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One of the most difficult aspects of choosing a cloud road map is knowing where to start. In some respects, it’s also tough to know where to finish, even if there is already some cloud adoption in the organization.
It’s a journey that thousands of organizations have already traveled. If only there was a way to emulate their success and tap into their expertise (as well as avoid the mistakes they made). Well, good news: there is.
The IBM Cloud Architecture Center provides this expertise in the form of dozens of reference architectures, organized into a library under the headings cognitive, data and analytics, DevOps, e-commerce, hybrid, Internet of Things, micoservices, and mobile.
An IBM reference architecture is a design blueprint based on clients’ real-life experiences implementing cloud projects; not just one or two, but hundreds or thousands. Just as a builder may use a set of blueprints to successfully build houses, reference architectures can be reused to successfully build working IT architectures.
It’s important that the reference architecture is at the right level of granularity. This is made possible by micro and macro patterns. Just as a builder’s blueprint for a house may be divided into macro patterns of for the upstairs and downstairs, and then into micro-patterns of particular rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom, likewise, a cloud reference architecture for a hybrid data warehouse may be broken down into macro patterns for data sources and data Integration, and micro patterns around the deployment of actual products such as IBM Bluemix Data Connect. Micro patterns are often split into groups of use cases, that can be broken down into the individual actions that get the job done; for example, “build kitchen cupboard” or “provision IBM dashDB.”
An important thing to remember about patterns is that they are repeatable sets of actions which achieve particular outcomes. The best patterns are those which have been developed over time, because as they update and evolve. They have more and more experience built into them and are more likely to be accurate, resulting in the desired outcome.
Using a good reference architecture therefore saves time. There is surety to the outcome and no blind alleys where work has to be restarted to correct a mistake. Using the patterns within the reference architecture will also save on costs, because organizations make investments only in the tools that are proven necessary, and the entire process is more predictable.
As well as architecture patterns, the IBM Cloud Architecture Center also provides sample code and demos to really get your cloud apps going.
Why reinvent the wheel when IBM reference architectures can get you motoring to the cloud?