforce.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
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 their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.