SOA's Infrastructure Issues

Loraine Lawson

First we had service-oriented architecture (the familiar SOA), now we're getting "service-oriented infrastructure (SOI)," meaning people in the IT world are starting to think seriously about what it will take to keep SOAs up and running.


One approach is grid computing which, at least in theory, can assign appropriate resources to services as needed. Another, focused on a higher level, is the single-vendor SOA suite, where the "plumbing" is left to a single vendor, and heterogeneous interoperability is only a concern at the level of services and applications.


One of the biggest infrastructure concerns is SOA's use of XML, which creates problems for networks because it is very verbose. This creates higher network payloads and also eats up CPU resources because it requires more processing. The problems with XML are so serious that some developers have proposed an alternative, Javascript Object Notation (JSON).


But will these problems slow down the SOA steam roller? Few consultants or analysts think so. Freeform Dynamics, for example, recently conducted a survey on SOA take-up and concluded that SOA is "completely unstoppable."

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