Never separate cloud computing from SOA

The best way to drive toward cloud computing is to leverage SOA approaches

There have been some disturbing tendencies to separate SOA and cloud computing. Many companies feel it is necessary to separate architecture teams for the push into cloud computing, and those new teams are not working with the existing SOA teams. The rationale is that they consider cloud computing to be new and believe it therefore needs a new team with its own budget and different leadership.

Those of you who think you can separate architecture and cloud computing are gravely mistaken. For most of today's projects, the best way to drive toward cloud computing is to leverage SOA approaches. This means understanding your problem domain at the data, services, and process levels before moving data, services, and processes out to cloud computing platforms.

The end-state architecture will be a mix of on-premise and cloud computing platforms, and thus the architecture will span on-premise and cloud computing systems. It is architecture, not cloud computing, that will save the day here.

This kind of stuff will continue to pop up until those in IT step back from the hype that surrounds cloud computing. Cloud computing is a great way to go if there is an architectural fit. However, like any technological approach, you have to consider it as an architectural option, not the architecture.

The trouble comes when the cloud computing team lives up to its namesake and focuses only on creating new processes and moving existing processes to cloud computing. This solves nothing unless there is complete synergy with the existing enterprise systems. In too many cases, synergy seems to be an afterthought.


This tip is extracted from the new release, Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in Your Enterprise: A Step-by-Step Guide, authored by David Linthicum published by Addison-Wesley Professional, Oct. 2009 ISBN 0136009220, Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. For a complete Table of Contents, please visit the publisher site:

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