As you might be aware, Chrome was designed with SOA in mind. The threading architecture is designed to better handle connections to multiple services than other browsers. Chrome is a superior browser on the performance front, but it has one major flaw: zombie processes. Daily, up to 10 chrome.exe's appear on my task lisk despite all Chrome windows being closed. Sometimes the browser stops working correctly until the zombies are cleaned up. I have reproduced this on several computers -- hopefully this will be fixed by the upcoming patch.
Apple has silently updated MobileMe. I have learned it was a major rewrite of some of MobileMe's core code. Obviously, the MobileMe fiasco shows one of the major downsides and risks of cloud computing -- if the cloud goes down, a lot of people are affected. Until organizations can have local clouds which can sync data with a remote cloud, many potential customers are going to wait on the sidelines.
My company (KPI) has received several inquiries lately about architecting a new SOA project on a "2-3 month" contract. These inquiries are from respectable companies. It was hard for me to believe the naivity, so I took a couple of the initial calls -- and, in fact, they really think a new SOA system can be properly architected in 2 months. I do not like artificial timeframes. On these big systems, one has to understand the existing system and the requirements of the new system before beginning any architecture work. Architecture isn't the waterfall model -- every system will evolve as requirements change (and sometimes, that involves re-architecting portions of the system). The architect needs a presence during the entire lifecycle to ensure the development meets the architecture. As David Linthicum (and others) point out, having a good SOA architect is one of the keys to a successful project. Companies that try to be cheap and rent one for 2-3 months have a project that is doomed to fail.
Amazon is now offering virtual Windows as part of its EC2 service. Virtual machines running Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server can be used on an hourly basis. Prices vary based on time and available capacity. Amazon's test period for renting Linux boxes is over and is now in the GA stage. Linux rentals cost 10c and hour with storage starting at 10c/gigabyte. Click here for the SLA.
David Linthicum makes some very broad SOA predictions in his latest column. He believes that PAAS is unstoppable and will leave many CIOs "scratching their head." Linthicum fails to see the security and privacy roadblocks to widespread PAAS and SAAS adoptions. But Linthicum is completely correct when he predicts that "Most failed SOA projects will be traced to unqualified SOA architects." KPI has found that projects primarily fail due to bad people. It all starts at the top and a bad SOA architect will completely kill your project. In fact, the most successful SOA projects (remember, 80% of SOA projects fail) start with a new CIO and a new SOA Architect. KPI highly recommends that organizations use consultants on new SOA initiatives. SOA consultants have a wide breadth of project knowledge and experience with all the vendor intricacies that you simply cannot learn in-house. Linthicum's other interesting predictions is that the "jig will be up for poor SOA governance solutions out there." I predict you will see a lot of merger and acquisition activity in the SOA governance world next year.
Being a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon/SEI Master of Software Engineering program, I am well versed in the CMM (Capability Maturity Model). Dr Dobb's has done a good job in modeling their Cloud Computing Adoption Model loosely around the CMM. The five levels:
   Level 1: Virtualization. virtualization technologies for seamless portability of applications and shared server infrastructure.
   Level 2: Cloud Experimentation. Virtualization is taken to a cloud model, either internally or externally
   Level 3: Cloud Foundations. Governance, controls, procedures, policies, and best practices begin to form around the development and deployment of cloud applications.
   Level 4: Cloud Advancement. Governance foundations allow organizations to scale up the volume of cloud applications through broad-based deployments in the cloud.
   Level 5: Cloud Actualization. Dynamic workload balancing across multiple utility clouds.
It is hard to improve what you cannot measure. These levels will help organizations measure the maturity of their cloud.
IBM has traditionally marketed their products at large conferences and direct to the C-level. But with SOA, they are trying something new. IBM is in the midst of a 10 day, 100 city "grass roots" tour. One-third of these cities are in emerging economies, with each event customized to the local market. In general, both an IBM rep and a local customer will present. This campaign is ingenious and something that will be hard for Oracle to compete with. While Oracle continues to beef up its SOA infrastructure by buying companies, they simply cannot compete with IBM's vast service network. And now, IBM has found a nice way to use this network to their advantage in gaining SOA market.
As you may know, Amazon's Web Services started for in-house use. eBay might be following that example in exposing it's huge data warehouse for internal business analytics as a web service. eBay has 5 petabyte of data and adds 50TB every day. eBay has used this data to create virtual data marts used by 5,000 business analysts.
A survey by David Linthicum showed 75% of respondents believe that a down economy will help SOA. KPI does not see this happening because of the high initial investment. We feel that company's IT budgets will be spent mostly on keeping the door open the next 6-12 months, and then you will start to see more investments in a company's future technologies. SOA does result in a competitive advantage when done correctly, but too many SOA projects are still failing.
Starting November 1, S3 will be cheaper. Under the new model, Amazon will still charge 15 cents per gigabyte of storage per month. But, after 50 terabytes, the price falls further (see new pricing list). S3 is up to 70,000 storage, retrieval and deletion requests per second. If you see s3.amazonaws.com on the bottom of your browser, the data is getting loaded from S3.
KPI's Gary Patalsky highly discourages customers from using open source SOA products in enterprise environments (go with Oracle or IBM - you will need their support). But if you are already a JBoss user, JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 4.3 could possibly be an option. V 4.3 has new ESB (new gateway listeners, a declarative security model, improved web services integration and additional scripting languages) and Rules (Stateful Rules services, decision tables and Rule agent support) features.
Steve Ballmer says that a Windows Cloud OS is four weeks away. Ballmer notes that SharePoint and Exchange are already in the cloud. As part of this push into the cloud, Microsoft will put more emphasis on .Net, Silverlight, Active Directory and SQL Server. Let's hope the Cloud is better than Vista.
HP Systinet 3.00 has been released. New to version 3.0, multiple users within an organization can discover and reuse services. With the upgrade, customers can also automate service lifecycle policy compliance by capturing best practices to achieve SOA objectives (via separate product Quality Service Center).
Need to set up a database? Don't want to set up a server with MySQL? Want a quick enterprise level DB? Try Oracle on the Amazon cloud. We've written the news but now it's time for a review. KPI's review: It works! It's a breeze to set up. And it allows you to focus on your core business value, not in wasting time setting up servers and databases.
Google has opened up shop in Washington (Reston, VA to be precise). They have fit in nicely so far, building a nondescript building to go along with all the other nondescript buildings that plague Reston. The feds still does not get the cloud, says Mike Bradshaw: "Sometimes they'll look at us and say, 'But what do you actually sell?'". In all honestly, I've worked with many government agencies and most of them get SOA. Of course, in SOA, you are buying something. In any event, federal agencies should NOT be using Google's cloud. They should build their own cloud, with their own security. Do you trust Google with your private data? I surely do not.