Guidelines for the Design and Implementation of a cloud-based Integration Layer


In the architectural design of a modern information system, the integration component governing all the interactions between the legacy information system and the applications and services provided by external service providers plays a central role.

In order to optimise the integration system’s flexibility, efficiency and robustness and, consequently, the same characteristics in the entire information system, using a Cloud infrastructure that relies on state-of-the-art tools and services is the optimal approach.  

The Cloud infrastructure must be designed considering the adoption of a DevOps and Infrastructure as Code methodology, involving Cloud-native architects and developers from the earliest stages of the project to ensure that the design and implementation of the infrastructure comply with the best practices and guidelines.

Some characteristics of Cloud-native infrastructures:

  • Centralised communication layer. Known as a ‘hub’, it is designed to enable synchronous and asynchronous/ decoupled communications with external service providers. This layer provides a centralised point for the management of messages and interactions between the various infrastructure components.
  • Cloud managed services. The services managed and maintained by the cloud provider guarantee immediate scalability to meet all customer load requirements. This allows development teams to focus exclusively on the business logic, without worrying about basic resource management.
  • Single Sign-On authentication. The SSO approach with a central Identity Provider is used to guarantee access to resources and applications, ensuring data security and resource access management, and simplifying access for authorised users.
  • Code repository and versioning. The provisioning of resources and services is controlled and versioned, making configurations more stable and easier to trace. This helps to ensure the quality and reliability of the services provided.
  • Build and deployment pipelines. The build and deployment pipeline is applicable to both infrastructure resources and applications, for an automatic and reliable management of the development and production activities.
  • Event-driven and serverless. ETL applications and processes are event-driven and implemented as serverless services. This ensures dynamic management of resources according to needs, improving efficiency and scalability.
  • Advanced cost management. Cost estimation and management are evolving and allow for the precise allocation of expenses and resources in the Cloud to maintain control over costs and ensure the sustainability of the model.

Specifically, all Cloud infrastructure resources and services are to be implemented ‘as Code’, in the same way as software applications, by defining them declaratively and versioning them in a control system to ensure provisioning, orchestration and deployment in a controlled and replicable manner. 

The adoption of a DevOps methodology with software lifecycle management integrated with infrastructure management enables greater agility and faster delivery. In addition, the use of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) with the configuration of the infrastructure expressed as a code, allows easier and more traceable management and enables the automation of many manual tasks, as well as increasing the efficiency of the management of the entire infrastructure. 

A plus that allows the same infrastructure to be replicated in different European regions, ensuring high levels of maintenance, security and business continuity, without human intervention.

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