Digital transformation or digitalization is on everyone’s lips today. Digitalization offers a wealth of products based on new technologies and technological platforms that have the ability to reshape business processes, organizational structures and working methods. It has the potential to reshape entire business models or even the entire market situation.
A key element of digitalization is cloud computing, i.e. the use of IT resources (CPU time, storage space, etc.) only to the extent required at any given time. Enterprise architecture management (EAM) must include the resources used in the cloud (be it a private, public or community cloud) in order to prevent spontaneous growth of the IT landscape. Measures to control the use of cloud services should (or must) be implemented. Today we would like to show you how.
Retrieve architecture information from AWS
Cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, OpenStack or Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer APIs that can be used to create and manage many different cloud resources.
We took a closer look at AWS. Its API enables the control of instances (virtual servers), virtual machine images, volumes, hosts or network infrastructures, etc. For our first implementation, we focused on the instances, more specifically the AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances. These are the resources most frequently used by our customers, i.e. moving applications from an on-premise server to instances in the cloud.
We have developed a command line tool that runs periodically to request the instance information from the cloud provider and download it in a standardized format.
Integrate with Enterprise Architecture Management
An automatic import job is then started to draw the information in Alfabet. Alfabet is a powerful EAM tool that we often use in our customers’ EAM projects. Alfabet provides an object type called “Device”, which represents a server on which an application can be deployed. We have used this object type to describe the AWS instances in the world of Alfabet:
The import job also connects the imported instances with the existing IT landscape:
- The instances are connected to the location where they are running (i.e. “eu-central-1” for the AWS data center in Frankfurt, Germany).
The instances are assigned
- Users are assigned to manage them.
- A workflow is executed to ask the responsible users which applications are running on the instances. This is necessary in order to link instances and applications with each other and thus make it clear what the instances are used for.
The above steps create transparency about the cloud IT landscape. They are the preparatory work for the “actual” use cases:
- All running applications could be checked to see whether they can be used in a cloud instance or not. This would promote IT standardization, as cloud services are built on standardized hardware and software platforms.
- You could import and collect cost information per instance and use it for reporting and budgeting purposes.
Lecture at the EAMKON 2017
We will be talking about the integration of the Alfabet EAM tool with AWS at the EAMKON 2017 conference in Stuttgart on May 30, 2017. We look forward to seeing you there!