Saturday, November 11, 2006

Web 2.0 Infrastructure

In one week, I heard the two major networking companies's CEO mention Web 2.0 and SOA - trends normally associated with computing. What makes these digital plumbing companies interested in Web 2.0 and SOA?

As I have been blogging now for the last 4 years, it is all about converting a compute problem into a networking problem. These two trends shift the focus of innovation away from shared APIs and data adaptation which was the focus of the integration business to standards based networking of application components.

The networking companies who so far been content with connecting stateful compute devices now have to start figuring out how to connect a stateless compute device with its state which could be resident anywhere on the network. In other words, they have to move beyond "Can you hear me now?" to "I can be there now (digitally at least)!"

This is going to require a major shift in thinking (and later business model) for networking companies. The CEOs of the networking companies realize this and know that to stay relevant they need to understand the intelligence that resides at the end nodes and how they can serve the communication needs of this increasingly distributed intelligence.

On the other side the computing players who gave birth to SOA and Web 2.0 have to learn how to use the network. Specifically how to overlay the intelligence that they now control on to a network. Doing SOA on a compute platform is DOA. Doing SOA on the network is the future.