Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Plutora Blog, Pat Romanski, Sandeep Kumar, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

SaaS Creating Eventually Consistent Business Model

Our reliance on cloud and external systems has finally trickled down (or is it up?) to the business

The success of SOA, which grew out of the popular Object Oriented development paradigm, was greatly hampered by the inability of architects to enforce its central premise of reuse. But it wasn't just the lack of reusing services that caused it to fail to achieve the greatness predicted, it was the lack of adopting the idea of an authoritative source for business critical objects, i.e. data.

A customer, an order, a lead, a prospect, a service call. These "business objects" within SOA were intended to represented by a single, authoritative source as a means to ultimately provide a more holistic view of a customer that could be then be used by various business applications to ensure more quality service.

It didn't turn out that way, mores the pity, and while organizations adopted the protocols and programmatic methods associated with SOA, they never really got down to the business of implementing authoritative sources for business critical "objects". As organizations increasingly turn to SaaS solutions, particularly for CRM and SFA solutions (Gartner’s Market Trends: SaaS’s Varied Levels of Cannibalization to On-Premises Applications published: 29 October 2012) the ability to enforce a single, authoritative source becomes even more unpossible. What's perhaps even more disturbing is the potential inability to generate that holistic view of a customer that's so important to managing customer relationships and business processes.

The New Normal

Organizations have had to return to an integration-focused strategy in order to provide applications with the most current view of a customer. Unfortunately, that strategy often relies upon APIs from SaaS vendors who necessarily put limits on APIs that can interfere with that integration. As noted in "The Quest for a Cloud Integration Strategy", these limitations can strangle integration efforts to reassemble a holistic view of business objects as an organization grows:

"...many SaaS applications have very particular usage restrictions about how much data can be sent through their API in a given time window. It is critical that as data volumes increase that the solution adequately is aware of and handles those restrictions."

Note that the integration solution must be "aware of" and "handle" the restrictions. It is nearly a foregone conclusion that these limitations will eventually be met and there is no real solution around them save paying for more, if that's even an option.

While certainly that approach works for the provider - it keeps the service available - the definition of availability with respect to data is that it's, well, available. That means accessible. The existence of limitations means that at times and under certain conditions, your data will not be accessible, ergo by most folks definition it's not available.

If it's not available, the ability to put together a view of the customer is pretty much out of the question.

But eventually, it'll get there, right? Eventually, you'll have the data.

Eventually, the data you're basing decisions on, managing customers with, and basing manufacturing process on, will be consistent with reality.

Kicking Costs Down the Road - and Over the Wall

Many point to exorbitant IT costs to setup, scale, and maintain on-premise systems such as CRM. It is truth that a SaaS solution is faster and likely less expensive to maintain and scale. But it is also true that if the SaaS is unable to scale along with your business in terms of your ability to access, integrate, and analyze your own data, that you're merely kicking those capital and operating expenses down to the road - and over the wall to the business.

The problem of limitations on cloud integration (specifically SaaS integration) methods are not trivial. A perusal of support forums shows a variety of discussion on how to circumvent, avoid, and workaround these limitations to enable timely integration of data with other critical systems upon which business stakeholders rely to carry out their daily responsibilities to each other, to their investors, and to their customers.

Fulfillment, for example, may rely on data it receives as a result of integration with a SaaS. It is difficult to estimate fulfillment on data that may or may not be up to date and thus may not be consistent with the customer's view. Accounting may be relying on data it assumes is accurate, but actually is not. Most SaaS systems impose a 24 hour interval in which it enforces API access limits, which may set the books off by as much as a day - or more, depending on how much of a backlog may occur. Customers may be interfacing with systems that integrate with back-office SaaS that shows incomplete order histories, payments and deliveries, which in turn can result in increasing call center costs to deal with the inaccuracies.

The inability to access critical business data has a domino effect on every other system in place. The more distributed the sources of authoritative data the more disruptive an effect the inability to access that data due to provider-imposed limitations has on the entire business.

Eventually consistent business models are not optimal, yet the massive adoption of SaaS solutions make such a model inevitable for organizations of all sizes as they encounter artificial limitations imposed to ensure system wide availability but not necessarily individual data accessibility.

Being aware of such limitations can enable the development and implementation of strategies designed to keep data - especially authoritative data - as consistent as possible. But ultimately, any strategy is going to be highly dependent upon the provider and its ability to scale to meet demand - and loosen limitations on accessibility.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
BMC Software plans to acquire assets of CDB Software, Inc., a mainframe data management company that has developed utilities for managing IBM DB2 databases with virtually no outage. Focusing on the availability of mission-critical applications is strategic for BMC as it continues to help its customers transform IT into a competitive advantage for their business. CDB's technology complements BMC's existing mainframe data management portfolio, which includes software utilities for DB2 administrat...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
OneCloud Software has launched the OneCloud Partner Program. Responding to demand from prospective partners, the Program offers managed service providers (MSPs) and resellers the resources they need to grow their business with the OneCloud Recovery solution. OneCloud Recovery is an automated solution for disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC), which leverages Amazon Web Services as the disaster recovery site. “This is a tremendous opportunity with an innovative hybrid cloud-based DR pro...
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Axios Systems on Tuesday announced it has selected CenturyLink Cloud as the hosting platform for Axios Systems’ IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions in Canada. CenturyLink, a global provider of communications and IT services, joins other leading technology providers across North America, Europe and APAC to help Axios’ international customers drive efficiencies and innovation across their service management provision. The arrangement with CenturyLink enables Axios to further strengthen its pres...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...