As promised, here are some links that should be of interest to enterprise architects who are (or need to be) cloud watching. And yes, I realize I’ve mixed in a leadership interview with Xerox’s Anne Mulcahy, but once you read the others, you’ll be appreciative of a leader who gets that dealing with ambiguity is a sought after, and well compensated, skill.
SOA can learn from cloud computing Service Design & Expandability. Cloud from SOA: Governance & Architecture driven. Service Design: "Those who deploy services in the cloud, such as Amazon, TheWebService, Force.com, have done a pretty good job with service design. You really have to do a good job in order to rent the darn things out. Many SOA projects have a tendency to build services that are too course-grained, too fine-grained, or just not at all well designed. The reality is that services that are not well defined and designed won’t sell well when delivered on-demand, and thus those who provide services out of the cloud – which are most major cloud computing providers – have to spend a lot of time on the design of the services, including usability and durability. I urge those who build services within their SOA, no matter the enabling technology and standards involved, look at what’s out there for rent as good examples of how services should be designed, developed, and deployed."
"The economic crisis has pummelled Sun, which never really recovered from the dotcom bust. As its share price plumbed new lows, IBM’s remained relatively unscathed—a reflection of its business, which has been protected by the computer giant’s global scope and the fact that it makes most of its money from software and services. In the months to come, more big fish will seek to swallow smaller fry. That is because something deeper is going on in the computer industry. Thanks to ever more powerful chips and new software, servers and other hardware can now be “virtualised”, meaning physically separate systems can act as one. This enables computing power to become a utility: it is generated somewhere on the network (“in the cloud”) and supplied as a service. To simplify their complex data centres and cut costs, more and more companies are thinking about building in-house computing utilities, called “private clouds”, or outsourcing computing to “public clouds” of the kind Sun launched…"
"Amazon isn’t the de facto standard cloud services provider because it is complex – it is the leader because the company understands simplicity at a deep level, and minimum progress to declare victory. Competitors should take note – by the time you have established a once and future Fabric infrastructure Amazon is going to have created a billion dollar market. And what then? It will start offering more and more compelling fabric calls… People will start relying on things like SimpleDB and Simple Queue Service. Will that mean less portability? Sure it will…"
"after quite a lull, the software architecture business has gotten rather exciting again…The hegemony of traditional 3 and 4-tier application models, heavyweight run-time platforms, and classical soa that has dominated for about a decade is now literally being torn asunder by a raft of new approaches for designing and architecting applications…incautious words but major changes are in the air and architects are reaching out for new solutions as they encounter novel new challenges in the field…these new advances either address increasingly well-understood shortcomings of existing approaches or add new capabilities that we haven’t generally focused on before…Mainstays of application architecture such as the relational database model, monolithic run-times, and even deterministic behavior are being challenged by non-relational systems, cloud computing, and new pull-based systems where consistency and even data integrity sometimes take a backseat to uptime and performance."
"Q. Do you find yourself looking for certain qualities in a candidate more than you did several years ago?
A. Adaptability and flexibility. One of the things that is mind-boggling right now is how much we have to change all the time. For anybody who’s into comfort and structure, it gets harder and harder to feel satisfied in the company. It’s almost like you have to embrace a lot of ambiguity and be adaptable and not get into the rigidness or expectation-setting that I think there used to be 10 years ago, when you could kind of plot it out and define where you were going to go. I think it’s a lot more fluid right now. It has to be. The people who really do the best are those who actually sense it, enjoy it almost, that lack of definition around their roles and what they can contribute."