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Article

Private Clouds and Business Rules

Enabling Multi Tenancy with Business Rules

Moving from dedicated  data centers and applications to Cloud  is not an overnight  switch-in operation; rather  enterprises need to plan out  the movement towards the Private Clouds.

While the benefits are obvious, it takes lot of thinking from the IT department of the enterprises to move applications to private cloud. The following are the typical strategies adopted in migration to Private Clouds for enterprises which are traditionally driven by dedicated applications and infrastructure.

1.       Consolidate  Data Center Resources  using  Virtualization  of the hardware and storage. (IaaS)

2.       Make the common IT applications served to business as Reusable  Services (Saas)

3.       Enable  Multi-tenancy and Application Sharing,  acrossthe  Line Of Business so that  the  applications can be made dynamically scalable (SaaS With Multi Tenancy & Dynamic Scalability)

1. Virtualization And Data Center Consolidation (IaaS)

Data Center Consolidation using the appliances and Hypervisor based approach is relatively easier of the above three steps towards migration to private Cloud.  Several of the vendors  have provided supporting approaches for the  data center  consolidation , some of them are listed below.

  • HP supports Private Cloud Infrastructure with Converged Architecture
  • VMWare Products like VSphere provides Virtualization support for enabling Private Cloud
  • Microsoft Supports with HYPER-V Virtualization technology augmented with Windows Azure Cloud Appliance. Hyper-V, the Windows Server 2008 R2 hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, is a core component of the Microsoft private cloud.
  • Oracle supports the Private Cloud Infrastructure with "Exalogic Elastic Compute Cloud" , an appliance combining server and storage hardware with a pre-tuned web server, hypervisor and other middleware.
  • IBM System X Hyper-V provides private clod infrastructure solution

2. Migrate Applications As A Service (SaaS)

Most enterprises  have lot of legacy applications which are tightly coupled  with their  consumers,  this prevents them from being offered  as services to consumers,  however  enabling  existing applications as services forms the basis of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture),  and the elaborate discussion of service enablement using SOA is beyond the scope of this article.

With several vendors offering  SOA enablement services and   tools supporting  SOA deployments converting  existing applications reusable services is  very much a possible task for the enterprises.

Notable  tools and platforms that support SOA enablement are :

  • Oracle SOA Suite 11gmakes it easier than ever to build, deploy, and manage SOA with complete, open, integrated, and best-in-class technology.
  • Microsoft has delivered a set of new services based on its BizTalk Server technology to help developers build new SOA-oriented applications.
  • IBM Websphere suite of products help with various phases of SOA like (Model, Assemble, Deploy and Manage)
  • HP SOA Center helps your IT organization effectively adopt SOA and scale from project to enterprise. It provides complete service lifecycle governance capabilities

3. Enable Multi Tenancy  & Sharing Of Services

Having  virtualized  hardware  and enabling  service oriented architecture  on the existing applications  will not make the enterprises completely transform into private Cloud.  The biggest challenge is how these applications can be enabled for multi tenancy  and the services shared across different Lines of Business (LOB)  of the enterprises.

Modern enterprises  have been built with  several acquisitions and mergers and each enterprises have expanded their business  into diversified portfolios, so  business  operations of  a typical enterprise is served by  multiple disparate applications. These individual applications  have pre dominantly common processes , however there are  specific  needs that prevents them from using a common application.

For example ,

  • Many sales regions (continents) of a large global enterprise may use Purchase order and accounts payable applications, which may follow a common process across , but specific tax laws and statutory needs across countries may prevent a common service across regions
  • A large telecom may provide services for enterprises, retail and consumers , the process of ordering, provisioning and billing may follow common steps, but yet they are different from individual aspects

Making  the SOA enabled applications to transparently adjust to different Lines of Business (LOB) needs by utilizing Business Rules is one of  the very useful option to enable multi tenancy and  sharing of services.

Business Rules makes processes and applications more flexible by enabling business analysts and non-developers to easily define and modify business logic without programming. By defining and maintaining business rules outside of the related process or application and using a separate, more intuitive web-based interface,  Business Rules provides faster, easier rule modifications and reduces subsequent redeployment costs.

A business rule management system (BRMS) enables organizational policies - and the operational decisions associated with those policies, such as claim approvals, cross-sell offer selection, pricing calculations and eligibility determinations - to be defined, deployed, monitored and maintained separately from application code.

From  the  explanation of the business rules  above,  Business Rules Engine and associated tools provide a viable option to enable multi tenancy of existing applications and enable the services shareable towards their adoption into private clouds. Some of the   business rules engines that will support private cloud enablement are :

  • WebSphere ILOG Business Rule Management Systems
  • Oracle Business Rules
  • Business Rules Framework as part of Microsoft .NET.

Summary

From the above  discussions  it is evident that enabling multi tenancy  and service sharing of the existing applications is the toughest part for enterprises in their  path towards private Clouds.   Business Rules Engines provide a viable option  in enabling the applications to adapt  to the needs of multiple stake holders .

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

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