The Silver Linings of Cloud Computing
tendai 100000ASU7 655 Visits
This is in response to bwoolf's posting "Re: Silver Lining: You can start now with Cloud Computing!!" where he raised a very interesting discussion point and questions of clarification.
Firsty, thanks for your comments and the reference to your blog on grid. It looks like IBM had a true premonition on the "Future of Computing" :-).
You've raised a very interesting discussion point and I'll attempt to answer your questions. The key premise I often refer to is that SOA is an enabler of the Cloud. As are other enablers such as virtualization and grid computing technologies amongst others. These enablers facilitate the Cloud's ability to deliver business services as provisioned services in a low cost, automated, virtual and transparent way. Subscribers can now benefit from the business value of these services (be them defined by SOA or other) with a significantly reduced overhead of investment compared to what they would incur if they were to own the implementation and delivery of these services and their underlying resources.
So is the "Silver Lining: You can start now with Cloud Computing!!" blog entry about SOA or Cloud Computing? I would like to say the latter but based on the example you are right to conclude that SOA is all over it as you may find in other blogs about Cloud Computing where there may be references to virtualization, grid computing etc.
It looks like we are somewhat in agreement on the point that SOA and Cloud go hand-in-hand :-) In fact that's one of the "Silver Linings of Cloud Computing" I've expressed in that we are already familiar with the technology and architectural concepts (such as SOA) that constitute the Cloud.
Once again thanks for your valuable comments and bringing this discussion point to the table!!!
Cloud Computing is commonly defined, maybe not in these exact words:
It's easy to focus on one versus the other. In fact, much of the hype around Cloud Computing is in the technology advancements that realize the infrastructure hosting the services. In my previous blog I talked about incremental maturation of the Cloud's capabilities to provision business services. I'll elaborate on these capabilities in upcoming entries but wanted to bring focus on the Business Delivery Model an important component of Cloud Computing.
So what is this Business Delivery Model? Well, we hear subtle implications about it in Cloud Computing discussions. For instance, "Cloud Service clients subscribe and utilize business services provisioned by the Cloud. These services can be categorized as business process, application, platform and infrastructure services that are managed, resourced and provisioned by the Cloud according to Service Level Agreements (SLAs)." Embedded in there is a Business Delivery Model that subtly implies a predefined set of roles, activities and business rule entities that cooperate to reach an intended outcome i.e. provisioned business services.
Let's first make an attempt at identifying these roles, activities, business rule entities and intended outcome.
Activities and their associated Roles:
Business Rule Entities:
Next, let's look at a prototype for a process model that illustrates the cooperation of the above to provision the business service. Consider the below business delivery process model created with IBM WebSphere Business Modeler V6.2
Main Process:: Provision Cloud Service Process
Sub-Process:: Approve On Boarding Request
Sub-Process:: Initiate the Provisioning of Cloud Resources for Service
Without going into too much detail...you'll notice that the Cloud Computing Business Delivery Model can be represented and/or implemented as an executable business process that logically sequences the invocation of the Cloud Management Services that encapsulate the intricacies of the Cloud's capabilities to provision the service. The maturity of the Cloud is evident in the efficiency of these services to support your Business Delivery Model.
That's all I have for today but tune in for more on how you can work to build your Cloud Provisioned Billing Service and as always, all comments welcome.
In my previous two entries on this blog I introduced myself, outlined what this blog is about and commented on what I think is the best of all Silver Linings in Cloud Computing which, is leveraging SOA.
Every cloud has a silver lining as does Cloud Computing!!!
Silver Lining:: We Already Know How To DO This: Leveraging SOA
In the latter of these I said I would post an example of Cloud Computing put into practice in the context of a business scenario. There are lot's of real world examples you can refer to as well, (I regularly visit these two sites IBM Cloud Computing, Cloud Computing Journal amongst others).This is just my hypothetical yet to some extent realistic example of how Cloud Computing could be put into practice and provide benefit to let's say a Retail Department Store.
Multiple departments use the same billing application. However, as each department was established, each deployed the application on its own hardware and middleware servers; and inherently incurred the yearly operational costs.
Each department has different peak billing periods during sales events and have built their infrastructure to support their peak load based on pre-production scalability and capacity planning exercises. This has resulted in a yearly budget that includes exploded operational costs for unused resources in between sales events.
The yearly operational costs include the administration, maintenance and management of:
Here is a tabular view of the current departmental operational costs for the Billing Application.
Here's how you become the hero:
Propose a solution whereby each department will incur a significant operational cost-savings and still satisfy their individual billing needs during sales events.
Give them a graphical view if it helps to sell the "saving money" concept in case they don't believe you :-) .
Current Billing Application utilization
Illustrates the current Transactions Per Day (TPD) and peak utilization periods of each department
Current and potential Pay-Per-Use operational costs
Illustrates the reduced $ amount operational costs (with Cloud Computing) of each department
How you'll deliver?
"A Cloud provisioned service that is available, within the enterprise, to any department any time they need to perform billing services for a customer. The provisioned service consists of resources hosted in the Cloud that make up the Billing Application (i.e. infrastructure, platform and application services). These resources can be subscribed to, accessed, made available (according to customized SLAs) and paid for based on usage."
I'll stop here for today but in my next entry on this blog I'll give some additional pointers and elaborate on the question, "How you'll deliver?".
If any blog readers want to propose how they'd deliver feel free to jump in with your comments.
Until next time Keep your eyes looking up to the Clouds!!!
tendai 100000ASU7 716 Visits
In my previous blog entry we set some high expectations on what we would deliver
"A Cloud provisioned service that is available to any department at any time they need to perform billing services for a customer. The provisioned service consists of resources hosted in the Cloud that make up the billing application (i.e. infrastructure, platform and application services) and can be subscribed to based on individual SLAs and paid for according to usage."We told a great story and the pressure is on. In many discussions I've had with other IT professionals there's common agreement on one possible danger that the overwhelming excitement around Cloud Computing can bring to the Business and IT communities. That danger is an overpowering urge to go for the gusto and build the Cloud all at once.
Well the reality of the matter is "Cloud formation happens in stages" (Yes, even the real Clouds in the sky). The Sliver Lining in Cloud Computing is that as we build capabilities we can "reap incremental benefits" as our enterprise Cloud matures.
These capabilities in the Cloud include serviceability, consolidation, dynamicity, virtualization, automation, transparency and governance, all of which allow us to more efficiently provision business services in the enterprise. As we implement each capability we reap their benefits. For the Cloud Provisioned Billing Service, consolidation gives us benefit, automation gives us benefit and so on. The great thing is we can start now on one and work our way through the others all the while taking advantage of benefits such as those outlined in previous comments by vskinner and jberger (great feedback if I might add)
Maturity in the Cloud is a measurement of the overall capability of the Cloud to provision business services rather than a quantitative measurement of the number/complexity of services provisioned in the Cloud.
If you recall, the advent of SOA had the same impact (go for the gusto) and we learned from experience that designing solutions based on robust reference architectures and models was vital to our success in delivering viable SOA solutions in staged levels of maturity with entry points to get you started.
In all fairness I must say there are several other great perspectives and opinions around Cloud Computing and how you should embark on a path to implement your very own private Clouds. My suggestion: go beyond this blog and find out as much as you can. You may even find some views are common with mine.
A great place to start is in the Cloud Computing Central community on My developerWorks.
As always, feel free to add comments to this blog. I'm always interested in sharing ideas and views with other knowledgeable professionals. Keep an eye out and tune in to my next blog entry on the Sliver Linings of Cloud Computing. After all, the enterprise anxiously awaits your Cloud Provisioned Billing Service!!!
In the meantime … no bias intended…IBM gets it and got it a while ago…Cloud Computing is real and IBM puts it within your reach….check out what I think are very exciting IBM products, services and solutions in this space.
Since our good friend SOA came along Business and IT have never been happier together, with affectionate pats on the back, conversations at the coffee station and support of each others bowling league. Well "Hold on to your britches" things are only going to get better. In comes Cloud Computing!!!! As was the case when SOA gained prominence we as IT Professionals can stand as one with our business colleagues and now claim a new friend in the Clouds; and as the blog title states there is more than one silver lining around this Cloud.
From the business perspective, with today's economic environment cost-savings may be the primary silver lining, "You mean we can save more money!!!"
From an IT Professionals perspective, the brightest silver lining of them all would possibly be that the advent of Cloud Computing does not constitute a paradigm shift from what we've been doing all along, "You mean no major technology shifts and we can leverage our existing IT investments (i.e. Virtualization, SOA, BPM, Java EE and Web 2.0)?"
Yes, the methodology behind Cloud Computing solutions gives us the best of both the Business and IT worlds and can be applied today within our enterprises with a little bit of innovative thinking.
So, when your Business colleagues glare at you when you hint to the notion that there is a new kid on the block called Cloud Computing, and when they ask, "Why didn't you think of this before we invested all the time, training and resources around SOA?"
Do not fret, just relax, smile and ingeniously say,
"Well in a way we did...
Remember those talks we had about SOA and how it allows for flexible IT and that by adopting SOA we would integrate our repeatable and reusable business tasks as business services?
Remember how we talked about converging our Business and IT; and then went on to apply SOA principles to define business-aligned IT services that collectively support our business processes and goals as well as give us the flexibility to adapt to changing business environments? Well, it worked.
We are currently facing a changing business environment, and with this constrictive economic slump we need to employ cost-saving IT solutions to stay competitive and profitable. Because of our strategic move to adopt SOA we are in a great position to reuse what we have because Cloud Computing leverages SOA. Cloud Computing will not replace but leverage our previous investments and allow us to continue to grow in a cost-saving way. Should I go on?"
Talk about $$ching $$ching at bonus time, you've just made the world a better place!!!
Okay, now you have your business colleague's attention which, if you come from the same planet I do, is not always a good thing. But in this case it is and though the pressure may be on to deliver on your 'Save the world' speech, you are in a good position to do just that. Because though Cloud Computing may appear to be new territory, you've been applying the core aspects of Cloud computing for a while now.
So, how should you as an IT Professional begin to devise IT solutions within your enterprise that reap the benefits of Cloud Computing? Well, how about taking the same approach we always have and start off with a reference architecture like we did in SOA. If you'd like a refresher refer back to "Design an SOA solution using a reference architecture"
Dustin Amrhein and Scott Quint describe the "commonly accepted" layers of the Cloud Computing Model in their article "Cloud Computing for the enterprise: Part 1: Capturing the Cloud". Very good reading I might add. They also elaborate on how the concepts from SOA apply in the Cloud, reinforcing what I believe is the brightest Silver Lining in the Cloud.
Many, if not all, the assumptions and concepts of SOA that we are familiar with will apply in our design of Cloud Computing solutions. The most notable (non-exclusive) in my opinion is that the fulfillment of a service request from a consumer may require employing capabilities that reside in one or more layers in the Cloud.
Ok let me wind it down here for this posting…
The message is that we as IT Professionals already know how to architect, design and implement service-oriented enterprise applications that provide business services to consumers. Therefore, we should feel empowered to carry the torch on Cloud Computing. Let's get out there and formulate our enterprise Cloud Services enabled for on-demand availability, metered for pay-per-use to reduce costs, and governed for service lifecycle and policy management.
What better place to start than within your Enterprise. Go forward I say and identify those Cloud Services, be they infrastructure (e.g. runtime, storage), middleware services (e.g. application servers security frameworks), business application (e.g. inventory, CRM, billing) or other.
In fact for my next posting on this blog I'll come up with an example of Cloud Computing put to practice in the context of a business scenario. Hopefully, we'll get input from other IT Professionals as well in this blog, that is, if anyone is so obliged to share examples of how they're putting Cloud Computing to practice.
Hello and Welcome to my Silver Linings of Cloud Computing Blog!!!
Since this is my first blog on this site I'll take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Tendai Chinoda and I am an IBM Certified IT Specialist and Technical Lead in the ISSW for IBM Team. In this role I provide mentoring and consulting services to IBM Internal accounts as well as premier IBM customer accounts specializing in the IBM WebSphere family of products. I have over 9 years experience in the IT industry (8 with IBM). My primary technical focus in this period has been Java EE and Web Services application architecture, design and development. My secondary focus has been architecture, design and implementation of SOA Solutions with the IBM SOA Foundation. You can find out more about me if you like in my developerWorks Profile.
is not intended to evangelize Cloud Computing, "there's enough in Cloud
Computing that it evangelizes itself". Inline with the saying "With
every cloud there is a silver lining" the entries in this blog will
attempt to highlight some of the Silver Linings of Cloud Computing and how IT
Professionals can, in practice, take advantage of Cloud Computing solutions
today within their enterprises. The focus will be within the
All comments and input is more than welcome as I'm very interested to get feedback from the field on what other IT Professionals are doing up in the Clouds!!!