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SOA looks to the cloud

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ITWeb's Service Oriented Architecture conference

More information about the ITWeb SOA conference, which takes place on 20 & 21 October 2009 at The Forum in Bryanston is available online here.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is not a walk in the park, as many organisations have realised after spending significant amounts of money on implementing an SOA system.

So says Joe Ruthven, business development manager of SOA and open computing at IBM South and sub-Saharan Africa. Ruthven will identify the implications of cloud computing for SOA during the upcoming ITWeb SOA conference on 20 and 21 October, at the Forum, in Bryanston.

According to Ruthven, the SOA market has slowly matured, with customers and suppliers having a much better understanding of the benefits SOA can bring. However, SOA also involves a number of challenges.

“Many IT departments started the SOA journey by blindly exposing services, mostly Web services, left, right, and centre,” says Ruthven. “This approach, of course, does not work as it's difficult to measure re-use and almost impossible to control. As a result, organisations are approaching SOA in more structured way.”

Ruthven suggests that the alignment of IT with business is arguably the most important ingredient of any SOA project. He notes that SOA is being used more in delivering solutions that solve real, measurable business problems.

Complementary computing

Ruthven goes on to say that SOA and cloud computing work hand-in-hand, because cloud computing is the logical extension of SOA. “The cloud provides infrastructure services and SOA extends that by providing software-as-a-service.

“If one considers that the core premise of cloud computing is to deliver computing resources as a service, such as storage capacity, data and CPU, then SOA provides the ability to also deliver applications as a service.”

Ruthven points out that it's imperative for an organisation to determine which services, infrastructure and software are a good fit for cloud and SOA.

“You have to examine your environment and existing architecture carefully and select services that will actually benefit from this approach.”

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