A meeting with John Zachman

Last week I met John Zachman. I wrote about Mr. Zachman and the Zachman model he created earlier.

Mr. Zachman gave the keynote speech on the EAM congress in The Netherlands for about 150 IT architects. The talk was about architecture, and why it is needed. Check here for the slides (push the right-hand button for the next slide).

According to Mr. Zachman, architecture is needed in any system (in IT or otherwise) that has much complexity and a need for change. The reason for this is that if you cannot describe a system, you cannot build it, let alone change it. For systems with low complexity, a architecture description is not always needed, a technical design is enough.

The most important skill an architect needs is what Mr. Zachman calls "drafting skills".

Next, Mr. Zachman explained the reasoning behind the Zachman architecture model. He calls the model an Ontology (no methodology), because it describes what needs to be done to create complex systems. The model was created after consulting many construction engineers, architects and other specialists.

Mr. Zachman pointed out that no one can get his brain around the complete architecture, so it has to be cut into pieces. As he stated: "creating for instance a data model is hard enough in its own right, let alone understanding the connection with interfaces, processes, strategy, etc.". When the architecture is cut into pieces, like it is done in the Zachman model, it can better cope with change.

It is a misconception that flexibility can be reached by creating higher granularity. Flexibility can only be created by separating independent variables, like it is done in the ISO networking stack.

Mr. Zachman is a gifted speaker who speaks faster and faster as he gets excited telling his story. He used old fashioned overhead foils instead of PowerPoint. After the talk I met him and talked about half an hour with him about my thoughts about the position of architecture, his family and his frequent travelling.

This entry was posted on Thursday 12 June 2008

Earlier articles

The cloud is as insecure as its configuration

Infrastructure as code

My Book

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

Performance and availability monitoring in levels

UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Infrastructure Architecture - Course materials

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

The first computers

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Sjaak Laan

Recommended links

Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization
Eltjo Poort's site on architecture


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