Creating a Cloud Architecture Roadmap

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Overview

When a product has been proved to be a success and has just come out of a MVP (Minimal Viable Product) or MMP (Minimal Marketable Product) state, usually a lot of corners would have been cut in order to get a product out and act on the valuable feedback. So inevitably there will be technical debt to take care of.

What is important is having a technical vision that will reduce costs and provide value/impact/scaleable/resilient/reliable which can then be communicated to all stakeholders.

A lot of cost savings can be made when scaling out by putting together a Cloud Architecture Roadmap. The roadmap can then be communicate with your stakeholders, development teams and most importantly finance. It will provide a high level “map” of where you are now and where you want to be at some point in the future.

A roadmap is every changing, just like when my wife and I go travelling around the world. We will have a roadmap of where want to go for a year but are open to making changes half way through the trip e.g. An earthquake hits a country we planned to visit etc. The same is true in IT, sometimes budgets are cut or a budget surplus needs to be consumed, such events can affect your roadmap.

It is something that you want to review on a regular schedule. Most importantly you want to communicate the roadmap and get feedback from others.

Feedback from other engineers and stakeholders is crucial – they may spot something that you did not or provide some better alternative solutions.

Decomposition

The first stage is to decompose your ideas. Below is a list that helps get me started in the right direction. This is by no means an exhausted list, it will differ based on your industry.

Component Description Example
Application Run-timeWhere apps are hostedAzure Kubernetes
Persistent StorageNon-Volatile DataFile Store
Block Store
Object Store
CDN
Message
Database
Cache
Backup/RecoveryBackup/Redundant SolutionsManaged Services
Azure OMS
Recovery Vaults
Volume Images
GEO Redundancy
Data/IOTConnected Devices / SensorsStreaming Analytics
Event Hubs
AI/Machine Learning
GatewayHow services are accessedAzure Front Door, NGIX, Application Gateway, WAF, Kubernetes Ingress Controllers
Hybrid ConnectivityOn-Premise Access
Cross Cloud
Express Route
Jumpboxes
VPN
Citrix
Source ControlWhere code lives
Build – CI/CD
Github, Bitbucket
Azure Devops, Octopus Deploy, Jenkins
Certificate ManagementSSL CertificatesAzure Key Vault
SSL Offloading strategies
Secret ManagementStore sensitive configurationPuppet (Hiera), Azure Keyvault, Lastpass, 1Password
Mobile Device ManagementGoogle Play
AppStore
G-Suite Enterprise MDM etc

Once you have an idea of all your components. The next step is to breakdown your road-map into milestones that will ultimately assist in reaching your final/target state. Which of course will not be final in a few years time 😉 or even months!

Sample Roadmap

Below is a link to a google slide presentation that you can use for your roadmap.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Hvw46vcWJyEW5b7o4Xet7jrrZ17Q0PVzQxJBzzmcn2U/edit?usp=sharing