|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.
"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.
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 AM EST Reads: 1,038
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:00 AM EST Reads: 614
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:45 AM EST Reads: 6,160
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/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.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,614
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 1,238
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...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,022
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,371
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 1,267
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 6, 2016 11:45 PM EST Reads: 744
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 10:15 PM EST Reads: 1,150
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Dec. 6, 2016 09:15 PM EST Reads: 347
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 6, 2016 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,081
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, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 6, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 2,154
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,708
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 405
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 803
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 1,649
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "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 Internet to enable us all to im...
Dec. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 640
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 3,351
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,219