Everyone seems to have this concept that deploying all of your stuff into the cloud is really easy – you just go up into there, set up a VM, install your data and you’re done. And when I say “everyone” I’m referring to CIOs, software salespeople, my customers and anyone else with a stake in enterprise architecture.

When I hear that, immediately I jump in and ask: Where’s the integration space in the cloud today? Remember that 18 or 20 years ago we were putting up application stacks in datacenters that were 2- or 3-tier stacks. They were quite simple stacks to put up, but there was very little or no integration going on. The purpose was singular: Deal with this application. If we’d had a bit more foresight, we’d have done things differently. And I’m seeing the same mistake right now in this rush to the cloud.

Really, what a lot of people are putting up in the cloud right now is nothing more than a vertical application stack with tons of horsepower they couldn’t otherwise afford. And guess what? That stack still can’t move sideways.

Remember: We’ve been working on datacenter integration since the old millennium. And our experience with datacenter integration shows that the problems of the last millennium haven’t been solved by cloud. In fact, the new website, the new help desk, the new business process and solutions like IBM MQ that grew to solve these issues have all matured within the datacenter. But the cloud’s still immature because there’s no native, proven and secure integration. What we’re doing in the cloud today is really the same thing we did 20 years ago in the datacenter.

I’m sounding the alarm, and I’m emphasizing the need for MQ, because in order to do meaningful and complicated things in the cloud, we need to address how we’re going to do secure, reliable, high-demand integration of systems across datacenters and the cloud. Is MQ a pivotal component of your cloud strategy? It’d better be, or we’ll have missed the learning opportunity of the last two decades.

How mature is the cloud? From an integration standpoint, it’s 18 to 20 years behind your own datacenter. So when you hear the now-familiar chant, “We’ve got to go to the cloud,” first ask why, then ask how, and finish with what then? Remind everyone that cloud service is generally a single stack, that significant effort and money will need to be spent on new integration solutions, and that your data is no more secure in the cloud than it is in a physical datacenter.

Want to talk more about MQ in the cloud? Send me an email and let’s get the conversation started.

(Photo by George Thomas and TxMQ)

Allan Bartleywood is a senior executive consultant with TxMQ. His areas of specialty include technical-design architecting, with a special interest in the enterprise-system integration of applications and B2B connectivity with messaging over WebSphere MQ. He also enjoys working inside database arena with Oracle, and has had hands-on experience with Oracle since Version 4 on PDP-11s

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