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Friday, August 14, 2009
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I had a great time at Burton Group's Catalyst Conference this year.  Spent my time between the Identity Management, SOA and Cloud sessions. Also had an opportunity to attend the Cloud Security & Identity SIG session as well.

As the fast-thinking, slow talking, and always insightful Chris Haddad notes on the Burton APS Blog (Chris... enjoyed the lunch and the conversation) "Existing Cloud Computing's momentum is predominantly focused on hardware optimization (IaaS) or delivery of entire applications (SaaS)".

But the message that I often hear from Cloud vendors is:

  • We want to be an extension of your Enterprise
  • We have deep expertise in certain competencies that are not core to your business, and as such you should let us integrate what we bring to the table into your Enterprise

... and variations on this theme.

But in order to do this, an Enterprise needs to have a deep understanding of its own core competencies, have clearly articulated it's capabilities into distinct offerings, and gone through some sort of a rationalization process for its existing application portfolio.. In effect, have done a very good job of Service Orient-ing themselves!

But we are also hearing at the same time that SOA has lost its bright and shiny appeal and that most SOA efforts, with rare exceptions, have not been successful. For the record, success in SOA to me is not about building out a web services infrastructure, but about getting true value and clear and measurable ROI out of the effort.

So to me, it would appear that without an organization getting Service Orientation right, any serious attempt they make on the cloud computing end will end up as nothing more than an attempt at building a castle on quicksand.

The other point that I noted was that while there were discussions around Identity and Security of Cloud offerings (they still need to mature a whole lot more, but the discussion was still there), there was little to no discussion around visibility and manageability of cloud offerings.  A point that I brought up in questions and in conversations on this topic was that while people's appetite for risk vary, one of the ways to evaluate and potentially mitigate risk was to provide more real time visibility into cloud offerings.  If a cloud vendor's offerings are to be tightly integrated into an Enterprise, and I now have a clear dependency on them, I would very much want to have a clear awareness of how the cloud offerings were behaving.

From a technical perspective, what I was proposing was something very similar in concept to the monitoring (and not management) piece of what WS-Management & WSDM brought to the table on the WS-* front. In effect, a standardized interface that all cloud vendors agree to implement that provides health and monitoring visibility to the organizations that utilize their services. In short, I do not want to get an after-the-fact report on your status sent to me by e-mail or pulled up on a web site, I want the real time visibility into your services that my NOC can monitor. There was a response from some vendors that they have this interface internally for their own monitoring. My response back to them is to expose it to your customers, and work within the cloud community to standardize it such that the same interface exits as I move from vendor to vendor.


8/14/2009 9:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time  |  Comments [1]  |  Disclaimer  |  Permalink   
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:36:33 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Indeed security will be a major problem for the wide scale deployment of cloud systems, but the main thing that bothered me is that with all the hype,the first inaugural cloud conference held Aug 12-13 did not got enough media coverage or industry promotion which could have made some difference
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