An introduction to architecture frameworks

Architecture frameworks define how to organize the structure and views associated with an architecture. Architecture frameworks can be seen as best practices, describing how and what to describe when creating architecture documents.

Over the years a wealth of architecture frameworks has been created by organizations, both public (like the Departement of Defence’s DoDAF framework) and private (like Capgemini’s IAF ). Recently there has been a shift towards the use of TOGAF as a generally accepted de-facto standard.

Some of the best known enterprise architecture frameworks are the Zachman framework and TOGAF. While these frameworks are primarily targeted at enterprise architects, they do contain some useful material for infrastructure architects as well.

Most architecture frameworks are quite large. The description of TOGAF, for instance, encompasses about 700 pages and the Zachman framework uses 36 cells that each need a full document to describe. Because most frameworks provide an vast amount of knowledge and guidance, using an architecture framework can be quite intimidating.

In the solution architecture realm there are no comprehensive architecture frameworks available. There are however some best practices and de-facto standards when it comes to creating and describing architectures. Two of these are the SEI stack and the 4+1 views.

Architecture frameworks should not be used without modification and adaptation to your own environment and needs. Often architects "cherry-pick" parts of frameworks or combine frameworks to fit their needs. For instance, it is quite common to combine TOGAF with the Zachman framework. Frameworks should be seen as useful guidance, to prevent you from reinventing the wheel.

Which parts you need from a particular framework is dependent on many factors, like:

  • Is your architecture implemented in a green field situation or are you dealing with an already existing architecture and IT landscape?
  • Are you planning on migrating systems or are you planning on creating new systems?
  • Do you run a consolidation project?
  • Do you have to handle many changes in a large program or are you running one project only?

Based on the environment as stated above, the culture of the organization (is enterprise architecture already mature in the organization or is nothing in place yet?), and already used standards in for instance software development or project/program management, a selection for a framework can be made.


This entry was posted on Friday 10 May 2013

Earlier articles

Infrastructure as code

My Book

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

Performance and availability monitoring in levels

UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Infrastructure Architecture - Course materials

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

The first computers

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Sjaak Laan


Recommended links

Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
Byelex
XR Magazine
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization


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The postings on this site are my opinions and do not necessarily represent CGI’s strategies, views or opinions.

 

Copyright Sjaak Laan