Sunday, February 8, 2009

SCEA1.5 - Architecture Concepts

Common Architecture Concepts:
Scalability is the ability to economically support the required quality of service as the load increases.
Two types: Vertical and Horizontal

Vertical: Achieved by adding capacity (memory, CPUs, etc.) to existing servers.
Requires few to no changes to the architecture of a system.
Increases: Capacity, Manageability
Decreases: Reliability, Availability (single failure is more likely to lead to system failure)
Vertical scalability is usually cheaper than horizontal scalability.
J2EE supports vertical scaling because of automatic lifecycle management. Adding more capacity to a server allows it to manage more components (EJBs, etc.).

Horizontal:Achieved by adding servers to the system.Increases the complexity of the system architecture.Increases: Reliability, Availability, Capacity, Performance (depends on load balancing), FlexibilityDecreases: Manageability (more elements in the physical architecture)
J2EE supports horiz. scaling because the container and server handle clustering and load-balancing.
Availability and reliability are obtained through scalability.
Scalability affects capacity. The more scalable the system is the more capacity it can support. This must be traded-off against the complexity & manageability costs.

Flexibility is the ability to change the architecture to meet new requirements in a cost-efficient manner.
A flexible system should be more maintainable in the face of changes to the environment and/or to the application itself.
Flexibility improves: Availability, Reliability, ScalabilityFlexibility slightly decreases: Performance, Manageability
Flexibility is achieved via code that can be distributed across servers with load balancing that prevents one system from being overburdened. The use of a multi-tier architecture also helps achieve flexibility.

The ability to ensure the integrity and consistency of the application and all of its transactions.
You increase reliability through the use of horizontal scalability, i.e., by adding more servers. This only works up to a certain point, though.
When you increase reliability you increase availability.

Availability is about assuring that services are available to the required number of users for the required proportion of time.

The ability to modify or add functionality without impacting the existing functionality.
The key to an extensible design is to make an effective OO design. Extensibility pays the most towards the font end of a system.
Some rough guidelines:More than 25 top-level classes will lead to problems
Every use case should be able to be implemented using domain model methods
J2EE supports extensibility because it is component-based and allows you to separate the roles of an app. JSPs can handle presentation. Servlets can handle routing, and EJBs can handle business logic.

Architectural performance is concerned with creating an architecture that forces end-to-end performance.
The purpose of an architecture that ensures performance is to control expensive calls and to identify bottlenecks.
If you know the boundaries of the various parts of the system, the technologies, and the capabilities of the technologies you can do a good job of controlling performance.
You want to minimize the number of network calls your distributed app makes – make a few “large” calls that get a lot of data vs. lots of calls that get small amounts of data.
Try to minimize process-to-process calls because they are expensive.
Use resource pooling to reduce the number of expensive resources that need to be created like network connections, database connections, etc.

Manageability refers to the ability to manage a system to ensure the health of the system.
A single tier or monolithic app would be more manageable from a management perspective than a multi-tier system but this must be weighed against the possibility of a change rippling through a monolithic app.
A simple architecture may not be as flexible or available as a more complex system but the amount of effort required to keep the system up & functioning will be less.
A component-based architecture like J2EE offsets some of the manageability problems caused by a multi-tier system.

Security ensures that info is neither modified nor disclosed except in accordance with the security policy.
Tradeoffs: personal privacy, ease of use, and expense.
A highly secure system is: More costly, Harder to define and develop, Requires more watchdog activities
Principles of Security:
Identity – The user is correctly ID’d thru an authentication mechanism
Authority – The user can perform only allowed activities
Integrity – Data can only be modified in allowed ways
Privacy – Data is disclosed to authorized entities in authorized ways
Auditability – The system maintains logs of actions taken for later analysis