Monday, January 26, 2009

Cloud Computing or what?

In previous posts, I have contrasted SOA with JBOWS (just a bunch of web services) and CEP with JBOCE (just a bunch of complex events).

I am now happy to announce a new acronym to contrast with Cloud Computing: JSOWD (just a shower of water droplets). I did have a ruder version but I thought it was a bit early in the morning.

Seriously, we are now facing the usual semantic confusion. On his blog, J.P. Morgenthal explains How To Define SOA and Cloud Computing. He is not offering a definition as such, merely suggesting the kind of work that would be required to produce a satisfactory definition.

"Instead of trying to define them in a narrative manner, I believe we need to define them as a scheme with many components that are interrelated."
In a comment to JP's blog, John Evdemon writes

"Let the pundits debate their concepts and bizarre acronym versioning schemes - I'd rather help customers solve their problems."

I certainly don't want to get bogged down into debates about what Cloud Computing is "all about" - or even the negative debate about what it's not all about. Like most other bits of jargon, cloud computing involves a loose bundle of characteristics, and it is unlikely that everyone will agree as to which of these characteristics are essential or even desirable.

Which is where a schema comes in. A good schema should help practical people reason about the dependencies between real-life problems, specific technology characteristics, and potential benefits, as well as sharing practical knowledge. John's customers don't want to know what abstract labels and dogmas to attach to their projects, but I guess they do want practical and specific guidance. (If I can put in a plug for the CBDI Forum, this is the approach we have taken with SOA. See the CBDI Forum SAE Model.)

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