Thursday, December 21, 2006

The perfect SOA environment?

At my department's Christmas bash last night the discussion was many and varied, ranging from the stupidest thing we've been asked at US immigration (an impossible to judge competition due to the level of entries), getting a bill through the houses of parliament to starting off in IT and your first language/OS.

Well my Boss cracked up with his first platform and it enable the dynamic provisioning of services, each service ran in its own dedicated partition and could be tuned, upgraded or deployed independently of all the others had a rigid definition for these service environments while enabling efficient communication via distributed shared memory and clustering. Development could be done in various different languages and still run on the same common platform.

So what exactly do modern platforms have over VME(Virtual Machine Environment), isn't this exactly what efforts like VMWare and the Hypervisor on Intel chips are trying to re-create today? While the concept of containment and deployment of individually active services sounds very like the goals of SCA.

This is one of the major reasons that SOA can't be about throwing away old systems and replacing them with new technologies. VME, if architect correctly, could act as a very efficient way of delivering certain types of services in an organisation, similar claims could be made for LPARs and other "older" technologies. If they are working and delivering effectively against the business goals, and are actually providing facilities not currently available in "modern" environments which are helping management and control then take advantage of that rather than ripping and replacing.

The perfect SOA environment is heterogeneous and takes account of what you already have and what you need to do, and is managed and evolved in line with the services and capabilities of the business. The worst is one where technology is being used as the driver and words like "Web Services", "REST", "BPEL" and "WCF" are being used as justifications.

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2 comments:

Dan said...

"ranging from the stupidest thing we've been asked at US immigration (an impossible to judge competition due to the level of entries)"

I have a scary story re: US immigration. Imagine if you will, standing in a queue and observing the person in front of you handing over their shiney red UK passport which is duly scanned, causes a moment of consternation, a hard stare at the passport owner and a rescan. It doesn't look good....

No more questions - just a statement to the passport holder "this passport is coming up as a US citizen" - right on cue, 4 guys with _big_ guns dressed in SWAT gear turn up to cart the poor chap off. The rest has to be left to our collective imaginations but I don't imagine the passport holder was to "have a nice day".

Back to the queue, and as I step up, suddenly I'm feeling that any silly question is fine, just fine ;)

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