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Delivering Integration Platform as Private cloud - Part 1

Cloud computing today has become the buzz word in the IT industry and being seen as the big thing to address IT's ROI pain. However being involved with Integration, SOA and BPM for years I am constantly trying to see the value of Cloud in Integration or SOA or BPM space for the customers who already have invested heavily on a stack integration, SOA and BPM platform or on different individual platform to address all these areas.

The answer seems to be very simple; virtualize the hardware and implement the platform and you achieve a private cloud for Integration platform.

However when I analyzed some of the client situation, I realized that introducing virtualization of hardware platform would really mean introducting another element to be managed by the Integration team without realizing the benefit of cloud.

So I was back to the drawing board and thought let's look at the problem statements (Here I have assumed that organization is delivering integration through a centralized team and the data centre management is not outsourced). 

  • Case 1 - For a business initiative developing new services and Interfaces
    • Request to Integration team which says - Need 3 environment with X, Y & Z specification. X (X stands for Development Environment) is needed for t1 days, Y (Y stands for System Integration Test environment) is required for t2 days and Z (Z stands for performance test environment) for t3 days. No other work should happen on the Z environment as we would be doing performance benchmarking for the entire solution
  • Case 2 - For a business initiative developing new services and Interfaces and re-using existing ones -
    • Request to Integration team which says - Need 3 environment with X, Y & Z specification.
      • X is needed for t1 days with A, B & C service / interfaces which are connecting to I1, I2 & I3 instances of their corresponding application
      • Y is required for t2 days with A, B & C service / interfaces which are connecting to I2, I1 & I1 instances of their corresponding application
      • Z for t3 days days with A, B & C service / interfaces which are connecting to I3, I3 & I2 instances of their corresponding application. In addition no other work should happen on the Z environment as we would be doing performance benchmarking for the entire solution
  • Case 3 - For the same business initiatiative as mentione in Case 2, there is a new application being developed which takes data from an existing interface. The application team raises 
    • Request to Integration team which says - Need 1 environment with X specification
      • X is needed for t1 days with A service / interfaces which are connecting to I4 of the corresponding application

Entire environment provisioning and management would become more complicated when two big initiatives are delivered at the same time or when BPMS is also delivered as part of Integration Platform

One way of looking at this is to provision multiple envionment  to different business initiatives and let them manage the entire environment. However the moment we take such a decision the entire ROI for integration gets impacted.

And this is where we see delivering Integration Platform as private cloud maximize the ROI. So before we dive into how part of the solution let us analyze the "why" or the motivation part of cloud adoption

  • Minimize environment management overhead
    • How do we lay down my messaging platform, so that minimum instances needs to be managed simultaneously?
  • Ensure basic integration platform QoS is delivered to all business initiative
    • How do we ensure that the Integration Platform we are delivering to different projects confirms to the enterprise standards?
  • Ensure automated deployment of services with minimal intervention by Integration team
    • How do we ensure that the service / Interfaces deployed on the provisioned platform confirms to the requirement of the business initiatives
  • Optimum utilization of hardware infrastructure 
    • How we ensure that hardware infrastructure is utilized optimally
  • Pay as you use 
    • And lastly how do we ensure chargeback to the business initiative

This is what a private cloud for Integration Platform needs to address. This is what I have in all for today, in the next post I will discuss about the "how" part....

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More Stories By Manas Sarkar

Manas heads the technology, BPM-EAI practice at Infosys. He is the chief architect in BPM, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) and integration, focusing on customer adoption at an enterprise level. He has more than 13 years of IT experience. Manas manages practice and procedures to adopt continuous process improvement in BPM implementation. He enables BPM & SOA adoption through Infosys’ BPM & SOA Center Of Excellence (COE).

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