The key knowledge gap hindering your cloud

SOA is critical to effective cloud computing, most people who build cloud don't have a clue about SOA or its principles

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In 2012, I wrote a post for InfoWorld entitled "Perfect fit: The cloud and SOA -- but don't call it that." Although SOA (service-oriented architecture) is indeed systemic to most private and public clouds, the majority of people who stand up clouds don't know what SOA is or how it can be applied. As a result, here we are two years after I wrote that post, and the same issues keep coming up.

Organizations deploying clouds are doing so by standing up many APIs, or services. They use services to form and re-form business solutions. The solutions are inherently changeable, which places volatility into a configurable domain. That's SOA, folks. But few people actually understand SOA, so they're not getting the advantages they should be from their cloud efforts.

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The result is that cloud APIs and services appear to be designed and developed by monkeys. They are either too coarse-grained or too fine-grained. They don't work and play well with other services, and they are difficult to maintain during production.

Moreover, core orchestration services are missing to bind these services into solutions. Also missing are API management and service governance, for making sure the collective group of services functions as designed, as well as remaining secure for those authorized to access them.

Often, I see mistakes made by people who build clouds that could have been avoided had they applied a bit of service-oriented thinking. If only they knew what that was, they could use a known, proven approach to construct solid foundations for public and private clouds alike.

Those who figure the SOA equation for their cloud efforts will have a huge lead. Will that be you?

This article, "The key knowledge gap hindering your cloud," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.