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SOA and Governance for Cloud Computing
Ryan Boyles 100000UX41 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  omg soa middleware governance amywohl cloud-computing cloud
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While it is certainly true that SOA and Cloud computing are not the same thing (see my previous blog on SOA Governance and Cloud Computing), Cloud architecture draws heavily on SOA architecture and SOA governance can provide significant value to governing cloud environments. This means if you’re already using SOA governance, you’re one step further along in implementing cloud governance.
Various kinds of governance (such as Enterprise/Business Governance, BPM governance, and IT Governance can all intersect with SOA Governance and help inform your Cloud Computing Governance. IBM explains its Cloud Computing and SOA Reference Architectures in a set of charts. I can’t display the charts here, but I can give you a link to download a PDF and better understand the architecture.
Basically the Cloud Computing Reference Architecture allows a cloud service creator, using appropriate tools, to take advantage of infrastructure offered by a cloud service provider and offer cloud services to the business consumer. Governance is part of the environment, but you have to choose to implement it.
Think of the relationship between SOA and Cloud Computing as a series of steps. If you add the Middleware View of the SOA Reference Architecture to the specifics of the cloud you should arrive at the Cloud Reference Architecture. And the architectural principles of SOA will help you implement cloud governance with some additional tools.
Customers often say they would like to rely on standards but the reality of cloud standards is that no one is offering a complete set today and many standards organizations are (not yet) in agreement with one another. Recently, IBM helped to form a Customer Council, under the auspices of the Open Management Group, not to build standards, but rather to create a set of guidelines and requirements that they will offer to standards groups, in the hopes that the standards that emerge will be better suited to customer needs and avoid some of the long period of negotiating and “tweaking” that usually occurs in early standards efforts. In any case, sticking with the SOA Reference Architecture and a Cloud Reference Architecture that is an extension of SOA will keep organizations on a path toward interoperability until the standards arrive.
There are two kinds of Cloud Governance issues you will need to address. The first is how to get cloud projects in your organization to consider implementing governance early; that may require offers of funding or technical assistance to encourage individual projects to make the investment.
• Governance processes should make it easy to do things the right way and hard to do them the wrong way (a quote from Mark Ericson, CTO Mindreef, now Progress).
• Be aware of regulatory requirements (about privacy, data integrity, etc.)
• Automation is key to optimal service automation across all realms of the cloud. But if you want users to self-service, you need to make it easy.
• Business enablement requirements for your organization, including customer and industry requirements.
You need to think about governance and the SOA Governance model (PDF) is the one you should be thinking about. We’re going to look at cloud computing governance in more granular ways, for specific tasks, in a future blog.