A lesson from SOA for private clouds


“If you build it, he will come.” – Field of Dreams

Most of you are probably familiar with the quote above. It comes from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, in which an Iowa farmer has to puzzle out the meaning of the cryptic messages he receives in his cornfield. However, it has also become somewhat infamous in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) circles as an anti-pattern for implementing a complex SOA infrastructure either before it is needed, or perhaps when it is not wanted. Some organizations have traveled down an unproductive path of building complex infrastructures and supposedly reusable services to solve problems that it turned out never existed. What we have discovered instead is that those SOA infrastructure projects that are firmly rooted in requirements obtained from real-life business needs have been much more successful.

This same lesson can be applied to building private cloud infrastructures. A critical success factor in implementing a private cloud is that has to be related to solving a real world problem. The most successful implementations of IBM Workload Deployer (IWD) or PureApplication that we have seen are those that address immediate business issues like assisting a team in performing analysis of data that they never could, or in addressing a need to modernize an application that had become old and cranky. The key is to address a real need, rather than a theoretical one.

So don’t wait for the perfect time for starting your private cloud infrastructure and don’t analyze the problem to death and then implement the best-of-breed custom-built be-all and end-all of all cloud infrastructures two years too late. PureApplication System provides a fast way of implementing a private cloud today that you can right-size to fit your needs. If you only need 32 cores for your modernization effort, there is a PureApplication System to fit that need. If you need 608 cores for a monster set of data analysis tasks, well, we have that, too. Just make sure you build your infrastructure to fit a real world business need, because too often in other technologies we have found that even if you do build it…they don’t necessarily come.


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Kyle Brown

About Kyle Brown

Kyle Brown is a Distinguished Engineer with IBM Software Services and Support for WebSphere. He has over 20 years of experience in designing and building large-scale systems. In his role as a DE, he is responsible for helping our customers adopt emerging technologies, specifically Cloud Technologies and Services-Oriented approaches. He is a best-selling author and regular conference speaker, and an internationally recognized expert in IBM's Cloud Technologies, Patterns, JEE and SOA technology.