Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, David Green, XebiaLabs Blog

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
This complete kit provides a proven process and customizable documents that will help you evaluate rapid application delivery platforms and select the ideal partner for building mobile and web apps for your organization.
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
A company’s collection of online systems is like a delicate ecosystem – all components must integrate with and complement each other, and one single malfunction in any of them can bring the entire system to a screeching halt. That’s why, when monitoring and analyzing the health of your online systems, you need a broad arsenal of different tools for your different needs. In addition to a wide-angle lens that provides a snapshot of the overall health of your system, you must also have precise, ...
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th 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 wait for long dev...
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...