System Design Strategies Preface 33rd Edition

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System Design Strategies (select here for table of contents)
System Design Strategies 33rd Edition (Fall 2013)
1. System Design Process 2. GIS Software Technology 3. Software Performance 4. Server Software Performance
5. GIS Data Administration 6. Network Communications 7. GIS Product Architecture 8. Platform Performance
9. Information Security 10. Performance Management 11. System Implementation 12. City of Rome
A1. Capacity Planning Tool A2. ESD Planning Tools A3. Acronyms and Glossary Preface (Executive Summary)

System Design Strategies Preface 33rd Edition

The System Design Strategies wiki documentation includes a table of contents and 12 separate chapters linked by a Table of Contents (TOC) at the top and bottom of each wiki chapter. System design concepts identified in the chapters include hyperlinks to system design demonstrations (analysis) included in the Capacity Planning Tool appendix. You can access the overall System Design Strategies table of contents page through the System Design Strategies link located at the top of each TOC insert. Each SDSwiki chapter includes a Contents providing an outline of the chapter information.

You are currently located on the System Design Strategies Preface chapter. This chapter provides an executive summary of the SDSwiki content.

What is the System Design Strategies documentation?

This System Design Strategies documentation was developed and maintained to share our system architecture design methodology and the fundamental principles that contribute to system performance and scalability. The System Design Strategies 26th Edition was released in August 2009 - the last PDF version of the complete document.

The System Design Strategies content was first published on the Esri site in March 2010 - the first "living" online publication. The wiki technology provides a more adaptive publishing framework than what was available with static PDF documents - an opportunity to maintain and share much richer content in a timely manner. The System Design Strategies wiki site is maintained as a current resource - updated as required to keep pace with technology. Major updates are planned each year, providing a spring and fall release to reflect major changes in technology. Each update includes a link to previous release editions for historical reference.

Who can benefit from this documentation?

This document is shared to help Esri customers build and maintain successful GIS operations. The audience includes GIS managers, Project managers, GIS technical architects, IT administrators, business partners, systems integrators, system consultants, system administrators, and software developers - there is a broad audience that can benefit from an understanding of enterprise system performance and scalability. The content is focused on system design fundamentals - the technology concepts that contribute to successful GIS operations.

What is this document all about?

Technology has changed dramatically over the years, and updates to this document reflect those changes. Esri System Architecture Design services have evolved with the changing technology. Technology choices available today position GIS as a framework for effective Enterprise business information systems integration.

The focus today is on Enterprise System Design, a discipline that requires a clear understanding of business needs, user workflow requirements (business processes), GIS software technology patterns, software performance, data architecture patterns, network communications, GIS solution architecture, information security, and hardware platform performance. An Enterprise GIS design must consider business needs and the technical architecture required to meet user performance expectations.

GIS technology is rapidly evolving to leverage cloud computing platforms, including a full suite of applications and services to discover, create, manage, visualize, analyze, collaborate and share a better understanding of our world.

The chapters that follow provide an overview of the many pieces of GIS technology that must work together within a distributed GIS production environment. Each chapter summary includes a list of primary content objectives. Online streaming video links are provided at the end of several chapters to demonstrate how the Capacity Planning Tool can be used to answer your performance and scalability questions and complete your system architecture design.

System Design Process

System architecture design is an analytic process that generates IT hardware and network capacity requirements from specified peak business workflow performance needs.
User needs must be identified before completing the system architecture design. A simple user requirements template can be used to review and collect peak user workflow requirements. GIS user workflows are best defined during a formal user needs assessment, where existing user workflows are reviewed to identify technology enhancements that will improve business operations. Roger Tomlinson provides excellent guidance for GIS planning in his Esri Press release Thinking about GIS Fifth Edition, GIS Planning for Managers. A sample Enterprise System Design case study will be presented in Chapter 12 (City of Rome).

Topics covered

Why is system architecture design important?
What is the System Design Process?
Building a GIS: Implementation strategy
System design strategies overview
System architecture design process
Monitor performance compliance

The capacity planning tool provides a framework for collecting user requirements and completing the system design. This chapter ends with a streaming video that provides an introduction to the system design process and an overview of the structure of the Capacity Planning Tool.

GIS Software technology

What is ArcGIS today?
Since the early 1970s, Esri has continued to develop GIS software technology supporting functional requirements identified by the GIS user community. Sensitivity to software development trends and enterprise architecture strategies provide guidelines for development investment. Esri software developers leverage the latest computer hardware and software technology to maintain leadership in the GIS marketplace. Resources are aligned to provide the best software and services based on GIS customer needs.

A variety of ArcGIS software technology patterns are available to satisfy enterprise business operational needs. Technology patterns include a broad range of Desktop, Server, and Mobile deployment options. Selecting the right technology is a critical step in the enterprise system design process

Topics covered

GIS Software Evolution
Emerging technology trends
Selecting the right computing architecture
ArcGIS Platform: an architecture overview
Developer GIS
ArcGIS Online Services
GIS Software Selection

This chapter ends with a Capacity Planning Tool online streaming video. The GIS Software Technology video describes how the capacity planning tool can be used to select the right software technology for each identified user workflow. This video focuses on understanding and configuring the CPT Workflow tab for an Enterprise GIS design.

Software Performance

This section shares lessons learned about selecting and building effective GIS design solutions that satisfy operational performance and scalability needs.

Baseline workflow represents a medium load profile distributed across the baseline software technology components.
Software technology allows us to model our work processes. The complexity of these models, how we organize our data content, what we include in each map display scale (number of layers, features per layer, feature complexity), and the functions we use to analyze and present information has a significant impact on the computer processing workload, system performance, and scalability.

Capacity Planning Tools automate our system architecture design analysis (translate processing loads to hardware solutions) enabling refined and accurate performance management.

Building a system design that addresses capacity planning needs can improve user productivity and reduced implementation risk.

Topics covered

Workflow baselines
Custom workflows
Software workflow recipe
Data source selection

This chapter ends with a Capacity Planning Tool online streaming video. The Software Performance Video describes the CPT Calculator software technology selection and performance parameters that define user workflow performance targets. The result generated on the Calculator tab is transferred to the Workflow tab for use in the Enterprise system architecture design. The Calculator tab can also be used for system performance and scalability demonstrations and preliminary system architecture design analysis to evaluation a single workflow technology selection.

The video also describes the software component service times and network traffic performance factors included in the CPT Workflow tab. The Workflow tab identifies the processing loads used for complete the Enterprise system design analysis. Selecting the proper user workflow processing loads (performance targets) is a critical step in completing a valid system architecture design.

Server Software Performance

ArcGIS for Server includes instances, processes, and threads. Understanding this terminology is important in properly configuring the server.
There are many key factors that impact ArcGIS for Server software performance and scalability. Proper configuration and services deployment can empower your GIS operations.

Topics covered

ArcGIS for Server terminology
ArcGIS for Server pooling settings (service instance min/max settings)
ArcGIS Service Editor processes settings
Map Service caching configuration
Map Service Instance Configuration Strategies
CachingTool geoprocessing service instance configuration
GIS Server machine memory configuration
Cached map services

This chapter ends with a Greek citizen declaration case study that highlights the value of proper software selection.

GIS Data Administration

GIS enterprise data architecture is no longer just a geodatabase, it often includes a combination of both the GIS feature data and the imagery data resources supporting common services managed by an integrated data center operations.
Data provides the resources you need to make proper business decisions. The information products required to make business decisions determine the critical data resources that must be available for business operations. How you organize and maintain your data resources can determine the success of your business operations.

A variety of data management and distribution strategies are available today to improve data access and dissemination throughout the rapidly expanding GIS user community. The volume of data you must sort through each day is growing exponentially. How you manage, organize, and control these data resources is critical to your success.

Topics covered

GIS feature data architecture
GIS imagery data architecture
Storage architecture options
Ways to move GIS data
Protect your GIS data resources

Selection and configuration of your GIS data resources contributes to map service complexity and system performance.

Network Communications

GIS users workflows generate relatively high levels of traffic across the network.
Network communications provide the required connectivity for distributed GIS operations. Network capacity, in many cases, can limit the software technology solutions that perform well within your organization. System architecture design can identify and address network communication constraints and provide the right technical solution for a successful GIS implementation.

Properly configured communication technology enables broad range of software technology solutions, connecting over the Internet and bringing information from millions of sources directly to the GIS user desktop in real-time.

Mobile cell phones and tablet devices provide real time access to wireless communications connecting to global Internet information resources for mobile GIS clients.

Topics covered

Why is GIS traffic-intensive?
What is network capacity?
GIS Client/Server Communication Protocols
Network Performance
Performance modeling
Enterprise network architecture
Network Suitability Analysis
Network contribution to Web performance

This chapter ends with a Capacity Planning Tool online streaming video. The CPT Calculator demonstrates display traffic contribution to user display performance and the CPT Design completes the network bandwidth suitability assessment. This video shows how the CPT Calculator shows user workflow performance over limited bandwidth connections and how the CPT Design can be used to complete an enterprise design network suitability analysis.

GIS Product Architecture

Esri ArcGIS System Environment
GIS Product Architecture provides a foundation for understanding the software components and platform configuration options available for distributed GIS operations. Understanding application architecture alternatives and associated configuration strategies provides a foundation for selecting an appropriate distributed GIS design.

Enterprise-level GIS applications support a variety of users throughout an organization, all requiring access to shared spatial and attribute data sources. System hardware and software environments for distributed GIS applications are supported by a multi-tier client/server or Web services architecture.

Topics covered

ArcSDE Geodatabase
ArcGIS for Desktop architecture patterns
ArcGIS for Server services architecture
Single-Tier Configuration
Two-Tier Configuration
Three-Tier Configuration

This chapter ends with a Capacity Planning Tool online streaming video. The Product Architecture video shows how to select workflow platform architecture on the CPT Calculator tab and how to complete an enterprise level software installation and platform selection on the CPT Design tab.

Platform Performance

Platform Performance Baseline
Selecting the right hardware will improve user performance, reduce overall system cost, and establish a foundation for building effective GIS operations. Selecting the wrong hardware can contribute to implementation failure - spending money on a system that will not support your business needs.

Hardware vendors do not know what hardware is required to satisfy your GIS needs. This chapter shares the system architecture design methodology developed to help you select the right hardware for your planned GIS operations. This chapter also shares information for justifying hardware purchases based on expected return on investment.

Topics covered

Platform Performance Baseline
Platform performance resources
Platform Performance
ArcGIS Desktop Platform Sizing
Windows Terminal Server Platform Sizing
ArcSDE Geodatabase Server Sizing
Web Mapping Servers Sizing
Platform Selection Criteria

This chapter ends with a Capacity Planning Tool online streaming video. The Platform Performance video provides an overview of the CPT Hardware tab and identifies the methodology for physical and virtual platform selection on the CPT Calculator and CPT Design tabs.

Information Security

The CIA security triad provides overall guidance for enterprise security management.
This chapter provides an introduction to the purpose and scope of information security. Basic concepts are introduced for developing security solutions that meet your business needs. Esri's approach to enterprise security is adjusted based on customer needs, and information patterns share how to establish security measures appropriate for your organization.

Recent industry advancements, especially in the areas of web service standards and service-oriented architectures, are enabling architects to more effectively satisfy enterprise security objectives. Esri's careful attention to these standards, coupled with an overall philosophy of providing highly interoperable software, provides security architects with a high level of flexibility, thus establishing trust for all Esri components contained in an enterprise solution.

Topics covered

What is information security?
CIA security triad
Levels of Security
Standards approach to security risk management.
Security framework and compliance
ArcGIS for Server security authorization
Esri informal pattern selection
Enterprise security firewall patterns

Security is everybody's job, there is no exception. The world is not a secure environment, and you need to keep your eyes and minds open to the threats around you.

Performance Management

Performance management involves building a design solution based on appropriate workflow performance targets and managing compliance throughout design and implementation to deliver within those targets.
Esri started developing simple system performance models in the early 1990s to document our understanding about distributed processing systems. These system performance models have been used by Esri system design consultants to support distributed computing hardware solutions since 1992.

The Capacity Planning Tool was introduced in 2008 incorporating the best of the traditional client/server and web services sizing models providing an adaptive sizing methodology to support future enterprise GIS operations. The new capacity planning methodology is much easier to use and provides metrics to manage performance compliance during development, initial implementation, and system delivery. This chapter introduces how these design models can be used for performance management.

Topics covered

System performance factors
How is performance managed?
Platform throughput and service time
Platform performance and response time
Platform queue time
How to size the network
What is system performance?
Performance Validation

This chapter ends with a Capacity Planning Tool online streaming video. The Performance Fundamentals video provides an overview of the CPT Design tab user requirements framework, demonstrates how the adjust functions are used to identify user productivity, and shows how the CPT test tab can be used to validate workflow performance compliance.

System Implementation

A phased system deployment strategy includes prototype development testing, initial production rollout,and final production rollout on an established implementation schedule that enforces system configuration control.
Successful system implementation requires good leadership and careful planning. A good understanding of every component of the system is critical in putting together an implementation strategy.

Enterprise IT environments involve integration of a variety of vendor technologies. Interoperability standards within commercial software environments are voluntary, and even the most simple system upgrade must be validated at each step of the integration process.

Enterprise GIS environments include a broad spectrum of technology integration. Most environments today include database servers, storage area networks, Windows Terminal Servers, Web servers, map servers, mobile and desktop clients—all connected by a broad range of local area networks, wide area networks, and Internet communications. All these technologies must function together properly to support a balanced computing environment.

Topics covered

GIS Staffing
System Architecture Deployment Strategy
System Testing
Systems Integration Management
Managing Technology Change

Successful implementation depends on a good solid design, appropriate hardware and software product selection, successful systems integration, and careful incremental evaluation during installation. A phased approach to implementation reduces project risk and promotes success, providing the opportunity for early success and flexibility to incorporate new technology at low risk through incremental system delivery.

City of Rome

City of Rome Year 2 user location and bandwidth connectivity.
Esri has developed a system architecture design methodology for establishing hardware and network requirements needed to satisfy the performance and communication needs of GIS application users.

A fundamental understanding of user workflow requirements and the supporting GIS technology is required before one can identify the appropriate hardware and network requirements for supporting their enterprise GIS operations.

City of Rome is the name of a case study that demonstrates a process that can be used as a foundation for most enterprise system design analysis. This case study makes use of the Esri Capacity Planning Tools for modeling user requirements and completing the system architecture design

Topics covered

City of Rome case study
Pre-design efforts
System design process
City of Rome System Architecture Design: Year 1
City of Rome System Architecture Design: Year 2
Rome City Hall business case summary.
City of Rome Police Department System Architecture Design
Choosing a system configuration

Each Capacity Planning Tool release published on the [Building a GIS Resource Center] includes a copy of the System Architecture Design Strategies class exercises. The final Chapter 12 exercise includes a City of Portland user case, providing step by step instructions on how to use the Capacity Planning Tool to complete the City of Portland System Architecture Design.

Capacity Planning Tool

Workflow tab is used to define project workflows. It includes standard workflows and links for custom, test, and composite workflow performance targets.
The Esri Capacity Planning Tool (CPT) is used throughout the System Design Strategies (SDS) wiki to demonstrate design concepts and automate the system design analysis. The CPT demonstrations provide demonstrations which parallel design concepts presented throughout the SDS wiki chapters.
1. System Design Process introduction (CPT Design process)
Calculator tab: Custom workflow loads analysis
Workflow tab: Workflow loads definition
Design tab: User requirements analysis
Design tab: Network suitability analysis
Design tab: Platform architecture selection
Design tab: Software configuration
Design tab: Enterprise system design

The Calculator tab was designed for use in defining workflow performance targets. A selection recipe is used to generate workflows from a baseline set of performance targets.
2. GIS Software Technology (CPT Workflow selection)
3. Software Performance (CPT Workflow Recipe)
4. Server Software Performance (Map service configuration)

The CPT Design tab completes an enterprise level system architecture design analysis once you have entered your business workflow needs, available network bandwidth connectivity, and selected platform configuration.
5. GIS Data Administration (Data source selection)
6. Network Communications (Infrastructure configuration)
7. Product Architecture (Platform configuration)

Test measurements are used to validate workflow performance compliance. The CPT Test tab provides tools for use in translating performance measurements to workflow performance targets that can be used to generate those measured loads.
8. Platform Performance (Selecting the right vendor platform)
10. Performance Management

The CPT provides a framework for integrating business, data, applications, and technical architecture needs required to design, deploy, and manage successful enterprise GIS operations.

Acronyms and Glossary

A complete list of Acronyms and Glossary is provided with this document. The glossary provides a definition of how key words are used within the context of this document.


What is Dave Peters' role at Esri?

Dave Peters is the author and content manager of the System Design Strategies wiki site.

In 1990 Dave Peters was hired by Jack Dangermond to establish a Systems Integration department responsible for GIS turnkey system delivery (system architecture design, project management, and software installation for hardware/software turnkey projects). The Systems Integration department's initial focus was on project management (system delivery) and software installation services.

The first System Design Strategies white paper was published by Dave Peters in 1993 - a much simpler document than what we have today. Dave updated the System Design Strategies white paper once or twice a year to support Esri's system architecture design and consulting services. Dave moved the System Design Strategies documentation from a white paper to with its 27th edition.

In 1998, Dave's Systems Integration department responsibilities shifted from turnkey system delivery to System Architecture Design consulting and System Test. Over the next eight years, Esri's System Architecture Design Consulting services grew in popularity and helped hundreds of customers deploy successful GIS operations. The Systems Integration department System Test team established a test lab and started using a targeted set of Esri software performance validation tests to evaluate and improve the capacity planning models used for System Architecture Design consulting.

In 1998, Esri Educational Services asked Dave to develop a class based on his System Design Strategies documentation. The first System Architecture Design Strategies training course was taught by Dave Peters in February 1999; class content was updated on a monthly basis to keep pace with technology. Additional instructors were provided from Dave's System Architecture Design consulting staff to support the expanding training class load.

In 2004 the Systems Integration department moved to Esri Professional Services. During that year, Esri Press published the first edition of Roger Tomlinson's book on Thinking about GIS; Roger asked Dave to share Esri's System Architecture Design methodology in a City of Rome system architecture design use case included in a chapter of his book. The City of Rome use case has been updated with each Thinking about GIS release, which is now in its 4th edition.

In 2006 the Systems Integration department joined with the Implementation Services department (within Esri Professional Services). Dave joined the Implementation Services senior staff and began work to develop a new open-source (Excel based) Capacity Planning Tool (CPT). The goal was to establish a simple application framework that would capture the Esri system architecture design methodology (a tool that would couple GIS user workflow requirements with the appropriate system architecture design solution). A simple tool that could be used by a much broader GIS community as a framework for designing and managing Enterprise GIS operations (documenting user requirements coupled with system architecture design). Dave would use Microsoft Excel as an application framework for user requirements collection and automated system architecture design analysis.

By January 2008, Dave's CPT was integrated into the Esri System Architecture Design Strategies training exercises, and students received a free Capacity Planning Tool for use as a framework for managing their own GIS operations. The Systems Architecture Design Strategies training was added to the International Teaching Program (ITP) later that year, and Dave conducted training workshops around the world sharing the Esri system architecture design methodology (including the Capacity Planning Tool) with our International Distributor technical staff.

In 2007, Esri Press asked Dave to author a book to share the Esri System Architecture Design methodology. In July 2008, Esri Press released Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers which includes a digital copy of the Capacity Planning Tool. A Building a GIS Online Resource Center was established to share Capacity Planning Tool updates.

In January 2010, Dave included a new CPT Calculator tool directly coupling GIS Standard Workflow service times to performance baselines derived from Implementation Services Enterprise Test Lab (ETL) benchmarks. The CPT Calculator generates custom workflow service times based on the selected software technology pattern, map document, display density, percent data cache, workflow complexity, display resolution, and output (baseline workflow service times were adjusted based on the selected performance parameters). The CPT Calculator includes options for generating composite dynamic and cached map services as a single workflow. The CPT Calculator workflow selection generates a workflow name showing the recipe (based on selected software technology performance factors) used to generate the CPT Calculator workflow service times. The workflow recipe allows resulting service times to be tracked back to established workflow performance baselines.

In summary, Dave Peters' efforts over the past 22 years have focused on understanding performance and scalability of Esri software technology, sharing his understanding with the Esri community, and developing system architecture design consulting services and systems management tools that help our customers build and maintain successful GIS operations.


System Design Strategies (select here for table of contents)
System Design Strategies 33rd Edition (Fall 2013)
1. System Design Process 2. GIS Software Technology 3. Software Performance 4. Server Software Performance
5. GIS Data Administration 6. Network Communications 7. GIS Product Architecture 8. Platform Performance
9. Information Security 10. Performance Management 11. System Implementation 12. City of Rome
A1. Capacity Planning Tool A2. ESD Planning Tools A3. Acronyms and Glossary Preface (Executive Summary)

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System Design Strategies 26th edition - An Esri ® Technical Reference Document • 2009 (final PDF release)