|By Jason Bloomberg||
|July 15, 2009 10:15 AM EDT||
As we predicted earlier in the year, Cloud computing is starting to take hold, especially if you believe the marketing literature of vendors and consulting firms. Yet, we are seeing an increasing number of Cloud success stories, ranging from simplistic consumption of utility Services and offloading of compute resources to the sort of application and process clouds we discussed in a previous ZapFlash. Perhaps the reason why usage of the Cloud is still nascent in the enterprise is because of an increasing chorus of concerns being voiced about the usage of Cloud resources:
Cloud availability. Cloud security. Erosion of data integrity. Data replication and consistency issues. Potential loss of privacy. Lack of auditing and logging visibility. Potential for regulatory violations. Application sprawl & dependencies. Inappropriate usage of Services. Difficulty in managing intra-Cloud, inter-Cloud, and Cloud and non-Cloud interactions and resources. And that’s just the short list.
Do any of these issues sound familiar? To address these concerns, we have to return to a topic we’ve hashed over and again on the SOA side of things: governance. The above issues are primarily, if not exclusively, governance concerns. Thankfully, in many ways, we can apply what we’ve already learned, implemented, and invested in SOA Governance directly to issues of Cloud Governance. However, SOA and Cloud, while complementary, are not equivalent concepts. There are a wide range of patterns and usage considerations that are either new to the SOA Governance picture or ones that we were able to gloss over. To make Cloud computing a success, we need to make Cloud governance a success. So, what can we apply from our existing SOA governance knowledge, and what new things do companies need to consider?
Design-Time Cloud Governance
Designing Services to be deployed in the Cloud is much like designing Services for your own SOA infrastructure. In fact, that’s the point – most Cloud infrastructure providers, whether they are third-party Cloud providers like Amazon.com, or self-hosting Cloud infrastructure vendors, pitch the simplicity of Cloud Service development and deployment. However, within this simple mode lurks an insidious beast: if you thought it was hard to get your developers on the same page with regards to Service development when you owned your own SOA infrastructure and registry, try it when you have little visibility into the Service assets built by unknown developers. Like the early days of Web Services-centric SOA development, companies faced developers hacking out a wide array of incompatible “Just a Bunch of Web Services (JBOWS)” style Services thrown willy-nilly on the network, now to face the same issue in the Cloud. Of course, JBOWS doesn’t a SOA make, and neither does it a Cloud make.
Furthermore, with the simplicity of Cloud Service development, deployment, and consumption, developers can use Cloud capabilities undetected by IT management. It’s not unusual for a developer to dabble with an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) image for a project. Simply use a personal Amazon account and credit card and off you go! And to make matters worse, not everyone creating or consuming Cloud Services will even be from within the IT department. In a previous ZapFlash, I admonished IT to become more responsive to the business lest they become disintermediated. Don’t want your sales and marketing folks using Cloud services? Good luck trying to prevent that. I wish you even more luck trying to get visibility into what they are doing. Without adequate design-time Cloud governance, you’re up a croc-infested river without a paddle.
Making matters worse, SOA governance tools are often missing in the Cloud Computing environment. There’s no central point for a Cloud consumer / developer to view the Services and associated policies. Furthermore, design-time policies are easily enforceable when you have control over the development and QA process, but those are notoriously lacking in the Cloud environment. The result is that design-time policies are not consistently enforced on client side, if at all. Clearly, SOA governance vendors and best practices need to step up to the plate here and apply what we already know about SOA registries/repositories and governance processes to give the control that’s needed to avoid chaos and failure. This means that IT needs to provide the enterprise a unified, Service-centric view of IT environment across the corporate data center and the Cloud.
Run-Time Cloud Governance
Making matters worse are a collection of run-time and policy issues that are complicated by the fog of Cloud computing infrastructure. Data reside on systems you don’t control, which may be in other countries or legal jurisdictions. Furthermore, systems are unlikely to have the same security standards as you have internally. This means that your security policies need to be that much more granular. You can’t count on using perimeter-based approaches to secure your data or Service access. Every message needs to be scrutinized and you need to separate Service and data policy definition from enforcement. The Cloud doesn’t simplify security issues – it complicates and exacerbates them. However, there’s nothing new here. Solid SOA security approaches, such as those we espouse in our LZA Boot Camps have always pushed the “trust no one” approach, and the Cloud is simply another infrastructure for enforcing these already stringent security policies.
In addition, Cloud reliability is pretty much out of your hands. What happens if the Cloud Service is not available? What happens if the whole Cloud is unavailable? Now you don’t only need to think about Service failure, but whole Cloud failover. Will you have an internal SOA infrastructure ready to handle requests if the Cloud is unavailable? If you do, doesn’t that entirely kill the economic benefit of Cloud in the first place? An effective Cloud governance approach must provide the means to control, monitor, and adapt Services, both with on-premises and Cloud-based implementations, and needs to provide consistency across internal SOA & cloud SOA. You should not keep your business (or IT) Service consumers guessing as to whether a Service they are consuming is inside the network or in the Cloud. The whole point of loose coupling and the Cloud is location independence. To make this concept a reality, you need management and governance that spans SOA infrastructure boundaries.
Yet, there’s more to the runtime Cloud governance picture than management and policy enforcement. Data and compliance issues can be the most perplexing. Most third-party Cloud providers provide little, if any, means to do the sort of auditing and logging that’s demanded from most compliance and regulatory requirements, let alone your internal auditing needs. Companies need to intentionally compose all Cloud Services with internal auditing and logging Services deployed on the Cloud (or preferably) local network, negotiate better access to logging data from the Cloud provider, and implement policies for Cloud Service use to control leakage of private information to the Cloud. Furthermore, companies need to implement usage policies to control the excessive, and potentially expensive, use of Cloud Services in unauthorized ways.
One way to solve this problem is through the use of network intermediaries and gateways that keep a close eye on traffic between the corporate network and the Cloud. Intermediaries can scan cloud-bound data for leakage of private or company-sensitive data, filter traffic sent up to cloud platforms, apply access policies to Cloud Services, provide visibility into authorized and unauthorized usage of Cloud Services, and prevent unsanctioned use of Cloud Services by internal staff, among other benefits. Of course, these benefits do not extend to intra-Cloud Service consumption, but can provide a lowest common denominator of runtime governance required by the organization.
Change Management and Cloud Governance
Finally, the last major Cloud governance issue is one of change management. How do you prevent versioning of Cloud Services or even Cloud infrastructure from having significant repercussions? Proper Cloud governance techniques need to lift a page from the SOA governance book and deal with versioning at all levels: Service implementation, contract, process, infrastructure, policy, data, and schema. If you can deal with these inside the network and in the Cloud, you’re golden. If you have any gaps, you’re just itching for trouble.
But the biggest bugaboo here is testing. There simply aren’t many good approaches for testing a Cloud-implemented Service other than to do it in the live, Cloud “production” environment. Indeed, we usually get rotten tomatoes thrown at us when we teach in our LZA boot camps that it is increasingly ineffective to test SOA implementations in a QA environment as the SOA implementation becomes more mature, but now we just get blank stares when we ask if there’s such thing as a Cloud “QA” environment. Of course not. The same approach applies to SOA testing as Cloud testing: test your Services in a live environment by making sure that failures are self-contained and that automated fall-back mechanisms exist. If it can work in your own SOA environment, it can work in the Cloud… and vice-versa.
The ZapThink Take
SOA is an architectural approach and philosophy guiding the development and management of applications. Cloud is a deployment and operational model suited to host certain types of Services within an existing SOA initiative. The Cloud concept within the SOA context is one of Service infrastructure, implementation, composition, and consumption. The SOA concept within the Cloud context is one of application-level abstraction of Cloud resources. Therefore, think of Cloud Governance as evolved SOA governance.
Companies with a proper SOA governance hat on should have few problems as they move to increasingly utilize Cloud services, but those who have failed to take either an architectural perspective on Cloud or have glossed over SOA governance issues will be forced to quickly get a SOA perspective to get things right. In order for these both to work together, companies need to have a consistent SOA and Cloud Governance strategy. To address these issues, ZapThink recently launched our SOA and Cloud Governance training & certification workshops. By addressing each of the issues and potential solutions discussed above, we plan to dive deeper than anyone else has into this topic. We hope to see you there and continue the conversation and movement to SOA and Cloud success!
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
Sep. 30, 2014 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,397
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Sep. 29, 2014 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,853
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
Sep. 28, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,516
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Sep. 27, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,880
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,803
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,264
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
Sep. 27, 2014 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,458
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
Sep. 27, 2014 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,337
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
Sep. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,019
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Sep. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,182
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
Sep. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,518
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
Sep. 26, 2014 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,454
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
Sep. 26, 2014 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,273
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
Sep. 26, 2014 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,632
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Sep. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,566
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
Sep. 26, 2014 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,566
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
Sep. 26, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,517
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Sep. 26, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,042
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
Sep. 26, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,416
With the iCloud scandal seemingly in its past, Apple announced new iPhones, updates to iPad and MacBook as well as news on OSX Yosemite. Although consumers will have to wait to get their hands on some of that new stuff, what they can get is the latest release of iOS 8 that Apple made available for most in-market iPhones and iPads. Originally announced at WWDC (Apple’s annual developers conference) in June, iOS 8 seems to spearhead Apple’s newfound focus upon greater integration of their products into everyday tasks, cross-platform mobility and self-monitoring. Before you update your device, here is a look at some of the new features and things you may want to consider from a mobile security perspective.
Sep. 26, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,393