David Linthicum's recent post on cloud providers dropping either user sites or applications reminded me of the old vendor source code negotiations. The basic premise is before purchasing a really expensive piece of software you got the vendor to agree to give you the source code in the event they go out of business. This was suppose to alleviate some of the fears of the big check that was about to be written. The vendor goes out of business you still have working software plus the source code(No I don't know what you would do with it).
The cloud has changed the game. Not only do you not get the source code, the vendor can turn you off in an instance leaving you with no working software at all. As David points out, getting vendors to sign SLAs that help you more than them is pretty tough. This obviously is cause for concern with a lot of IT organizations consider moving applications, services and infrastructure to the cloud. Of course there are tons of ways to mediate all of this and still take advantage of what the cloud has to offer. Things such as SOA, Governance, EA and even the old EAI(Practice not the platform) standby all still apply when designing for the cloud(location independence takes on a more significant role).
The take home message is get out in front and don't throw good architecture practices out the window because there is something shiny and new out there. The cloud demands your architecture be more sound than ever.
IEEE Projects on Cloud Computing
Final Year Projects for CSE
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