If you have been following my Crossing the EA Chasm blog series (and related articles), you’ll have noticed a number of common themes:
- How to challenge the Enterprise Architecture Chasm (and The Strategy Chasm)
- Use of Open Repository Strategies for unlocking and automating access to enterprise architecture data
- Continuous Transformation through Progressive Enterprise Architecture Management
- Listening and Learning
- Knowledge and Understanding leading to New Designs
- Planning and Acting
- Transformative Change leading to New Outcomes
- Enabled through software like the ModelMate project that makes it easy to integrate open EA data with open source and COTS (commercial off the shelf) software for modeling, analysis, machine learning and visualization.
Automating Enterprise Architecture Modeling
Figure 1. Progressive Enterprise Architecture Model: Continuous Transformation Framework
Supporting the above themes, the Technology layer diagram below is automatically generated from a simple, single line query applied to an automatically created and dynamically maintained model of 500+ Windows and Linux servers (blue dots) with 550+ server network adapter configurations (yellow dots) connected to 25 network gateways (blue dots representing 25 network routers/switches). The data originates from a series of tables maintained by a configuration management database (CMDB) solution. There is no way to understand what the Technology environment looks like by simply looking at these tables. However, in the visualization below, it is easy to see that there are at least 14 different server farms, application clusters, and data centers.
Figure 2. Automatically Generated Technology Layer Model and View
In this ModelMate model, servers are represented by Nodes with 179 properties; network adapter configurations as Devices with 69 properties each; and, network gateways as Devices with 4 properties per device.
This is just the beginning as additional information about web application, database, DNS, and directory and domain management services is used to add additional detail to the current state Technology layer of this enterprise architecture. “More news at 11…” (click here).
This effort was made easier through the use of ModelMate and the Neo4j Community Edition free, open source graph database and the Cypher query language.
Michael Herman (Toronto)