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Mark Richards, Collaborative Consulting, LLC

 Mark  Richards

Mark Richards is a Director and Senior Architect at Collaborative Consulting, LLC, a Boston-based Business and Architecture Consulting Firm, where he is involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of SOA and Enterprise Architectures in J2EE and other technologies, primarily in the financial services industry. Mark has been involved in the software industry since 1984.

He is currently working on the 2nd edition of the "Java Message Service" book from O'Reilly (2009), and is the author of "Java Transaction Design Strategies" (2006), contributing author of "NFJS Anthology Volume 1" (2006) and "NFJS Anthology Volume 2" (2007), and contributing author of the upcoming "97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know" book from O'Reilly (2009).

Mark is a certified IBM IT Architect, an Open Group Master IT Architect, and has numerous other architect and developer certifications. He is a regular conference speaker at the No Fluff Just Stuff Symposium Series and speaks at other conferences and user groups around the country.

Prior to joining Collaborative Consulting Mark served as an Executive IT Architect at IBM, where he worked on designing and developing large-scale SOA and Enterprise Architecture in the Financial Markets industry.

Presentation: "The Reality of Continuous Availability"

Time: Friday 09:15 - 10:15

Location: Westminster Suite


Continuous Availability means different things to different people. For purposes of this discussion Continuous Availability is defined as the ability to apply uninterrupted maintenance upgrades and application installations without impacting system uptime. While some industries such as Telecommunications have solved the continuous availability issue, other industries such as banking, insurance, and financial markets still find continuous availability a challenging and complex task. These industries typically have a complex and heterogeneous assortment of technologies, platforms, and architecture layers which make designing and implementing continuous availability particularly challenging. Introduce Service Oriented Architecture into the mix, and the issue becomes even more complex.

While the technical solutions to implement continuous availability are widely known and generally understood, the limitations and constraints of continuous availability generally are not. Just because the technical architecture supports continuous availability does not mean that the applications and systems using that infrastructure can leverage it. In fact, as you will see in this session, application architecture ends up playing an important part of a holistic continuous availability solution.

In this session I will focus on the challenges faced by the financial services industry with designing continuous availability in the application and services layer and how those challenges are addressed. I will start by discussing the use cases and rationale surrounding continuous availability in the financial services industry, then move on to discussing the limitations and challenges faced when designing and implementing continuous availability, both from the technical and application architecture perspective. I will then discuss the vendor-agnostic techniques for resolving the issues and challenges discussed. To bring a real-world focus to this session I will meld into the discussion my experiences of how one of the world's largest banks resolved the issue of continuous availability in a large-scale Service Oriented Architecture environment.