The Cloud, SOA and Virtualization – The story behind the three sister technologies was an overview on the three technologies: SOA, Virtualization and Cloud. In this blog, I shall put forth the reasons behind adoption of these technologies and the possible scenarios in which they would be beneficial.
The general consensus among the IT business world is that the IT system is lethargic and lack the necessary sponteneous response. IT systems were developed to easily adapt to the changing requirements. Contrary to its purpose, any change in IT systems requires laborious planning and implementation which usually consume multiple human resources, cost and time. The frequent upgrade of the software’s in the IT infrastructure is time, cost and human effort consuming. The time duration can range from 1 month to 12 months depending on the scale of requirements. With the rapid developments in the IT technological world, there should be constant developments to undertaken by the IT department. The technology changes also require the Companies to upgrade their existing IT hardware. The effort required is enormous and at many times pain staking. There are occasions where the business has stopped due to mistakes during migration or up-gradation. The end result is increased costs to organization.
Earlier, the business model of an organization used to remain constant for a long period and would be slowly change to a new model. Now, the business models of large organizations are being challenged by new competitors. To stay in competition the organizations are expected to evolve at a rapid speed. Consequently, the IT systems are expected to lead this change and support the changing business models. One of the IT issue faced is Scalability at runtime. Consumer driven business has varying demands. The demands may increase and decrease depending on various factors but the IT systems needs to be available at all times. In this process the companies comprise on the optimal usage of the IT infrastructure. So, it would be ideal to be able to scale (up and down) the IT infrastructure at runtime depending on the consumer demand.
Most top companies (Fortune 500, 1000) can afford to invest in the IT and maintain it in their organization. But, with the growing SME(s) (Small and Medium Enterprises) they would prefer to reduce the effort on IT and focus on their core business. They would also prefer a business model where they invest in IT based on the business and not be forced to invest earlier. Analogy: Consider a start-up company which has a great idea. It wants the best talent in Business College to be part of it. But, they would not be able to pay them. Hence, they provide them a share of the company. So, the talent is paid as and when company grows which is contrary to large companies, who need to invest upfront in the talent.
Cloud computing provides the SME(s) the option to have the complete IT infrastructure without the need to own it. IT infrastructure can be made available with payments made for hourly/daily/monthly usage. Also, the company need not worry about the support and maintenance of the systems. The company can focus on their business and would not be required to invest even in upgrade.
Cloud computing provides the large organizations to maintain a private cloud. Private cloud is an internal cloud environment. It is maintained within the organization. The Private cloud in conjunction with Virtualization can be used to provision the infrastructure by the internal departments. This would allow the teams to adapt quickly and consider the IT systems to be available at all times.
It is inevitable that large organization would move towards the private cloud and smaller companies towards the public cloud. The challenge however is to the Cloud providers. Can they provide necessary IT infrastructure within the agreed SLA? Also, they should provide the security necessary to protect the company’s data. Similarly, the IT architects and developers need to be conscious of the environment in which the developments will run. They should be aware of the compatibility of the application within the selected cloud platform. The architecture should be platform neutral (SOA) to allow them to be deployed in varied platforms.
To succeed, all the three need to work in unison and they will surely deliver the desired results.