Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog

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 Dr. 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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search and...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning 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 busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Adopting the right Digital Transformation strategy for your enterprise is crucial to keep up with rapid growth, customers' demands, and technological disruptions while remaining ahead of your market competition. Digital Transformation is no longer an option, it’s a requirement. Are you ready for tomorrow’s challenges? In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, William Morrish, VP of Commercial Operations at Interoute, will discuss these key takeaways.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...