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Grid computing, cloud computing, SOA and application development

By Jack Vaughan

Cloud computing is not that much different than grid computing. It is rather like a subset of grid, but that is misleading because its scale is much more massive than grid. A lot has happened in the more or less 10 years since grid computing had its day in the sun, and a lot of what happened – blade servers and virtualization, for example – has set the stage for something new. So, yes, cloud is new and different.

What shouldn’t be overlooked is that whole notion that services set the stage for the cloud too. If new cloud architects are to succeed, they won’t use kluged and misbegotten objects. They will use services. The SOA community knows how difficult it can be to form appropriately sized services, and so can help inform cloud architecture going forward.

SearchSOA recently began work with a sister site,, to try to uncover the path of cloud application development. It has been interesting. We discovered that data architectures, especially, are up for grabs as people try things out on the cloud. Azure from Microsoft is a case in point. At one juncture, REST was the whole story for Microsoft data in the cloud, but, as the company moved closer to roll out, it made sure that established SQL scheme could be supported too. The theme for cloud these days is ‘set a course.’ Or maybe ‘set a course and do a course correction.’

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