Friday, September 30, 2005
Most Enterprises are not doing Enterprise Architecture...
Enterprise Architecture unlike its analogy to the building trades also include a view related to lifecycle maintenance. Just like buildings, enterprises over time are adapted needs of the management, stockholders, business partners and consumers change. One could say that enterprise architecture is not really about technology but a superset of change management and helps to address cultural impediments that get in the way of change.
I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at an enterprise architecture conference in London in 2003 that included John Zachman of the infamous Zachman Framework. In his own discussion, he talked about the architecture of the building we were in and stated, an enterprise only has three choices:
* One could knock down the wall, cross your fingers and pray that nothing bad happens
* One could hire engineers to spend significant time analyzing the wall in order to determine how it was constructed (reverse engineering)
* One could pull out the blueprints for the building and do the necessary calculations..
In the first example, this is status quo for those who don't do enterprise architecture and know that they aren't doing it. The second example is frequently practiced by enterprises who believe they are doing enterprise architecture and have adopted the notion of rationalization (note: rationalization is not architecture. These same folks haven't figured out that rationalization is a trap!. It is the third group that is truly practicing enterprise architecture and will lead the enterprise to success.
Enterprises that capture blueprints of what resides within their walls, may use techniques such as expressing software constructs using software architecture descriptions. Of course there are good ways to approach this as well as even more bad ways. This will be the subject of future blog entries.
Anyway, lets get back to why folks confuse what is enterprise architecture and misguiding others expectations of what it will deliver. The book: A Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture summarizes and clarifies this problem space nicely...
Most folk miss the point that EA is based on the practice of showing linkages between software architecture, technical architecture, and applications architecture. The ability to understand how these architectures are coupled are the real value of enterprise architecture.
Enterprises that still think about various forms of architecture in an insular manner will run the risk that each will become their own distinct ivory tower of technical "best practices". Enterprises that take this approach may find that for every single project they are still reinventing the wheel and business credibility suffers...
Anyway, no blog entry of mines wouldn't be complete without introducing something offtopic and politically incorrect. Here is an interesting article on the right perspective on the Middle East...
Friday, September 16, 2005
Outstanding Questions on Mobile Data Security
1. Anyone aware of open source disk encryption software that works with Windows XP? The only project I have ran across is Truecrypt.
2. GNU folks have created a replacement for PGP named gnuPG. Curious if any third party that specializes in cryptography has certified this project?
3. Would love to also learn about open source equivalents that allow for securing USB, Firewire, etc for Windows XP.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Outstanding Questions for Sun, Intel, AMD and others...
Here are my outstanding questions:
- Azul Systems and their Vega chip seems to have 24 CPUs on a single core. This would indicate that knowledge around multicore technology in the industry is pretty mature. Attempting to figure out why Sun, AMD and Intel are not rolling out new chips this dense? Is this about protecting their product line or something else?
- Several chip manufacturers have talked about virtualization technology occuring within the chip itself. I am curious if there is a consistent definition from an industry analyst perspective as to what a chip should support in this regard?
- Does virtualization on the chip meet the government definition of being "C2" certified?
- Likewise, the notion of hypervisors and the stuff coming out of the Xen project seems to be yet another form of virtualization. What areas between software virtualization and hardware virtualization are overlapping and what areas are not yet discussed?
- Xen seems like a really cool technology in which an operating system can run on. When does it make sense to write an application directly on top of Xen and skip an OS entirely?
- The notion of a virtual machine such as Java seems like it has pretty much everything to run without an OS, could the JVM be easily ported to run directly on Xen without an OS? If so, what would be the performance uplift of not having an OS?
- A lot of appliances are built on Intel. Does Sun provide any unique value proposition for appliance builders?
- Cool threads seem cool. what is the potential for computer chips to draw even less power in the future?