Is cloud architecture binary or analog?


I’ve been in the world of enterprises architecture for years—as a practitioner, a technology builder, a thought leader, and a pundit.

What I like about architecture, no matter if it’s traditional enterprise, cloud, edge, or other special-purpose systems, is that there are about 100 factorial ways to solve the same IT architecture problems. Creating the most optimized architecture with the least amount of money and risk really falls back on the experience of the architect more than some canned methodology or automated process.

There’s a lot at stake. Architectures that are underoptimized and costly may indeed work, but they may cause the business to lose millions a week while most people are none the wiser. Thirty technologies are used where 12 would have worked better, and not designing for change means that business agility suffers.

But it works, right? Now, let’s file for bankruptcy, so the bad architect can go off and ruin other businesses. 

As we get better at architecture of newer IT concepts, such as cloud computing, the number of best practices becomes better understood. I often get the question, “Can architecture (in this case cloud architecture) be automated? Is good architecture repeatable?” This would mean we can define architecture as a binary concept where rules of logic can be applied repeatedly for optimized and consistent results.

About 15 years ago, I attempted to boil down SOA (service-oriented architecture), which is really the building blocks of cloud computing, to an algorithm. I failed.

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