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Integration or Connectivity - "as a Service"?

The importance of connectivity in cloud computing

Integration challenges in cloud computing have always been intriguing to me and I had posted a previous blog on the importance of SaaS vendors supporting standards enabling easier connectivity.

Patchwork solutions integrating applications written over the years have created an inventory of application portfolios so complicated to maintain that their budget drains a large percentage of corporate information technology expenditure even today.

>Cloud computing makes the need of world-class integration services important to the overall success of solutions. Vendors are not ignoring this customer need. Several studies indicate integration as a top barrier to cloud computing. Informatica has built a cloud integration solution. IBM purchased CastIron in May, 2010.

Start-ups like SnapLogic and RunMyProcess seem to be changing fundamental techniques of delivering integration services. SnapLogic is innovative with a marketplace of vendors selling solutions through an online store.

Solving the complexities of building integration solutions seems like an ideal candidate for using cloud technology. It is a good area for innovative solutions to mature and solve these thorny problems.

There are some virtualization standards that can take integration out of the B2B realm and into infrastructure integration. We have to ensure multiple data centers are connected to improve cloud availability. Open Virtualization Format (OVF) could be a good mechanism for companies to be able to provide portability of compute resources from one location to another. I envision there could be a day where you send a compute request and it would be brokered into providing you the resource you needed, similar to how some organizations broker auctions between several vendors in providing insurance quotes today.

 

The “As A Service” acronyms in cloud computing take some time to understand and apply to real life problems. Most of my presentations categorize them as Infrastructure, Platform, Application and Business Process. However, after seeing challenges facing cloud computing, the time may be right to create an “Integration as a Service” category. Or you can call it “Connectivity as service”.

 

During the upcoming cloud computing bootcamp in Santa Clara (Nov 1-4, 2010), you will find one of the sessions on Day 3 featuring Boomi and CastIron, to be very informative on how integration of SaaS applications are done using their products.  Other companies including GoGrid, Rackspace, Microsoft, Oracle and Cordys will be demonstrating their products that I expect to shed more light on how their capabilities will help make integration easier across the board.

 

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

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