|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.
This week, the team assembled in NYC for @Cloud Expo 2015 and @ThingsExpo 2015. For the past four years, this has been a must-attend event for MetraTech. We were happy to once again join industry visionaries, colleagues, customers and even competitors to share and explore the ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact our industry. Over the course of the show, we discussed the types of challenges we will collectively need to solve to capitalize on the opportunity IoT presents.
Oct. 13, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 131
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,233
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing, 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. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and Embedded Systems worldwide. Supermi...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 235
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Oct. 13, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 126
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Oct. 13, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 732
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote 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.
Oct. 13, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 260
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 346
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 342
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 industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 230
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
Oct. 13, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 696
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
Oct. 13, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 750
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
Oct. 13, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 307
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
Oct. 13, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 415
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
Oct. 13, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 309
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Oct. 13, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 324
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 13, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,012
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
Oct. 13, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 686
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
Oct. 13, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 413
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Oct. 13, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 266
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Oct. 13, 2015 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 857