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Incremental Software Architecture by Michael Bell

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Chapter 4System Fabric Discovery and Analysis

We start here with the end-state architecture discovery and analysis process by learning about the future or existing operating ecosystem and its deployed software and hardware assets. There is no better language than fabric to describe an environment in which a system operates. Resembling a woven piece of cloth, the fabric of a production landscape contains system elements, such as software and hardware entities (known as nodes on a network) linked by message paths to enable business transactions. These message exchange capabilities also facilitate the collaboration of production systems to provide solutions to achieve business goals.

One would argue that fabric means network topology. There is some truth to this claim, since the term “topology” in itself identifies the arrangement of elements, such as nodes and links in the space of a computer network. In other words, the structure of a network depicts the locations of nodes and identifies the way data flows from one node to another.

Recall, this fabric analysis and discovery task is about logical arrangement of architecture elements on a network and the manner they relate and communicate. This process is not about ascertaining network-enabling hardware, such as cables, routers,1 switches, gateways, bridges, hubs, or repeaters.2 Indeed, these underpinning technologies are deployed to route and control message exchange on a network. Routing configurations is not the chief subject, ...

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