|By Gopala Krishna Behara, Prasad Palli||
|December 8, 2012 03:00 PM EST||
The aim of the Architecture Assurance is to provide collaborative architecture processes for assuring complete implementation of the technical solutions that are aligned with the business drivers of an enterprise in a timely environment. The effective sharing of the information across different Business Units (BU) / departments within an enterprise and interoperability across IT systems would ensure the alignment of IT with business. The Architecture Assurance Group (AAG) is involved in reviewing the Project Architecture during the design and development phases of an application/system to help ensure successful project implementation. This review also ensures that the proposed system fits into the existing enterprise environment as well as the future architecture vision.
The goals of Architecture Assurance include some or all of the following:
- Identify inconsistencies in the architecture early, which reduces the cost and risk of changes required later in the life cycle
- Provide an overview of the compliance of architecture to mandated enterprise standards
- Identify where the standards may require modification
- Identify services that are currently application-specific but might be provided as part of the enterprise infrastructure
- Take advantage of advances in technology
- Communicate to management the status of the technical readiness of the project
- Identify and communicate significant architectural gaps to product and service providers
- Establish, own and manage Enterprise Architecture Content
- Provide architecture governance: guidelines and recommendations on business and IT architecture
- Ensure and enforce architecture compliance: review changes and deviations in business and IT architecture
- Resolve architectural ambiguities, issues and conflicts at the enterprise level
- Identify projects that have high architectural risk, and provide assistance to them early and often throughout the project
- Provide guidance to project managers and designers to direct architecture compliance
- Formally review projects to ensure compliance
- Leverage third-party assessments
- Leverage COT's products
The main benefits of these reviews are:
- Architecture is reviewed by a group of experienced architects across the enterprise
- Assistance in leveraging the existing architecture promoting the reusability
- Architecture for plug and play
- Promote simplification and standardization
- Proactively identify risks to the project
- Provide enterprise-wide context to project team
Maintain the integrity of the enterprise IT environment and expand the user community's access to Enter resources
- Does the project presents risk to the IT environment (e.g., infrastructure, other applications, users, enterprise policy)
- Allows Architecture Review Team to proactively recognize when modifications to the architecture are required
- Allows the project team to provide input to the extension of the proposed architecture
- Does the project leverage the existing common services where applicable
- Provides cost effectiveness across the enterprise
Architecture Assurance Methodology
The Architecture Assurance Group is a multi-disciplinary body that is responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of Architecture, Design standards and best practices across the programs/projects. The primary responsibility is to provide governance and ensure compliance of the defined enterprise / solution architecture.
Architecture Assurance is the key success factor in ensuring high quality deliverables for the architecture and design phases. The intent of the Architecture Assurance Process is to ensure that ongoing projects have the right architectural assumptions and that in-flight projects receive architectural guidance throughout the life cycle. This should be a collaborative effort to ensure that project designs and implementations are compliant with the defined architecture
A detailed Architecture Assurance process that achieves these goals is shown in Figure 1.
Architecture/Design Review(s) should be conducted at a stage when there is still time to correct any major inconsistencies or shortcomings in the program/project.
The Architecture/Design Review is typically targeted for the Analysis SDLC phase and at a point in time when:
- Business goals, business requirements, policies are defined
- Ball park clarity of hardware and software requirements & decisions are not finalized
- Project schedules / timelines are defined
- Project risk assessment is done
Architecture Review Criteria is:
- Start Early
- Drive and Participate in architecture workshop
- Establish relation with architecture & design teams
- Involve through architecture & design
- Involve and review the architecture and design decisions on an ongoing basis
- Review the intermittent and final architecture deliverables
- Share architecture best practices
- Mentor architecture and design teams as appropriate
- Architectural Risk Analysis and Mitigation
- Quality attribute analysis of architecture
- Failure and risk analysis of architecture
- Mentor on engineering best practices
- Mentor on Development method, tools & build practices
- Performance and other NFR related best practices
During the review, the architecture review team needs to extract the information like impacted groups, impacted systems, data feeds, software components required such as build, buy and reuse, security requirement, availability, scalability, error handling, capacity sizing, integration with third parties, data center/hosting facility, etc.
Key activities of the Architecture Assurance Group are:
- Conduct planned and random formal architecture review workshops for projects and programs
- Analyze architecture quality attributes against requirements
- Conduct architecture failure and risk analysis and mitigation plan
- Identify areas of non-compliance and options to redress shortcomings
- Conduct formal/informal reviews of intermediate and final architecture deliverables to ensure ongoing compliance and quality
- Review and track architecture and design decisions
In this phase, Architecture Assurance look for a high-level functional fit and nonfunctional fitment of the solution. Also verifies the solution mapping with the design and various options provided for the solution, reasons for the choices, TCO analysis of each option, etc.
In this phase, the verification of the alignment of the solution with the architecture requirements is done. Proper realization of the Architecture Principles, Architecture Patterns, IT Strategy alignment are performed in this phase. Any deviation of the standards needs to be approved by the Architecture Assurance Group.
In this phase, the report will be reviewed in terms of Business, Data, application & Technology. Also, identification of the open items, action items and next steps will be addressed & communicated to the project team
The prepared report will be presented to the Program management & track the observations to the closure. In this Phase, we oversee the updated architecture artifacts
Architecture Review Process
To ensure smooth, timely, and low impact reviews, the involved parties should prepare within the guidelines below. The process flow is shown in Figure 2.
The project architecture team is responsible for:
- Developing a project description that provides sufficient detail for the review team to evaluate architectural risks, including the project size, business impact, NFRs, Architecture Principles
- Sharing project estimates
The Architecture Assurance Team is responsible for:
- Assessing projects for architectural impact during the Proposal/Project Initiation phase of the SDLC processes
- Providing guidance to projects through the design phase to ensure that the final design is architecturally compliant
- Prepare/Customize Architecture Templates, Architecture Checklist
- Participate in the Architecture Review meetings to provide support to project teams and to assist the Architecture Assurance Group in decision making.
- Analyze the filled up Checklist, Summarize the review findings
- Customize Architecture Metrics
As part of the Architecture Review Process the following standards of the system need to be reviewed and agreed
- Business Strategy, Goals & Vision
- IT Strategy
- Existing Budgets, Resource Plans, Project Plans
- Business Scope Description
- Use Case Specification
- Business Requirements Document (BRD)
- Service Level Agreements
- TCO Model (CAPEX/OPEX etc.) - Funding Status
- Build/Buy/Reuse(Retrofit) Considerations
- Business process modeling and workflow system
- Business Process Optimization
- Business Process Analysis
- Business Process Monitoring & SLA's
- Application platform
- Programming/scripting language
- Testing/monitoring tools
- User interface platform
- Enterprise application integration platform
- Conceptual Architecture
- Logical Architecture
- Physical Architecture
- Security Architecture
- Portal platform
- Architecture Frameworks
- Performance Tuning Plan
- Migration Plan
- Tool/Vendor Selection Results
- Data Strategy
- Logical Data Model (LDM)
- Physical Data Model (PDM)
- Data integration platform
- Reporting and data analysis platform
- Server platform and operating system
- Desktop platform and operating system
- Bill of Materials
- H/W & S/W Acquisition/Lease Plan
- Security Implementation/Management Plan
- Deployment Plan
- Operational Readiness Plan
- Release Plan
- Network infrastructure
- System Performance Report
- Disaster Recovery Plan
Architecture Assurance Lead will perform the following activities:
- Assign Review Team
- Disagreement/Issue Resolution
- Review Findings discussion and agreement & communication with the project/program team
Review members will:
- Commit to review all materials in advance
- Prepare detailed questions using this practice standard and Checklist as appropriate
- Conduct any preliminary research as necessary to be an informed team member
- Attend all review meetings
- Provide a final assessment and recommendation based on their interpretation of the impact of the proposed solution architecture and design on the Enterprise Architecture.
Authors like to thank Hari Kishan Burle, General Manager, Wipro Technologies for giving us the required time and support in many ways in bringing this article as part of Architecture Assurance Practice efforts.
API-Driven Digital Healthcare Solution By @AkanaInc | @DevOpsSummit #API #IoT #DevOps #Microservices
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device acce...
Sep. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 289
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Sep. 2, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,600
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Sep. 2, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 634
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Sep. 2, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,657
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Sep. 2, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 426
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Sep. 2, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 391
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Sep. 2, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 353
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
Sep. 2, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,582
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 419
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the ...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,626
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 440
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 293
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Sep. 2, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 253
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 2, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 944
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
Sep. 2, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 268
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Sep. 2, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 422
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Sep. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 175
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Sep. 2, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 624
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
Sep. 2, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,001
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Sep. 2, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 525