Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Dan Blacharski, Kong Yang, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Jyoti Bansal

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, Release Management

Java IoT: Article

Architecture Assurance – The Road to Success

Ensuring successful project implementation

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:

Project Success

  • 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.

Review Preparation
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

Solution Fitment
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.

Standards Adherence
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.

Report Preparation
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

Tracking
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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • Data Strategy
  • Logical Data Model (LDM)
  • Physical Data Model (PDM)
  • Data integration platform
  • Reporting and data analysis platform

Infrastructure:

  • 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.

Acknowledgments
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.

More Stories By Gopala Krishna Behara

Dr. Gopala Krishna Behara is a Senior Enterprise Architect in the Enterprise Architecture & Solutions division of Wipro. He has a total of 16 years of IT experience. He can be reached at [email protected]

More Stories By Prasad Palli

Prasad Palli is a Practice Partner in the Enterprise Architecture & Solutions division of Wipro. He has a total of 15 years of IT experience. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift. A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this ...
To more closely examine the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating cloud services, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles, SolarWinds recently released the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid Organization. This annual study consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Is your application too difficult to manage? Do changes take dozens of developers hundreds of hours to execute, and frequently result in downtime across all your site’s functions? It sounds like you have a monolith! A monolith is one of the three main software architectures that define most applications. Whether you’ve intentionally set out to create a monolith or not, it’s worth at least weighing the pros and cons of the different architectural approaches and deciding which one makes the most s...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
This recent research on cloud computing from the Register delves a little deeper than many of the "We're all adopting cloud!" surveys we've seen. They found that meaningful cloud adoption and the idea of the cloud-first enterprise are still not reality for many businesses. The Register's stats also show a more gradual cloud deployment trend over the past five years, not any sort of explosion. One important takeaway is that coherence across internal and external clouds is essential for IT right n...
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
A Man in the Middle attack, or MITM, is a situation wherein a malicious entity can read/write data that is being transmitted between two or more systems (in most cases, between you and the website that you are surfing). MITMs are common in China, thanks to the “Great Cannon.” The “Great Cannon” is slightly different from the “The Great Firewall.” The firewall monitors web traffic moving in and out of China and blocks prohibited content. The Great Cannon, on the other hand, acts as a man in the...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
In large enterprises, environment provisioning and server provisioning account for a significant portion of the operations team's time. This often leaves users frustrated while they wait for these services. For instance, server provisioning can take several days and sometimes even weeks. At the same time, digital transformation means the need for server and environment provisioning is constantly growing. Organizations are adopting agile methodologies and software teams are increasing the speed ...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Software as a service (SaaS), one of the earliest and most successful cloud services, has reached mainstream status. According to Cisco, by 2019 more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud, up from 65 percent today. The majority of this traffic will be applications. Businesses of all sizes are adopting a variety of SaaS-based services – everything from collaboration tools to mission-critical commerce-oriented applications. The rise in SaaS usage has m...
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
We'd all like to fulfill that "find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" cliché. But in reality, every job (even if it's our dream job) comes with its downsides. For you, the constant fight against shadow IT might get on your last nerves. For your developer coworkers, infrastructure management is the roadblock that stands in the way of focusing on coding. As you watch more and more applications and processes move to the cloud, technology is coming to developers' rescue-most r...
2016 has been an amazing year for Docker and the container industry. We had 3 major releases of Docker engine this year , and tremendous increase in usage. The community has been following along and contributing amazing Docker resources to help you learn and get hands-on experience. Here’s some of the top read and viewed content for the year. Of course releases are always really popular, particularly when they fit requests we had from the community.