Scalability In Architecture Is The Real Challenge

by Sunil Kumar    Jun 24, 2005

TechEd2005, Microsoft’s annual conference for providing IT professionals and developers with technical training, information, and resources to build, deploy and manage solutions started with a bang yesterday.

SOA represents a new style of architecture, design, and implementation. Ramkumar Kothunduraman, Architect Advisor, DPE-Microsoft India, addressed this session, which covered four principles that guide the architecture, three patterns for SOA and two anti-patterns, which represent common mistakes that you should avoid.

Speaking at the session he said, “Architects have to remember that in a component-oriented world view, interoperability and interchangeability have to be kept in mind. Considering that there are millions of records in any data set, you need Web services that can scale to most requirements.”

Speaking about idempotent message protocols, Kothunduraman said, “The challenge for any architect is how to handle duplicate messages and maintain data consistency in any enterprise service-oriented architecture.”

Adding further he continued, “To handle Web services, which have grown exponentially in any enterprise, you need the concept of bounded rationality. What this would mean is strategizing on the resources available in any enterprise. Even if there are 100 applications, you need an architecture that anticipates demand spikes and is scalable. This is the challenge before architects.”

Giving an analogy, he stated, “Consider that you have to transfer 1 TB of data from one enterprise to another. You need a service-oriented architecture based on meta-data repository”.

“Architects need to consider how data transcends from a canonical format to an internal format or alternatively internal to canonical. This is the challenge when designing any enterprise architecture,” he added.

Another challenge that SOA architects face is entity aggregation to integrate duplicate information present in various services of the enterprise. We need to present a single version of truth to the customer. Design concerns include schema reconciliation, holistic view representation, view transformation and ownership determination, he said.

According to him, Indigo would be the distributed computing stack that would solve most of architects and developers problems. Exponential scalability is a challenge, which is not limited to commercial databases. “In specific, this is a challenge which we would face in genome research and also astronomy,” he concluded.

Subsequently, Govind Kanshi, Architect Advisor, DPE-Microsoft India) spoke on demystifying domain specific languages and software factories in general. According to him, software development was craftsmanship of the highest order. A software factory was a set of integrated tools, processes and content assets delivered to VS users in context to accelerate deliverables. A dynamic systems initiative was needed, which would simplify the technology architecture in an enterprise, he added. He felt that DSLs in use today needed to be specific to take designs and map it to requirements.

In the chalk talk on dealing with data in a service-oriented architecture, Jonah Stephen, Architect Advisor, DPE-Microsoft India spoke about the integration of service-oriented architecture with real-world scenarios. According to him, in any service-oriented architecture, independent evolution of capabilities and intra-capability changes were needed to maintain a consistent view of customers and business. Decoupling UI development would be the approach to data independence, otherwise chaos would rule.”

Meanwhile, in a session on .NET framework, Surupa Biswas, Program Manager, CLR-Microsoft Redmond spoke on “Preserving Your Investment, Making Sure Your 1.x Applications work great in 2.0.”

“At Redmond, WA, we were trying to ensure that the best way to avoid impact from breaking changes in NetFX is to follow our compatibility guidelines and best practices. Further developments would be announced in Orlando, Fl,” she concluded.