Building Applications Across the Cloud and Enterprise Using Mule

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I am speaking this afternoon at OSCON on Building Applications Across the Cloud and Enterprise Using Mule. SOA and virtualization play critical roles in enabling cloud computing and an ESB can help to bridge the chasm between traditional enterprise technologies and cloud-based infrastructure and services.

In preparing my presentation, I discovered several things:

  • Computing services can be broken into three distinct layers – Infrastructure, Platform, and Applications
  • Cloud Computing has specific strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered before starting a project
  • SLAs vary greatly between cloud service providers and need to be scrutinized, along with the viability of the provider
  • While protocols are standardized, data formats and APIs are highly proprietary

Mule is relevant for all these points. An ESB can assist with integrating cloud-based applications running in both virtualized environments like Amazon EC2 as well as cloud platforms like Google App Engine and SalesForce Force.com. Also, with web 2.0 and the explosion of applications and services running in the cloud and accessible via APIs, Mule’s breadth of protocol support and data transformation capabilities open these up to be tightly integrated with existing services running inside the firewall. By interfacing your applications through the ESB, you can isloate proprietary APIs and data formats using custom transports developed for these services. Many of these are available today on the MuleForge.


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3 Responses to “Building Applications Across the Cloud and Enterprise Using Mule”

  1. So what’s different between integrating between Cloud and a data center?

  2. There are a number of differences (as well as similarities) that I highlight in my talk. A big one is control. With the cloud, you are effectively outsourcing part of your infrastructure and with that control on a number of potential levels. You need to understand what the impact this loss of control will have our your project. In some cases it’s a good thing since what you are giving up is overhead and not something you want to control/manage. For other projects it could mean greater risk.

  3. Also, keep in mind that the “cloud” is, in the end, a mesh of interconnected data centers. These individual locations are connected in various ways (point-to-point, MPLS, public Internet, etc.), so once connectivity method is isolated, the true differences in cost and policy become apparent. Going to a hosted application vs. something proprietary becomes easier when Mule is introduced; it’s a great platform for governing application-level interactions and for encouraging segmented reuse for both the subscriber and hosting sides.