|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.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Sep. 30, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,965
Cloud Expo 2016 New York at the Javits Center New York was characterized by increased attendance and a new focus on operations. These were both encouraging signs for all involved in Cloud Computing and all that it touches. As Conference Chair, I work with the Cloud Expo team to structure three keynotes, numerous general sessions, and more than 150 breakout sessions along 10 tracks. Our job is to balance the state of enterprise IT today with the trends that will be commonplace tomorrow. Mobile...
Sep. 30, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,224
Analysis of 25,000 applications reveals 6.8% of packages/components used included known defects. Organizations standardizing on components between 2 - 3 years of age can decrease defect rates substantially. Open source and third-party packages/components live at the heart of high velocity software development organizations. Today, an average of 106 packages/components comprise 80 - 90% of a modern application, yet few organizations have visibility into what components are used where.
Sep. 29, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 844
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Sep. 29, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,791
Throughout history, various leaders have risen up and tried to unify the world by conquest. Fortunately, none of their plans have succeeded. The world goes on just fine with each country ruling itself; no single ruler is necessary. That’s how it is with the container platform ecosystem, as well. There’s no need for one all-powerful, all-encompassing container platform. Think about any other technology sector out there – there are always multiple solutions in every space. The same goes for conta...
Sep. 29, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,261
Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?
Sep. 29, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,343
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
Sep. 29, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,543
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Sep. 29, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,585
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 29, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,859
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Sep. 29, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,458
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...
Sep. 29, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,967
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Sep. 29, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,862
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,189
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, 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 enterpri...
Sep. 29, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,468
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Sep. 29, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,037
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Sep. 29, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 5,142
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 29, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,755
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
Sep. 29, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 5,374
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th 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 dev...
Sep. 29, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,545
[session] Cloud Adoption and Digital Transformation By @TIBCO | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DigitalTransformation
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Sep. 29, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 492