Cloud architecture is emerging as a hot topic again. Cloud architects are hard to find, salaries are increasing, and many are looking for training in cloud architecture.
Most architects are actually only experts from a single public cloud provider and don't understand other providers and don't know how to work and play well together. This leads to some errors in cloud deployment as architects become increasingly nearsighted and use the same technology stack regardless of whether it fits or not.
I find that a return to traditional architecture processes that were used 20 years ago may be better for cloud computing in 2020. However, you need to modernize the way we develop solutions today and the technology we use.
"Paralysis through analysis" will always be a risk. In addition, traditional sequential architectural processes (waterfalls) are contrasted with the new world of agile methods, which are automated by very sophisticated tool chains and processes.
Cloud architects need to avoid these two extremes:
First of all, it is believed that you can repeat your path to cloud architecture success in record time. The application development model (wrong many times before getting it right) is an accepted process for optimizing application development and responding quickly to changing business needs. However, the same approach doesn't work for architecture unless you want to spend millions of dollars unnecessarily to find the right, fully optimized architecture. In this way, you cannot introduce expensive technologies or cloud services without incurring enormous risk and enormous costs.
Second, those who view cloud architecture as a slow step, burdened by committees, selection teams, etc., where it takes a year to select only the basic cloud technologies, will find that the world is changing faster than they can keep up can. They will provide an architecture that is out of date on the day it goes into production.
What is the best way to a successful cloud computing architecture? The best practices these days are really "quick planning" and I practice that every day. Really, it's old school meets new school.
First, create a comprehensive, company-wide logical architecture to gain a basic understanding of the cloud architecture in relation to the existing company architecture. Do not assign any part of the logical architecture to a particular technology. This is the vision you will build on – the macro architecture.
Second, you break down the logical (macro) architecture into many micro-architectures. In most Global 2000 companies, this is done by department, technology platform, data storage, security model, or all of the above. Break the macro architecture apart so that the micro architectures can be solved with quick planning.
Finally, use custom processes for every fast planning sprint for every microarchitecture. In simple terms, this means limiting the planning cycle for each microarchitecture to a few weeks or even a few days. These should be decoupled and can take place in succession or in parallel.
It is interesting how we have to combine past approaches with what works now, driven by the need for speed. The best architects are open to technology, processes and methods. We have to continuously improve.
Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.