Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Janakiram MSV, Steven Mandel, John Basso, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, IoT User Interface, 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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media 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. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
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...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 business opportuni...
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...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
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...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
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...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, 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. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.