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The Realities of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is not “the end of IT,” nor is it a waste of time

I’m just finishing up a book on cloud computing and SOA, and found the process of writing the book to be a great catalyst for thinking through the issues surrounding cloud computing, as well as assisting my clients with their cloud computing strategies.

As I found, there are a few issues to consider with cloud computing:

  • First, cloud computing is not the savior of IT. It’s nothing but a way to deploy your enterprise architecture in such as way that has the potential to be more productive and cost effective. In essence, it’s a tool, not a way of life. It’s not magic, it’s not even new, but if approached correctly, could be a path toward efficiency.

  • Second, cloud computing and SOA are different concepts, but they are indeed related. SOA is a pattern of architecture, or an approach, where cloud computing is an instance of architecture, or architectural options. They are linked, they are related, and you can’t do one without the other if you’re looking to solve problems at the enterprise level.

  • Finally, the concepts of cloud computing require that many enterprises perform unnatural acts, such as out-placing processes and information. There are things to consider, of course, but there should never be an approach that’s completely against cloud computing, or completely for it.The answer is somewhere in the middle.

My new book is promoting good architectural practices by leveraging what’s best from SOA and cloud computing. Hopefully I’m providing a balanced view, including when cloud computing is a fit, and when it’s not. Cloud computing is not “the end of IT,” nor is it a waste of time. You’ll find it’s value somewhere between the two extremes.

You’ll never hear from me that I believe you need to outplace your core information systems to cloud-based platforms, but you’ll never hear from me that you don’t need to look into it. Like anything, it’s a balancing act that requires you understand your own issues before you can implement any approaches or techniques to build a better IT infrastructure for your enterprise.

I’m exciting about the book. I think the market is in need of guidance at this point, or perhaps some good practical thinking for this exploding space.

More Stories By David Linthicum

Dave Linthicum is Sr. VP at Cloud Technology Partners, and an internationally known cloud computing and SOA expert. He is a sought-after consultant, speaker, and blogger. In his career, Dave has formed or enhanced many of the ideas behind modern distributed computing including EAI, B2B Application Integration, and SOA, approaches and technologies in wide use today. In addition, he is the Editor-in-Chief of SYS-CON's Virtualization Journal.

For the last 10 years, he has focused on the technology and strategies around cloud computing, including working with several cloud computing startups. His industry experience includes tenure as CTO and CEO of several successful software and cloud computing companies, and upper-level management positions in Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer science for eight years, and continues to lecture at major technical colleges and universities, including University of Virginia and Arizona State University. He keynotes at many leading technology conferences, and has several well-read columns and blogs. Linthicum has authored 10 books, including the ground-breaking "Enterprise Application Integration" and "B2B Application Integration." You can reach him at [email protected] Or follow him on Twitter. Or view his profile on LinkedIn.