An architect must design solutions with monitoring and management thought out from the beginning. Solutions “designed for operations” can be deployed, monitored, operated, maintained, and scaled according to the organization requirements. Monitoring and management comprise quality management imperatives, techniques, and tools. This capability requires proficiency in problem analysis, capacity planning, instrumentation and monitoring, service level agreement (SLA) creation and management, and issue response techniques
The architect’s ownership on quality attribute tradoffs translates to different tasks, depending on the architect’s domain area:
- Software or Infrastructure
- Leading a team in making quality attribute tradeoffs.
- Implementing a quality attribute tracking mechanism across projects and throughout the enterprise.
- Attaching system to quality attribute metric process and providing considerations on tools and process to manage updates for operating systems, hardware and applications
- Justifying financial value of quality attributes
- One of the strategies to manage both individual components and end-user service status is to design a health model representing all dependencies between components, from the physical layer up to the application layer. Management tooling must be able to provide real-time status of a service represented by the health model and alerts in case of a component failure, highlighting the impact to the service.
- Continually monitoring quality attribute allocation for line of business or capability
- Ensuring stakeholder awareness of financial value of quality attribute goals
- Ensuring quality attribute delivery for information usability across the enterprise
- Directing data and information quality attribute guidelines for access, retrieval, and storage
The architect should instrument the measurement of quality attributes. Quality assurance processes will then be able to compare delivered metrics to specified requirements. An SLA cannot be enforced without proper instrumentation. Adequate monitoring also allows early issue responses and avoids escalations that can potentially lead to low quality perception of a solution.
A new solution should be integrated to existing monitoring tools and processes, whenever possible. If the environment cannot provide appropriate monitoring tools or if the management processes in place cannot absorb the system, the architect must mitigate the gap. This can be achieved by deploying COTS monitoring and management packages and by training the operations team.