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Got Cloud? Need SOA.

By Ryan Cloutier

Cloud computing is becoming a popular buzzword, which is leading many to believe that the adoption of the technology will have the effect of fairy dust, magically fixing their problems like an antivirus that doesn’t depend on signatures or a fairy godmother. Marketing aside, cloud computing is still just that —computing—as such, architecture is an integral aspect that needs to remain prevalent in the minds of developers and architects.

SOA is necessary to integrate contemporary IT assets with the growing market of cloud computing technologies. Those who are dependent on the cloud, such as SaaS providers and the like are eagerly looking to recruit talented SOA professionals to bolster their staffs.

The stark reality is that demand far outpaces supply for truly talented individuals. According to cloud expert David Linthicum of, less talented individuals tend to “leverage whatever the next magical and hyped technology is in the hopes that no one will notice that the existing architecture is a huge mess, and the addition of cloud computing resources will just make it messier,”

Vendors only exacerbate the problems by slapping the cloud label onto everything. What they should be doing is establishing the SOA necessary to build an effective cloud environment, which is usually what they are selling. Vendors feeding into this kind of hype only serves to confuse end users and to contribute to the fairy-dust aura around cloud computing.

To get away from this, vendors and consumers both need to start thinking architecturally, instead of just looking to toss technology at problems. To do this we’re going to need more star players in the SOA arena.

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