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Cloud Computing vs SOA - SOA Was Just a Fad says SpringSource's Rod Johnson

By Cameron McKenzie

TheServerSide.com

VMWare is gearing up their VFabric machine. More and more enterprise clients that use the Spring framework are tempted to move their data centers onto the virtualized hardware offered by the company that acquired SpringSource. At a time like this, it's interesting to hear what the brains and good looks behind the Spring revolution has to say about the future of cloud computing and how the SOA buzz compares to the cloud buzz we're constantly being inundated with today.


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The following is an excerpt from Rod Johnson's Friday keynote from TheServerSide Java Symposium, 2011.

"Cloud computing is something that I think a lot of developers are skeptical about; and I absolutely understand that."

Cloud computing vs. service oriented architectures

"If you look at the industry over the past few years, the way in which cloud computing is spoken of today is the way in which SOA was spoken of four or five years ago. I think with respect to SOA, it really was a fad. It was something that is very sound at an architectural practice level, but in terms of selling product, it was really an artificial, marketing created, concept.

"In the case of cloud computing however there is more substance behind it. However that substance is obscured by the fact that cloud could mean just about anything to anyone."

[SOA] was something that is very sound at an architectural practice level, but in terms of selling product, it was really an artificial, marketing-created, concept.

Rod Johnson, TSSJS 2011


"There was a lovely Dilbert strip about cloud computing a few weeks ago where Dogbert, the evil consultant, comes in and shares his recipe for their technology function which is “cloud, cloud, cloud, blah, cloud, cloud, blah.” Dilbert’s boss is in awe and says ‘it’s as if you’re a technologist and a philosopher all in one.’

"I think it does capture how cloud computing has become the answer to everything."

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Cloud computing is real...

"And I mean obviously if you look at the skeptics, (Mr. Ellison has had some very entertaining commentary of cloud computing) there are wonderful quotes out there. In fact, if you have the time at some point you should 

I think there are some very simple reasons why cloud computing matters.

 

Google for some videos of Larry Ellison spouting off about cloud computing. But fundamentally his argument is that everything is called cloud, it's all meaningless, and whatever it is, Oracle already has it anyway. So, I’m going to argue that cloud computing is real. And I think there are some very simple reasons why cloud computing matters.

"If we think about the history of the utilities we use today, it's pretty obvious the way in which computing is going to evolve. A hundred years ago many factories, most factories, generated all or most of their own electricity. Today, although there may be backup generators, factories plug into an electricity grid, and the electricity is produced by specialized power plants that serve many states, rather than many factories. And the fundamental drive behind this is the ability to achieve economies at scale."

 

'Economies of Scale' and cloud computing

"If you are a small to medium size business you cannot achieve efficient economies of scale in your data center. By economies of scale I mean the benefits you can get when you simplify things through having a streamlined infrastructure, and the benefits you can get through resource pooling and sharing.

"For example, if I am a small company I might have five applications running on five or ten servers. I get very little benefit in terms of sharing because, for example, maybe all the load of my business grows at the same time everyday.

This really provides the ability to end over-provisioning.

 

"Now imagine that I’m in a data center with thousands of other customers, and tens of thousands of other applications. Some of those applications will be doing work at night, and other applications will be serving customers during the day. And the way in which the resource allocation and needs of those applications grows and shrinks will allow quite efficient pooling. This will ensure that you don't need to have as much hardware because you’re actually using the hardware you have more effectively."

The end of over-provisioning...

"This really provides the ability to end over-provisioning. Typically, any company in the old enterprise data center world will have ten or twenty times the capacity that it needs to run its application, and that is typically sitting there consuming vast amounts of electricity, and also consuming very large amounts of capital expenditure.  So I think you will see in a relatively few years that no small to medium company will have its own data center anymore."

The vision of computing as a utility

...any company in the old enterprise data center world will have ten or twenty times the capacity that it needs...

 

"The technology needs to be there to allow applications to be built easily and to run in the public cloud. And I think you will certainly see large enterprises implement their own private clouds; if you’re a global bank, you can get all of the economies of scale as well because you often have tens of thousands of applications, and tens of thousands of developers, building those applications. So really, the economic arguments here are very sound."

"It’s actually an amazingly old vision this idea of computing resources being a utility. Actually it was first articulated by John McCarthy, a very distinguished early computer scientist who I think created Lisp among other things.  But he actually speculated back in 1961 that computing would someday be organized as a public utility. It's really taken us that long to finally achieve that vision."

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25 Jul 2011

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