Eye on Oracle

Mar 30 2010   9:05PM GMT

Bringing SOA into the cloud: Will it work?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

Last year, the Burton Group’s Anne Thomas Mane caused quite a stir when she declared on her blog that Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) was dead.  Now, “the great failed experiment,” as she called it, is expected to grow 25% in the next three years, according to new data from the IDC.

The IDC’s Ruediger Spies, who spoke about SOA at the SOA and Beyond Conference 2010 in London, emphasized the role cloud computing would play in its growth.  He said that SOA can provide a framework for cloud computing, enabling companies to reduce costs and increase flexibility.

However, not everyone is completely optimistic about the recent push to integrate cloud computing and SOA.  In his recent blog post, My Fear for the embrace of SOA and Cloud Computing, Oracle’s Stephen Bennett discusses his hesitations for deploying SOA applications in the cloud.

Though he doesn’t deny the two are mutually beneficial, Bennett’s main concern seems to be that these deployments will occur without enough effort or planning.  IT executive Arun Rao agrees that such deployments must be well thought out.  In his blog post “Argument for SOA in Cloud Computing Environment”, Rao gives a clear explanation of how SOA and cloud computing works both mutually and individually, discounting the argument that an increased use of cloud computing could mean a decreased need for SOA.

So, what are the potential challenges that need to be addressed before putting SOA applications in the cloud?

Open source consultant Jeff Genender addresses some of these issues in his recent SearchSOA.com interview; for example, the difficulty of deploying component updates without rebooting is a recurring problem in early deployments.

Oracle’s cloud computing platform will have its own SOA challenges — watch this video of Oracle’s David Shaffer discussing the three layers of cloud computing, an important concept to understand before bringing SOA into the cloud:

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