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What does SOA really mean? One big hype machine

Clemens Vasters, at an unusual leap of humility, declares something which to me is one of the biggest "DUH"s of the past year: Service Oriented Architecture is just one big hype machine, it talks about connecting systems, which people have done before, but it's not really about architecture, just about an orientation for connected systems. It's still damn near impossible to do it, and the tools are not there yet to accomplish fully distributed and autonomous systems, yet.
"When you look at what’s being advertised as “serviced oriented architecture”, you see either the marketing-glorified repackaging of Ethernet, TCP/IP, and LDAP (“Enterprise Service Bus”), or architectural blueprints that looks strikingly similar to things that people have been doing for a long time with DCE, CORBA, J2EE, COM, or mainframe technologies. What’s different now is that it is easier, cheaper and likely more productive to create bridges between systems. And even that comes at a significant price at this point. Realistically, the (web) services stacks yet have to catch up with these “proprietary” stacks in terms of reliability, security, and performance. "
"I’ve started to use “SO/A” to make clear that I mean architecture that benefits from service orientation. "
But when I see or hear SOA discussed, people speak mostly about technology and software architecture. In that context, selling “SOA” as a completely new software architecture school does not (no longer) make sense to me"
Selling it as a whole new software paradigm, architecture and whatever else, to me is still something to be wary of. I see places offering courses on Service Oriented Architecture, but I don't really see anyone doing a real system with all the core values mentioned. There are efforts, but it's still one hell of a deal to make it happen and I'm pretty sure noone can actually "teach" it today. It's still one of the biggest "unknown unknowns" these days, foggy and blurry - that's the most dangerous thing to get attached to.

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