Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Scott Allen, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

From ESBs to API Portals, an Evolutionary Journey | Part 2

SOA transformation in the big enterprise

In this article series we would like to build a case that API portals, with the Intel® API Manager and Intel® Expressway Service Gateway, powered by Mashery are representative examples, are the contemporary manifestations of the SOA movement that transformed IT in the early 2000s from IT as a cost center to an equal partner in a company’s  execution of a business strategy and revenue generation.  In the introductory article in Part 1 we discussed some of the business dynamics that led to cloud computing and the service  paradigm.  Let’s now take a closer look  at the SOA transformation in the big enterprise.

If we look at the Google  Webtrends graph for the term “SOA”, we can use the search popularity as an  indicator of the industry we can see that the interest in SOA peaked at around  2007, just as the interest on cloud computing started rising.  There was a brief burst of interest on this term at the end of 2012 which can be attributed at people looking for precedents in SOA as the industry moves to cloud services.

Figure 1. Google Webtrends graph for “SOA.”

Figure 2. Google Webtrends graph for “Cloud Computing.

The search rate for the term “cloud computing” actually peaked in 2011, but perhaps unlike SOA, the trend is not an indication of waning interest, but that the focus of interest has shifted to more specific aspects. See for instance the graphs for “Amazon AWS” and “OpenStack”.

Figure 3. Google Webtrends graph for “Amazon AWS.”

Figure 4. Google Webtrends graph for “OpenStack.”

SOA brought a discipline of  modularity that has been well known in the software engineering community for more than 30 years, but had been little applied in corporate-wide IT  projects.  The desired goal for SOA was  to attain a structural cost reduction in the delivery of IT services through  re-use and standardization.  These savings needed to be weighed against significant upfront costs for architecture and planning as well as from the reengineering effort for interoperability and security.  The expectation was a per  instance lower cost from reuse in spite of the required initial investment.

Traditionally, corporate applications have been deployed in stovepipes, as illustrated in Figure 5 below, one application per server or server tier hosting a complete solution stack.  Ironically, this trend was facilitated by the availability of low-cost Intel-based high volume servers starting fifteen years ago.  Under this system physical servers need to be procured, a process that takes anywhere from two weeks to six months depending on organizational policies and asset approvals in effect.  When the servers become available, they need to be configured and provisioned with an operating system, database software, middleware and the application. Multiple pipes are actually needed to support a running business.  For instance, Intel IT requires as many as 15 staging stovepipes to phase in an upgrade for the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) SAP application.  The large number of machines needed to support most any corporate application over its life cycle led to the condition affectionately called “server sprawl.”  In data centers housing thousands if not tens of thousands of servers it is not difficult to lose track of these assets, especially after project and staff turnover from repeated reorganizations and M&As.  This created another affectionate term: “zombies.”  These are forgotten servers from projects past, still powered up, and even running an application, but serving no business purpose.

Figure 5. Traditional Application Stovepipes vs. SOA.

With SOA, monolithic applications are broken into reusable, fungible services as shown on the left side of Figure 6 below.  Much in the same way server sprawl used to exist in data centers, so it was with software, with multiple copies deployed, burdening IT organizations with possibly unnecessary licensing costs, or even worse, with shelfware, that is, licenses paid for software never used.  As an example, in a stovepiped environment each application that requires the employee roster of a company, namely user accounts, phone directory, expense reporting, payroll would each require a full copy of the employee information database.  In addition to the expense of the extra copies, the logistics of keeping each copy synchronized would be complex.

What if instead the need to replicate the employee roster somehow it was possible to build a single copy where every application needing this information can “plug in” into this copy and use it a needed.  There are some complications: the appropriate access and security mechanisms need to be in place.  Locking mechanisms for updates need to be implemented to ensure integrity and consistency of the data.  However the expense of habilitating the database for concurrent access is still significantly less than the expense of maintaining several copies.

If we access this new single-copy employee database through Web Services technology, using either SOAP or REST, we have just created a “service”, the “employee roster service”.  If every application layer in a stack is
re-engineered as a service with possibly multiple users, the stacks in Figure 5 morph into a network as shown in the left part of Figure 6. The notion of service is recursive where most applications become composites of several services and services themselves are composites of services.  Any service can be n “application” if it exposes a user interface (UI) or a service proper if it exposes an API.  In fact a service can be both, exposing multiple UIs and APIs depending on the intended audience or target application: it is possible to have one API for corporate access and yet another one available to third party developers of mobile applications.

Applications structured to operate under this new service paradigm are said to follow a service oriented architecture, commonly known as SOA.  The transition to SOA created new sets of dynamics whose effects are still triggering change today.  For one thing, services are loosely coupled, meaning that as long as the terms of the service contract between the service consumer and the service provider does not change, one service instance can be easily replaced. This feature simplifies the logistics of deploying applications enormously: a service can be easily replaced to improve quality, or ganged together with a similar service to increase performance or throughput.  Essentially applications can be assembled from services as part of operational procedures.  This concept is called “late binding” of application components.

Historically binding requirements have been loosened up over time.  In earlier times most applications components had to be bound together at compile time.  This was really early binding.  Over time it became possible to combine precompiled modules using a linker tool and precompiled libraries.  With dynamically linked libraries it became possible to bind together binary objects at run time.  However this operation had to be done within a given operating system, and allowed only within strict version or release limits.

We can expect even more dynamic applications in the near future.  For instance, it is not hard to imagine self-configuring applications assembled on the fly and real time on demand using a predefined template.  In theory these applications could recreate themselves in any geographic region using locally sourced service components.

There are also business considerations driving the transformation dynamics of application components. Business organizations are subject to both headcount and budgetary constraints for capital expenses.  Under these restrictions it may be easier for an organization to convert labor and capital costs into monthly operational expenses by running their services on third party machines hiring Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud services, or take one step further and contract out the complete database package to implement the employee roster directly from a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider.  All kinds of variations are possible: the software service may be hosted on infrastructure from yet another party, contracted by either the SaaS provider or the end user organization.

The effect of the execution of this strategy is the externalization of some of the services as shown in the right hand side of Figure 6.  We call this type of evolution inside-out SOA where initially in-sourced service components get increasingly outsourced.

Figure 6. The transition from internal SOA to inside-out SOA.

As with any new approach, SOA transformation required an upfront investment, including the cost of reengineering the applications and breaking them up into service components, and in ensuring that new applications themselves or new capabilities were service ready or service capable.  The latter usually meant attaching an API to an application to make the application usable as a component for a higher-level application.

Implementation teams found the extra work under the SOA discipline disruptive and distracting.  Project participants resented the fact that while this extra work is for the “greater good” of the organization, it was not directly aligned with the goals of the project.  This is part of the cultural and behavioral aspects that a SOA program needs to deal with, which can be more difficult to orchestrate than the SOA technology itself. Most enterprises that took a long term approach and persisted in these efforts eventually reached a breakeven point where the extra implementation cost of a given project was balanced by the savings by reusing past projects.

This early experience also had another beneficial side effect that would pave the way to the adoption of cloud computing a few years later: the development of a data-driven, management by numbers ethic demanding quantifiable QoS and a priori service contracts also known as SLAs or service level agreements.

While the inside-out transformation just described had a significant impact in the architecture of enterprise IT, the demand for third party service components had an even greater economic impact on the IT industry as a whole, leading to the creation of new supply chains and with these supply chains, new business models.

Large companies, such as Netflix, Best Buy, Expedia, Dun & Bradstreet and The New York Times found that the inside-out transformative process was actually a two-way street.  These early adopters found that making applications
“composable” went beyond saving money; it actually helped them make money through the enablement of new revenue streams: the data and intellectual property that benefited internal corporate departments was also useful to external parties if not more.  For instance an entrepreneur providing a travel service to a corporate customer did not have to start from ground zero and making the large investment to establish a travel reservation system.  It was a lot simpler to link up to an established service such as Expedia.  In fact, for this upstart did not have to be bound by a single service: at this level it makes more economic sense to leverage a portfolio of services, in which case the value added of this service upstart is in finding the best choices from the portfolio.  This is a common pattern in product search services whose function is to find the lowest price across multiple stores, or in the case of a travel service, the lowest priced airfare.

The facilitation of the flow of information was another change agent for the industry.  There was no place to hide.  A very visible example is effect of these dynamics on the airline industry, and how it changed irrevocably, bringing up new efficiencies but also significant disruption.  The change empowered consumers, and some occupations such as travel agents and car salespeople were severely impacted.

Another trend that underlies the IT industry transformation around services is the “democratization” of the services themselves: The cost efficiencies gained not only lowered the cost of business for some expensive applications accessible only to large corporations with deep pockets; it made these applications affordable to smaller businesses, the market segment known as SMBs or Small and Medium Businesses.  The economic impact of this trend has been enormous, although hard to measure as it is still in process.  A third wave has already started, which is the industry’s ability to reduce the quantum for the delivery of IT services to make it affordable to individual consumers. This includes social media, as well as more traditional services such as email and storage services such as Dropbox. We will take a look at SMBs in Part 3.

The post From ESBs to API Portals, an Evolutionary Journey Part 2 appeared first on Security [email protected].

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...