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Cloud Silos and the role of ESBs in the cloud

Businesses have worked over many years using SOA to ‘break down the silos’ that separate one application from another. Yet, many of the best early cases of cloud application integration provide the narrowest type of point-to-point integration, with SOA somewhat less than an afterthought. 

This has led Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and integration house MuleSoft to coin the phrase “Cloud Silo” to describe the issue it is trying to address with its Mule iON cloud platform. It is suggested that this company’s public cloud architecture sets the stage for hybrid cloud applications where on-premise applications interoperate with the public cloud.

“Existing [Software as a Service] applications are very much point-to-point,” said Ross Mason, CTO and founder of MuleSoft. “You ’self-serve’ but you do it the way the SaaS vendor wants it.”

Mason said MuleSoft set the stage for Mule iON with earlier Mule ESB 3.0 enhancements.  The cloud version of the company’s Mule software is described as a Platform as a Service.

“Typically, ESBs have been thought of as being behind the firewall. With Mule 3.0 we focused not just on the enterprise but on the cloud as well.” Mule 3.0 supports REST and Web services development, using JSON, ATOM and RSS.

We asked Mason what role ESBs would really play in the cloud computing architecture.  ESBs in the cloud provide the integration points to grab data from different sources, he said, adding that MuleSoft’s implementation supports ready orchestration of such data services.

Tactical integrations are on the rise, Mason said.

Is the Mule iON cloud platform a “public” public cloud? Well, not quite yet. It is presently in private beta.

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