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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Grid vs SOA via Looselycoupled

LC writes,"There's a perception out in the market — which the systems vendors are eager to encourage — that SOA and grid go hand-in-hand". Grid and SOA are going to be on something of a collision course if enterprises embrace both simultaneously. At first glance, that seems like a counter-intuitive statement. Aren't grid and SOA both aiming to do the same kind of thing? Well, yes ... and no. SOA aims to create a unified loosely coupled software architecture in which resources can be plugged in and out at will. Grid aims to do much the same in hardware, except that being hardware, most commercial implementations tend to prefer tight coupling wherever possible, because that allows them to squeeze higher performance out of the environment.Adopting an SOA can help you realize much greater efficiencies in resource utilization without having to buy any new equipment at all. SOA doesn't need grid — it virtualizes all resources within the IT infrastructure anyway, irrespective of whether they're hardware or software resources. It's just a matter of how granular you want to make your service definitions. Grid has its place in an SOA, to power those resources that will benefit from a highly integrated distributed computing infrastructure. But to position grid as the ideal platform for SOA is asking too much of grid and too little of SOA. Grid technology today — as offered by commercial systems vendors — is still too monolithic and platform-centric to offer the kind of flexibility that prompts enterprises to sign up to SOA. Grid solutions are well worth investigating to improve the efficiency of existing data centers, but any vendor who suggests consolidating from multiple platforms into their proprietary grid solution to power an SOA is probably more interested in lining their own pockets than advancing their customer's SOA implementation. SOA and Grid can co-exist but to suggest that both can converge is a complete myth and well explained in this article.
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